New Orleans Saints (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS)
NFL Week 6
Date and Time: Sunday, October 13th, 2013, 4:25 pm EST
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
TV: FOX/DirecTV 714
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NO +3/NE -3
Over/Under Total: 49.5
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The New Orleans Saints are one of the three remaining
unbeaten teams in the National Football League after five weeks, but their
perfection will be put to the test this week when they travel to Foxborough
to take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a
late-afternoon kickoff in Gillette Stadium on Fox.
The Saints keep their season perfect with another tough road win last Sunday in the Windy City, putting a late 16-point lead on the stiff Chicago Bears defense in what turned into a, 26-18, victory at Soldier Field. New Orleans held the ball for nearly two-thirds of the game, and their renewed effort on defense continued with three sacks and a fumble against the Bears.
New England is coming off of a tail-whoopin thanks to the Cincinnati Bengals and their defense, who held Brady without a touchdown pass and didnt even allow the Patriots into the red zone until midway through the fourth quarter of last weeks 13-6 loss. For the first time in Bradys tenure the Pats actually look vulnerable, with the Saints and Drew Brees riding into town for another highly publicized QB-showdown in front of a national audience.
The Pats line is holding solid at -3 despite 64% of the public backing the Saints.
The over/under total opened at 49.5 and is still holding there, although there are many sportsbooks that have moved it off the half-number and up to 50 for the total.
With head coach Sean Peyton and Brees back together again, the Saints are back to a well-oiled machine on offense this season. Brees is throwing for 327 yards a game (2nd) and his ability to throw it throw it up to man-child Jimmy Graham, no matter how many defenders are covering him, is a weapon that the Patriots will be hard-pressed to stop. It should be interesting to see if Coach Hoodie uses corner Aqib Talib to matchup on Graham at any point, since the corner has played against the other teams best receiver (Julio Jones, A.J. Green) this season and leads the league with four interceptions.
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Dont be surprised if the Patriots try and dominate the clock and pound the running game on Sunday, not only to keep the ball out of Brees hands, but also to try and keep the Saints blitz-happy defense under new coordinator Bob Ryan honest. The Saints have been giving up 109 yards a game on the ground (18th) and could be grinded on if the Pats use LeGarrette Blount a ton, but since Brees and the offense are usually putting up big point totals the defense hasnt been run on as much as teams play catchup.
The last Brady-vs.-Brees matchup in 2009 in the Superdome ended badly for the Patriots, with three turnovers and a bunch of missed opportunities in a, 38-17, Saints victory.
The betting trends are mixed, with the under drawing slight consideration since it is 5-2 in the Saints last seven road games (including both this year) and the under is also 4-0 for New England following an ATS loss and 4-1 in their last five in Gillette.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Brady is starting to get some of his regulars back. This will make a HUGE difference in their passing game, one which the Saints will have a tough time defending. There’s going to be lots of empty wallets on Sunday night. Don’t fall into this trap line! Take the Pats to win in a shootout.