The Saints exploded on their opening drive of the NFL season against the Vikings, and after an eventful weekend of football, last Thursdays matchup seems like an eternity ago. New Orleans played average football against Minnesota, moving the chains easily to begin, but showing some rust on the both sides of the ball. They came away with a scrappy 14-9 victory against a Vikings team that is seriously lacking in offense this year. The Niners, however, had a dismal performance against the Seahawks at the home of the 12th man. That game was a serious trap game for betters, and many analysts (myself included) had the Niners leaving Seattle with a victory. But the power of home openers showed its pretty face last week, as several home teams used crowd noise as an advantage to get offenses out of sync. The Chiefs, Bucs, and Seahawks all escaped with victories as home underdogs, and the Niners have an opportunity to get off to a better start this week as a home underdog.
Coach Singletary is certainly not one to let a good ass whooping go unnoticed, and you can be sure that San Fran will be ready to face off against the Saints this week at Candlestick Park. They can run on the Saints with Gore, and Michael Crabtree has to answer a lot of questions after an uninspiring performance against Seattle’s secondary. On the other hand, the Saints have had three extra days of rest than their opponent, which also means three extra days of preparation. Coach Payton will use this time to his advantage this week and the Saints should be fresh and ready to put up some big numbers. Brees and co. proved last year that they are the real deal, and the Niners are going to have to play past their potential this week to come away with the victory.
Saints Niners Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
New Orleans Saints -5.5
@ San Francisco 49’ers +5.5
New Orleans Saints (-250)
@ San Francisco 49’ers (+210)
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Saints Niners Predictions for Week 2 Game:
Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – I like San Fran plus the points in this one. There’s a lot of hype over the Niners defense to be a top three unit this year, and they certainly have the talent to do it. The human tackling machine Patrick Willis had 10 tackles last week, double more than the next most. Alongside journeyman MLB Takeo Spikes, the Saints won’t be able to run the ball. Last week the Niners lost because they didn’t play harder than their opponent, and were victims of a dreaded trap that saw Seattle use the crowd to disrupt the offense. But under Coach Singletary, the Niners have a history of playing up to the level of their opponents, especially those with prolific passing games. In away losses last year to Minnesota, Houston and Indy, ranked 8th, 1st, and 2nd in passing respectively, the Niners lost by margins of 3, 3, and 4. At Candlestick Park last season, the Niners went 6-2. This is a team that plays their best football at home, and they have a coach that gets the best out of his players when he’s angry. After last weeks game, Singletary thanked the Seahawks for teaching them a lesson. I wouldn’t like to be on the other end of a Niners’ tackle on Monday night. PREDICTION (TOP PLAY) 49ers +5.5
Game Total Prediction – Take the Under in this one. It’s hard to justify taking the Under in any Saints game, as they have the potential to put up huge numbers on any given week. But this week the Niners game plan will be to make the New Orleans rushing attack beat them, and that bodes well for San Fran as Patrick Willis plays the run better than any other LB in the game. They’ll be some scoring in this one, but it’ll be a scrappy game that sees the Niners control the clock with Gore to keep Brees and co. off the field for as long as possible. In the Niners six wins at home last year, they didn’t allow more than 10 points in each game. Don’t make the mistake that a lot of betters made in the Saints Vikings game. The Under is the right play here.