Week 10 is here and two teams we still can’t really get a firm read on will square off at 1:00 in Louisiana. The New Orleans Saints will host the San Francisco 49ers in a key NFC showdown. Both these teams entered 2014 with lofty aspirations, but there have been a lot of head-scratching performances so far this season from both squads. Last week the Niners endured one of their more questionable losses in some time, losing at home to a hopeless St. Louis Rams team. There have been rumours of long-standing rifts in the San Francisco locker room and you have to wonder how it’s impacting their on-field performance. The Saints meanwhile have been much better following their recent bye week. A manhandling of Green Bay was followed up with a convincing road victory against their divisional rivals from Carolina. Now with some extra rest entering this pivotal Week 10 contest, you have to think they’ve turned the corner in New Orleans and are poised to finish the year very strong. Ultimately there’s only one way to find out, but we’ll give you a full breakdown and analysis of this heavyweight tilt. Read on below for this week’s wager between New Orleans and San Francisco.
49ers vs. Saints Betting Odds:
San Francisco 49ers +6 (-110)
@ New Orleans Saints -6 (-110)
Over 50 (-110)
Under 50 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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49ers vs. Saints Pick:
Last year, a pretty solid San Francisco team went into the SuperDome and battled New Orleans, almost beating them in the process. It was a hard-fought encounter between two of the more dominant teams in the NFL. Fast forward one year later and it seems like the Niners have taken a real step back, while New Orleans remains a great team in that stadium. The Niners enter with a negative yardage differential and a record that they expected to be much more impressive after eight games. Their hyped offense led by the once-dominant Colin Kaepernick has sputtered in recent weeks, and for all of his mobility, he’s getting sacked far too often. That does not bode well for him this week as the Saints have generated 11 sacks in their past three contests. Last week, Kaepernick alone was brought down eight times behind the line of scrimmage against St. Louis. Big issues in pass protection right now for the Niners.
San Francisco will also have big problems getting the run game going. New Orleans has really improved in stuffing the run in recent weeks, allowing opponents just 3.44 yards per carry in their past four outings. The Niners’ offense has looked out of sync of late and that will continue on Sunday. The Saints are renowned for their offensive flair, but in recent weeks their defense has been every bit as impressive. Look for that to continue today.
For the Saints on offense, it’s really just a case of doing more of the same. This is a premier offensive group and they should have loads of success against a Niners defense that is really a shell of last year’s unit. The Niners are not good at getting pressure on the quarterback this year, and although injuries can be an excuse, they still have a lot of underperforming players. As a result, Brees should be able to torch the Saints in a secondary that has some glaring holes. It should also be noted that Mark Ingram and Jimmy Graham finally seem fully healthy and ready to be unleashed on a Niners’ linebacking unit that is quite depleted at the moment.
Simply put, the Niners aren’t the team we thought they were at the outset of the 2014 campaign. They’ve got internal issues, a variety of injuries, and they’ve played uninspired football for too long now. The Saints are rejuvenated following their bye, enter with extra rest, and should take full advantage of this hapless Niners team that isn’t used to playing football games at 1:00 PM EST. The Saints are 18-1-1 against the number in their past 20 games at home, and look for them to extend that streak in dominating fashion on Sunday.
PICK = Saints -6 (-110)