49ers Saints Odds
The New Orleans Saints (5-5) host the San Francisco 49ers (7-2-1) Sunday afternoon at 4:25 PM ET in NFC non-division action. Oddsmakers have listed the 49ers as a one-point favorite and have set the total at 49.0.
Why San Francisco Covers
The 49ers have been a terrific investment in recent years. They are an impressive 20-8-1 against the spread in their last 29 games.
San Francisco is the best defensive team in the NFL. It leads the league in scoring defense with only 13.4 points allowed per game. It ranks second in total defense with 277.2 yards allowed per game. The 49ers should be able to slow down a one-dimensional New Orleans’ offense, especially since they are at their best against the pass.
The 49ers rank second in the league against the pass with only 182.9 yards allowed per game.
The road has treated San Francisco well. It is 3-1 straight up and against the spread on the road this season and has won its last two away games by an average of 27.5 points.
The 49ers boast the top rushing attack in the league. Led by Frank Gore, they average 165.1 rushing yards per game. They should be able to run all over a New Orleans defense that ranks last in the NFL against the run with 157.8 yards allowed per game.
The Saints are one of the worst defensive teams in the league as they give up an NFL-most 462.8 yards per game. It is also significant that they give up 27.3 points per game. That’s because the 49ers are 9-1 against the spread in their last 10 games versus poor defensive teams that give up 24.0 points or more per game. The Niners have defeated these teams by an average of 19.7 points.
The 49ers gashed the Saints for 143 yards on the ground in last season’s 36-32 playoff win.
Why New Orleans Covers
The 49ers won last season’s meeting, but they haven’t had much success against the Saints lately. Prior to that victory, they had lost six in a row to New Orleans. The 49ers are just 4-10 against the spread in the last 14 meetings and 2-5 against the number in the last seven meetings in New Orleans. It is also worth noting that the home team is on a 4-1 against the spread run in the series.
The Saints have won three in a row both straight up and against the spread to improve to 5-5 on the season. They could easily have seven wins as they lost one game in overtime and another by a single point. My point is the Saints are better than their record indicates.
New Orleans has been a force to be reckoned with at home, even against good offensive teams like San Francisco. Consider that the Saints are 6-0 against the spread in home games versus good offensive teams that average 24.0 points or more per game the last two seasons. The Saints have won these games by an average score of 16.5 points.
New Orleans is also 7-0 against the number in home games versus good offensive teams that average 350.0 yards or more per game the last two seasons. It has won these contests by an average of 18.8 points.