An NFC showdown is on tap for this weekend as the New Orleans Saints travel to the Golden Gate City to do battle with the San Francisco 49ers. It is time to check out our NFL odds series, where our Saints-49ers prediction and pick will be revealed.
Snapping a two-game losing streak to the Rams last week in a 27-20 victory, the Saints come into this matchup with a 4-7 record and with only a small chance to turn their season around and keep their slim playoff hopes alive. As it stands, the Saints sit three games behind the final playoff spot, so consider this duel with the Niners a must-win for New Orleans.
As for the 49ers, San Francisco finds themselves on the opposite side of the playoff spectrum after demolishing the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 38-10 behind QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s four touchdowns through the air. With an absurd amount of talent on both sides of the ball, there is no doubt that San Fran could end up being the lone NFC team standing when it is all said and done.
Here are the Saints-49ers NFL odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NFL Odds: Saints-49ers Odds
New Orleans Saints: +8.5 (-110)
San Francisco 49ers: -8.5 (-110)
Over: 43 (-110)
Under: 43 (-110)
Why The Saints Could Cover The Spread
On paper, the Saints will certainly be in for a difficult task in finding a way to slow down a streaking Niners squad. Currently, San Francisco has dialed up four-straight wins and propose a significant threat to the Saints’ chance of covering the spread. For starters, it will prove to be extremely important that New Orleans figures out a way to unleash RB Alvin Kamara against a sturdy 49ers run defense. While Kamara has always been among the top halfbacks that the NFL has had to offer.
However, the shifty, all-purpose running back out of Tennessee hasn’t topped 100 yards since a Week 3 matchup with the Seahawks when he amassed 103 yards on the ground. With that being said, Kamara hasn’t reached the century mark since and was shut down for the most part versus Los Angeles a week ago. Obviously, this offense has some limitations with QB Andy Dalton under center, so the golden ticket in covering will most likely depend on how far their best offensive player can take them.
Defensively, the Saints will have their hands full versus an extremely physical Niners squad that packs a punch at the line of scrimmage. Without a doubt, New Orleans will need to find a way to stop running back Christian McCaffrey and company for the entirety of 60 minutes. Coming into this contest, the Saints have surrendered a whopping 132 rushing yards per game and have instead excelled with their pass defense. At the moment, New Orleans only allows 214 yards through the air per matchup. While this is impressive, this will not cut it versus a San Francisco squad that loves to run the ball.
Why The 49ers Could Cover The Spread
One look at the 49ers’ performance against the Cardinals on Monday Night Football and the realization sets in that San Francisco truly might be the real deal. Playing with a hard-nosed and physical brand of football that tires opposing defenses out by the fourth quarter, there is no question that the Niners are striking some fear into the rest of the NFC.
When it comes to finding a way to covering the -8.5 point spread against the Saints, it will be vital for the Niners to stay ahead of the chains on their early downs. With 159 rushing yards, the Niners had no difficulty in coming up with positive plays to set up third-and-short. In fact, the Niners dialed up a 6-11 mark on third-down efficiency and were rarely taken off of the field on that down. Simply put, a repeat of this success on offense would do wonders in dominating the time of possession and keeping the Saints’ defense on the field more than they would like.
Even more impressively, the Niners’ defense could do no wrong against a shorthanded Cardinals squad. Possibly stacked with even more talent than what the offense possesses, San Francisco left no room for Arizona’s running game to get going which could spell trouble for a Saints team that has been spotty in pounding the rock. With that being said, keep your eyes peeled for Nick Bosa and Talanoa Hufanga to wreak havoc. If New Orleans cannot contain the two, then they may in for a long day.
Final Saints-49ers Prediction & Pick
As much as the underdog bettors want to side with the Saints in this one, there is no reason to believe that the Niners won’t cover after their dominant performance on Monday night.
Final Saints-49ers Prediction & Pick: 49ers -8.5 (-110)