San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints – Week 14 NFL Betting Analysis
San Francisco 49ers (10-2 7-4-1 ATS) at New Orleans Saints (10-2 8-4 ATS)
The San Francisco 49ers are coming off a tough loss and they head to the Big Easy in a big NFC matchup with the New Orleans Saints, who are a 2.5-point home favorite. The total for this game is posted at 44.5.
The public has backed the 49ers in this game and, as the Saints opened as a 3.5-point favorite and as of Wednesday are a 2.5-point favorite.
The 49ers are coming off a 20-17 road loss to the Baltimore Ravens where they had a good rushing day and their defense was solid. Still, the loss was a tough one dropping them from the #1 seed in the NFC to the 5thseed. They are tied atop the NFC West with the Seattle Seahawks but lost to them at home and still have to face them in Seattle.
The Saints are riding a three-game win streak and in beating the Atlanta Falcons 26-18 in their last game they clinched the NFC South title.
These teams have not met since the 2016 season.
The 49ers have covered the spread in five of their last six games facing the Saints.
Can’t Complete the Shutout
In the loss to the Ravens in their last game the 49ers only scored three points in the 2nd half but only allowed three points, which was a game-winning field goal by Baltimore as time expired.
The 49ers had more yards (331-283) and the same number of turnovers (1) and while they rushed for 174 yards they gave up 178 rushing yards. Raheem Mostert rushed for a season-high 146 yards and the team hopes leading rusher Matt Breida can go in this game, as he has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury and is listed as questionable.
Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 165 yards with a TD and an INT against the Ravens and lost a fumble. He has played well as of late and while the run game is the strength of San Fran the Saints’ defense ranks 3rd in the league defending the run while only ranking 17th defending the pass.
Star CB Richard Sherman has a knee sprain and is questionable for this game and if he cannot go that will be a big blow having to face Drew Brees in his house
The Layoff May Have Been Good
Drew Brees missed several games early this season with a thumb injury and that may have been a good thing, as he is in midseason form later in the season. He has passed for seven TD and only one INT in his last three games and it helps to have Michael Thomas, as he leads the NFL in receiving yards.
Alvin Kamara has not had a huge season out of the backfield, but he has been solid. In the last three games, he has rushed for an average of 63.3 yards per game and ranks 3rd on the Saints with 444 receiving yards.
The San Francisco pass defense is the top-ranked unit in the nation, but, again, if Sherman cannot go it will hurt. The 49ers are known for their D but still only rank 22nd in run defense and that unit was lit up giving up 178 rushing yards in the loss to the Ravens.
In the Saints three-game win streak they have averaged 31.3 ppg and they are 5-1 at home this season.
Not only have the 49ers covered in five of their last six games facing the Saints but the road team has covered in the last four games between these teams.
I see another close game in this one with both teams playing well. However, Brees and the Saints will do just enough to get the home win and cover the spread.
PICK: Saints -2.5