(267) New England vs. New Orleans (268)
PICK: sportsinteraction @ 7 NO (-110)
DATE: September 17, 2017 - 1:00 PM
STAR RATING: 8.0
EXPERT: Power Sports
EVALUATION: Loss (-880) - Final Score NE 36 at NO 20
8* New Orleans (1:00 ET): The expectation here will be that, off a loss, New England "can't lose." Especially since they've had so much time to prepare for Wk 2 (played Thurs night Wk 1) while New Orleans is working on a short week after being embarrassed at Minnesota on Monday Night Football. But not so fast. Let's not forget the tremendous homefield advantage that the Saints have enjoyed through the years here at Mercedes Benz Superdome. Even coming off three straight 7-9 (SU) seasons, it's rare to find them in this price range. In fact, they are a perfect 4-0 ATS as a home dog of any kind the L3 seasons w/ three outright upsets, Seattle among them. Dare I say - almost never - are they collecting this many points. The only time in the last 10 years Drew Brees has been a dog of more than a field goal at home was two years ago against the unbeaten Panthers and he covered that game, losing by only three in typical Saints fashion (lost 41-38). History says not to be worried about the short week either as the Saints are 2-0 SU/ATS the previous two seasons after playing on MNF. I'll be taking the points here.
So much for that undefeated season, huh? Any such talk concerning the Patriots (or any other team for that matter) is just ludicrous and the defending SB champs found that out the hard way in Wk 1, losing 42-27 at home to the suddenly explosive Chiefs. It certainly appeared that the Pats had the game in hand, up 17-7 w/ less than three minutes to go in the 1H. But from that point onward, KC dominated, outgaining the Pats 449-149 and outscoring them 21-0 in the 4Q. Defensively, New England clearly has a problem if Dont'a Hightower can't go. Him leaving the game w/ a knee injury is what really opened things up for the KC offense. No one has ever accused Alex Smith of being "explosive" before, so imagine what Brees - in his building - could do to a Hightower-less defense.
On offense, Tom Brady completed only 16 passes last week. The Saints defense has never been good, and led Vikings QB Sam Bradford complete 27 of 32 passes Monday night, but I still look for the home dog to be able to trade scores in this one. Brees and the offense had four red zone trips last week, but were unable to come away w/ a single TD in any of them, instead settling for 4 FGs. So it's not as if they failed to move the ball. Converting those field goals into touchdowns would have gone a long way last week and was probably the difference between winning and losing. This has always been a very good home team and New England is probably due to continue "giving some back" after it went 16-3 ATS last season. This spread was a couple points lower prior to the Saints losing on MNF. 8* New Orleans