This Week 14 matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints could be a preview of the NFC Championship Game. These are probably the two best teams in the conference and the 49ers are almost in a must win situation. Will the Niners come in and prove that they are the team to beat in the conference or will the Saints show once and for all that the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC goes through New Orleans?
San Francisco 49ers (10-2) vs. New Orleans Saints (10-2)
Sunday, December 8 at 1:00 PM ET (FOX), Mercedes-Benz Superdome
NFL Pick: Over 44 (-105) at 5Dimes
The Saints Have Been Waiting for This
Even though the Niners lost last week to the Baltimore Ravens, a lot of experts around the NFL still think that they are the best team in the NFC. The New Orleans Saints will have something to say about that Sunday as they host San Francisco (1:00 P.M ET/FOX) in this clash of NFC heavyweights. The Saints know that the 49ers are in a must win situation after having lost to the Seahawks earlier this season. A win in New Orleans will go a long way in terms of them securing home field advantage in the playoffs.
As for why the Saints still have doubters despite their 10-2 record, it has everything to do with their strength of schedule. The fact that they were able to keep rolling despite Brees missing several weeks is extremely impressive. The thing is, the Patriots have had people doubting them too because they really haven’t played any tough opponents. Both times that they did, they lost. Well the Saints haven’t played a team with a record above .500 since Week 3 and it’s impossible to ignore that fact. A win against the Niners in Week 14 is their chance to put the doubts to rest until the playoffs start.
The 49ers Need This Game Badly
If things stay as they are, the 49ers are looking at the possibility of being a #5 seed in the NFC playoffs which means they will be on the road. That doesn’t seem right for a team this talented but such is life in the NFL. At the moment, San Francisco is 2nd in the NFC West because of their loss to the Seahawks. They play each other in the last game of the season which will essentially be an early playoff game. The one thing that the 49ers have going for them coming into this matchup with the Saints is the fact that they are battle tested. They have played some of the best teams in the league this season in both conferences and I think that they are more than ready for this opportunity to control their own destiny on Sunday.
This Line Has Not Seen Much Movement
The line opened at -3 Saints with the Total at 44. The line hasn’t moved much with most shops now showing Saints -2.5 with the Total at 44.5 with some 45’s available. I don’t really understand this low Total because even though both teams have been great on defense, I think they have shown the ability to put up points, especially the 49ers. Even if we use the excuse that the Saints have played a soft schedule, the 49ers haven’t and other than games played in crazy weather conditions (Redskins and Ravens games) San Francisco is scoring almost 30 points a game. Now they will be playing in a dome which I think means we see points here. While the 49ers have an excellent pass rush that should get Dee Ford back for this one, Drew Brees gets the ball out of his hands so fast, it might not even matter. In terms of the spread, I think this is literally a 50-50 contest and I wouldn’t be surprised if either team wins. The only shocking result here would be a blowout for either side and I really don’t see that happening here. For all of these reasons, I lean to the Over 44 in this game.
NFL Pick: Over 44 (-105) at 5Dimes