Free NFL Picks: Barring Catastrophe Saints are a Lock Against Titans

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, November 5, 2015 2:07 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 2:07 PM UTC

The Titans’ trail of tears continues as they have now lost 6 straight while the Saints have done the opposite winning 3 of 4. Let’s peruse the NFL odds & see which team to back in our NFL picks.

Tennessee Titans (1-6 SU, 3-4 ATS)
There's a couple things you should know about the Titans in case you haven't been paying attention. First, they cut loose their head coach Ken Whisenhunt, who ended his tenure with the Titans after compiling a 3-23 straight up record, and replaced him with interim head coach Mike Mularkey. Whisenhunt stated he wasn't given a reason for his firing. I guess it will just be one of those unsolved mysteries passed down from generation to generation in the Whisenhunt family.

Anyway, Marcus Mariota appears as though he will be back under center when the Titans take on the Saints and the Tennessee brass is hoping that new head coach Mike Mularkey stresses the importance of keeping their rookie QB upright. Better pass protection is paramount whether that means adding a tight end or two to the blocking scheme and/or employing the tailback to play blindside protector. In addition Mariota will have a mandate to release quicker to avoid injury. If early reports from their practice facility are any indication Mularkey will shift the offensive line around until he finds positions and combinations that he feels work best.

It appears Mularkey is also going to emphasize the run with Antonio Andrews being declared the workhorse over Bishop Sankey. The Titans need to improve in all aspects of their offensive game ranking 28th in passing, 31st in points scored and 19th in their rushing attack. Their defense is a middling 14th in points allowed surrendering an average of 22.7 PPG.


New Orleans Saints (4-4 SU, 4-3-1 ATS)
Drew Brees may have been feeling slighted in the discussions of greatest-of-all-time-quarterbacks with all the verbal bouquets and accolades being foisted upon Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Brees made sure everyone remembered just how prolific he can be with a stunning 505 yard passing performance and a staggering seven touchdowns to boot in the team's 52-49 shootout over the Giants last Sunday.

After dropping their first three games of the 2015 season the Saints seem to have summoned some sort of divine intervention by winning four of their last five. If you kept the faith and continued to stick by New Orleans in your NFL picks you have been rewarded with a Saints ATS record of 4-1-1 over their last six games. New Orleans' glaring weakness is their one dimensional offense which boasts the 3rd ranked passing attack coupled with the 6th highest points per game average. The rush takes a back seat averaging 99 yards per game (21st) but it's the defense that has precluded New Orleans from becoming a dominant force. They rank among the cellar dwellers in points allowed with a porous 29.3 PPG average.


NFL Betting Analysis
I have to be honest - because I usually lie - I was surprised that the NFL odds makers hadn't made the Saints a double digit favorite. How in the world are the Tennessee Titans going to stop Drew Brees inside the Superdome? I understand the Titans have a new head coach and may get an adrenaline shot but their starting quarterback is far from one-hundred percent and barring something catastrophic, Marcus Mariota will play.

Here are a few stats to support my contention that the Saints are the sharp side in this one:

Saints are 4-1 ATS in their last five games in Week 9.

Saints are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.

Titans are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS loss.

Titans are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games as a road underdog.

NFL Pick: Play the Saints -7 (-120) at JustBet

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