NFL Picks: Saints vs. Patriots Week 6

Jason Lake

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 11:08 AM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 11:08 AM GMT

We’ve got two of the NFL’s most publicly adored teams ready to fight it out in Foxborough. Will the New Orleans Saints keep crushing the NFL odds at the expense of the New England Patriots?

 

Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013, up to October 8 inclusive:

13-13-1 ATS

1-1 ML (+0.71 units)

3-4 Totals

[gameodds]16/226956/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Here’s a football game we can all appreciate. We’ve got two division leaders going at it this Sunday afternoon (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX); the New Orleans Saints are crushing it in the NFC South at 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS, while the New England Patriots are in their usual spot atop the AFC East at 4-1 SU and 2-3 ATS. These are obviously two of the biggest draws in sports, but the NFL betting experts have also enjoyed themselves by following New Orleans and fading New England.

Easy pick, right? Not so fast. Our consensus reports show the Saints getting just above 50 percent support on the early Week 6 NFL lines, but edging in the other direction from +2.5 (–105) road dogs to +2.5 (+100) as we go to press. A further look at the numbers shows just how evenly divided the marketplace is on this matchup; the average bet on the Saints is $131, compared to $133 for the Patriots. It’s a dilemma wrapped inside a mystery.

Also Check out our:

NFL Picks: Week 6 Value Picks

NFL Picks: Week 6 Fades & Games to Avoid

The Big Gronkowski

If there’s one reason not to auto-bet the Saints in this situation, it’s the apparent return of TE Rob Gronkowski. Nothing’s ever certain when it comes to the Patriots and the official injury report, and we probably won’t be sure about his status until just before kick-off, but the buzz coming out of Boston is that Gronkowski (forearm, back) is likely to suit up this Sunday. It’s all up to Dr. James Andrews.

Tom Brady is pleased. The Patriots were pegged as fade candidates this year after losing almost all of Brady’s familiar targets during the offseason and replacing them with the likes of Kenbrell Thompkins (18 catches on 43 targets) and Aaron Dobson (13 catches, 28 targets). Through five games, Brady has thrown just seven touchdown passes, and owns the worst passer rating of his career at 80.5. He could use a little Gronk (38 TDs in 38 starts) right about now.

Tommy Can You Hear Me

It’s always fun listening to the lamestream media go on about Brady. One day, they complain about Thompkins and Dobson dropping passes; the next, they say Brady could excel with four tackling dummies at wideout. The Cincinnati Bengals would care to disagree about that latter sentiment. They broke Brady’s streak of 52 games with a TD pass in last week’s 13-6 victory, cashing in as 2-point home dogs on the NFL odds.

Gronkowski aside, the Saints must be looking forward to getting their crack at Brady. The Bengals defense was ranked just No. 16 overall (No. 15 passing) in efficiency going into Week 5. Now it’s New Orleans sitting at No. 16 (No. 4 passing) after dropping the Chicago Bears 26-18 as a 1-point road dog, sacking Jay Cutler three times and forcing two fumbles with one recovery.

Follow our continuing NFL coverage with Daily NFL Week 6 Betting Odds Report!

Saints Alive

Oh yeah, there’s another quarterback in this game. Drew Brees is having another MVP-quality campaign: 69.7 percent completion rate, 12 TD passes, four INTs and a 107.4 passer rating. The Saints aren’t getting much done on the ground this year (3.1 yards per carry), but that’s a bit of a red herring, because RB Darren Sproles (26 catches) and RB Pierre Thomas (28 catches) have been outstanding on checkdowns. Everyone loves checkdowns~!

As for the Patriots, they have the No. 14-ranked defense through Week 5 (No. 13 pass), and their thin secondary is having trouble containing teams with multiple targets like New Orleans. I’m a fan of what Gronkowski can do, but he needs to do a lot this Sunday to get New England to the pay window.

NFL Pick: Take the Saints +1 (+119) at Matchbook

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