The Saints face a tough customer on the road in week 7 NFL betting: the Detroit Lions. Find out what NFL odds are currently in swing and where the early value NFL picks are to be had as we analyse this clash.
New Orleans Saints (2-3, 0-3 away)
2nd NFC South
New Orleans Saints have been a road disappointment this season, coming up winless in three attempts to frustrate NFL backers who’d had them as Super Bowl contenders on their futures NFL picks. The team that can’t win on the road is going to have a hard time backing up postseason credentials.
Saints opened with a road loss in Atlanta and a subsequent loss in Cleveland before clinching their first win of the season at the expense of Minnesota at home. Their third trip went the way of their previous trips. Arguably, it was their worst defeat yet a 38-17 defeat in Dallas. In week 5 NFL betting, the Saints bounced back with a 37-31 overtime win over Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Although the Saints went into the bye week behind an inspired come-from-behind win at the expense of Tampa Bay Buccaneers, looking at the bulk of their performance thus far is to be left unimpressed. They have yet to beat a legitimate threat in this year’s instalment of the NFL, never mind win on the road. Their home wins came against teams that are in the doldrums this season, barely registering on anybody’s post-season radar. It goes without saying, a win over the Lions will go some way towards reinstating the public’s faith in the Saints, not to mention allow them to stay in the hunt for the NFC South title, which currently sits in Panthers’ grasp behind a 3-2-1 record.
Detroit Lions (4-2, 2-1 home)
1st NFC North
The Detroit Lions are after a convincing 17-3 win over the Minnesota Vikings in week 6, a win that saw them hold the rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings offense scoreless for the better part of the game. It also marked a bounce back from the debacle in the previous week when they succumbed to the Buffalo Bills 17-14 at home.
Detroit are 2-1 ATS at home this season as well as 2-1 SU (4-2 ATS and SU for the season). They’ve beaten the likes of New York Giants and Green Bay Packers at home, hanging 54 points on them combined all while holding the respective offenses to a combined 21 points. As far as matchups go, the Lions defense stacks up well against the Saints offense on paper – Lions are top of the league against the pass with a stingy 197.2 points per game. Heck they stiffed Rodgers in a 19-7 victory over the Packers. They are also second defending against the rush with a miserly 73.5 points allowed per game.
NFL Betting Verdict
The pressure is entirely on the Saints to deliver in this game. In more ways than one, this is a must-win game. After the Lions, the Saints begin a tough stretch of the schedule that pits them against Green Bay, Carolina, San Francisco, Cincinnati and Baltimore in succession – games that they’ll be challenged to win especially if they fall to 2-4 SU at the close of NFL week 7 betting.
Bookies haven’t written off the Saints entirely in this game, matching them as the modest +120 NFL odds underdogs to win straight up and the mere 3-point road pups. Much of this market is down to perception and not reality, obviously. Paying lip service to preconceived notions and preseason expectations, a by-product of a good 2013-2014 season overall and after which they reached the playoffs. Wide expectations had them continuing that rich vein of form. Reality is the Saints are below .500 this season, exacerbated by road woes that have frankly haunted them for several seasons already – they are the worst road team in the league these past few seasons with a 7-14-0 ATS record, yielding a lowly 33.3% winning ratio.
Detroit Lions were shown up by the Buffalo Bills at home, proving they are beatable from time to time. Indeed, they are 8-11-0 ATS since 2012 and just 8-7 SU since 2012 at home. Over the past few seasons, the Lions have notoriously self-combusted, shooting down their campaigns almost singlehandedly – a characteristic were not entirely certain is behind them despite their impressive defense this season. In fact, the only reason they’ve been so competitive is their defense. It remains to be seen however how long the defense can carry this team.
What the Saints have going for them is a top-notch offense and a very good quarterback in Drew Brees. Defense has been letting them down, but if those defensive issues have been sorted over the bye week, they could prove a bigger challenge for the Lions than most NFL bettors would expect. New Orleans Saints are a perfect 4-0-0 ATS since 2010 following a bye week, boasting a 16.2 margin of victory to boot. If that trend holds true, the value NFL pick has to be to back the Saints as the 3-point road pups.
NFL Free Picks: Take the Saints to win straight up, plus the points at 5Dimes