The New Orleans Saints may be 5-7 SU and ATS, but they hold their playoff destiny in their hands. Expect their adoring fans to swarm the Week 14 NFL odds board with the Carolina Panthers coming to town.
Jason’s record after Week 12: 32-44-1 ATS, 14-20-1 Totals
It’s been about as bad a year as you could imagine for Roger Goodell and the NFL. But at least they don’t have to worry about a 5-11 team making the playoffs. That scenario went out the window this past Sunday when both the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints won their Week 13 games to improve to 5-7 SU and ATS. They’ll play one another in Week 16 at the Superdome.
But first, the Saints have a very important date this Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) against the Carolina Panthers, who are technically still in the hunt for the NFC South title at 3-8-1 SU and 6-6 ATS. New Orleans opened as a 9-point favorite (–105) on the NFL odds board; if you want to join the chalkeaters, you’d better grab the Saints now before they hit the magic number 10. They’ve already moved to –9.5 as we go to press.
Your Punts are Invalid
As rough of a season as it’s been for the Saints, they remain one of the most popular teams in the NFL. New Orleans was No. 5 on the public money charts going into Week 13; narrow that focus to the past 30 days, and the Saints were still right there at No. 12, despite going 0-3 SU and ATS during that span.
The public should be even more encouraged to bet on the Saints this week after they held on to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers (–3.5) 35-32 at the Mustard Bowl. Drew Brees was back in fine form, throwing five TD passes as the Saints took a 35-16 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining. The Steelers responded with two touchdowns in the last three minutes, but the second of those TDs was with no time left on the clock.
The fact that New Orleans is playing the Panthers at home makes it even more likely that the Saints will be overbet this week. Carolina went to cold, cold Minnesota (12 degrees Fahrenheit at kick-off) and laid a frozen egg against the Vikings, losing 31-13 in a game where they gave up not one, but two return TDs off blocked punts. Great googly-moogly.
Cold Hard Cash
You might also want to add the New England Patriots to your NFL picks sooner rather than later, if you like the Pats (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS) as 3-point road favorites against the San Diego Chargers (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS). Whoops, too late: New England is already up to –3.5 as we go to press, thanks to 100 percent support from the sharps in early betting. We’ve already discussed this dynamic in our look at the early sharp action for Week 14. In short, the spread should only get higher as the public floods in over the weekend.
Then you have the team that beat New England this past Sunday. The Green Bay Packers (9-3 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) are coming off a solid 26-21 home victory over the Pats (+2.5 away), their fourth straight win at 3-1 ATS since taking the bye in Week 9. Conveniently enough, the Packers get to host the aforementioned Falcons on Monday Night Football.
Don’t expect Atlanta to handle – all together now – the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field as well as the Patriots did. The sharps obviously don’t; they were pounding Green Bay at a 94-percent clip according to our consensus reports, with the Packers laying 13 points (+105) on the NFL odds board. Again, with the public almost certain to place their NFL picks on Green Bay this weekend, now is the right time to buy if you’re with the chalkeaters. There’s plenty of magic in the number 14, don’t forget.