Saints' Injury Concerns Make Titans the Pick at +3.5

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 5:07 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 5:07 PM UTC

Two more teams that won in Week 1 of the preseason meet in Week 2, as the Titans head into New Orleans. The NFL Odds have the Saints as -3 ½ home favorites, and after home teams owned Week 1 of the preseason, can New Orleans cover this spread?

Brees still banged up
Drew Brees has missed several straight days of practice with a leg injury, and it seems like the decision on whether he will play this Friday night has not been made yet. He missed the Saints’ win over the Rams last week, and even if he does play, you can’t see him playing very much coming off of this injury.

Last week Ryan Griffin outplayed Luke McCown against the Rams, however McCown saw the meat of the Rams’ defense. If Brees doesn’t play, these two will get the majority of the reps on offense against the Titans, who have a much weaker defense than the Rams.

However even though their defense may still be a work on progress under first year head coach, Ken Whisenhunt, the Titans may have some sneaky value heading into Week 2 of the preseason.

Titans QB situation
With Jake Locker, Charlie Whitehurst and rookie, Zach Mettenberger, the Titans are going to want to get a look at all three of them in this game. That could play as an advantage for the Titans, even on the road. However even though Whisenhunt doesn’t have a great preseason record, with a new team, he may want to try and win this game with his very young team.

Locker will likely get a longer run in this game after not playing much in the first game. After playing the entire game in the rain against the Packers, the Titans still were able to be moderately successful passing the ball. Whitehurst went 10/15 with 97 yards and a touchdown, and after turning the ball over twice, Mettenberger was still able to lead a game winning drive. The rookie lobbed back-to-back 26, and 38 yard passes to set up first and goal.

The Sharp Pick
This game and the value on either side boils down to whether or not Brees is going to play. Since it’s only Week 2 of the preseason, it doesn’t seem likely that the Saints will push to get him out there, and my guess will be he sits. This could give some nice NFL odds value to the Titans as +3 ½ underdogs.

The QB battle will make it more likely that the Titans air the ball out, and after rookie Bishop Sankey got a touchdown last week, the Titans will want to get him a longer look. He only averaged 2.8 yards per carry rushing the ball, but he caught three passes including one for a TD.

Sean Payton is only 4-4 SU in Week 2 of the preseason during his career, and with his QB already banged up, I don’t see him risking injury to any of his other key players. Payton is notorious for going all out in Week 3 of the preseason. He is a career 7-1 SU in Week 3 of the preseason, so I don’t see him going too hard for victory against the Titans. Take the points.

NFL Pick: Titans +3 ½ 

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