NFL Football Betting: New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers

NFL Football Betting:  New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers

The New Orleans Saints are in second place in the NFL South but that’s a dubious consolation given their 3-4 record. They’re looking up at their longtime rivals, the Atlanta Falcons at 6-3 and will try to improve upon their record and get back to .500 as they head across the US to take on the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners might not have the worst record in the NFL (the 0-8 Cleveland Browns have that distinction) but San Francisco can make a compelling case for being the worst *team* in the NFL. San Francisco gave the Los Angeles Rams a ‘rude awakening’ in their return to California in Week 1 and haven’t won a game since to enter this game at 1-6.

The Saints are a better team than their record would suggest. All four of their losses have come to teams that carry a winning record into Week 9. They lost their first two games by a combined margin of 4 points and haven’t lost by more than a touchdown all season long. Drew Brees and the offense is still potent but not potent enough to impose their will on a good defense. That means the Saints have two matchup vulnerabilities–good defenses and offenses that can exploit their own mediocre stop unit. They’ll face neither of those here.

Chip Kelly will likely take the heat for this dismal team’s performance and might high tail it back to the college ranks like so many before him. To be fair, it’s really not his fault. He doesn’t have the personnel on hand to run his uptempo offense. You’ll recall that prior to this year the Niners were team built around a power rushing game with a tough defense. San Francisco knew what Kelly wanted to do when they hired him and the offense’s struggles aren’t surprising given the cast on hand. Making matters worse, the defense has been awful particularly against the rush–the Niners have the worst rushing defense by a wide margin giving up 42 yards per game more than the #31 rushing defense (Cleveland). Their passing defense doesn’t look bad on paper giving up 222 yards per game for the #7 ranking in the league. The problem is that everyone knows that you don’t *need* to pass to beat the Niners. New Orleans will attack through the ground and through the air and should make short work of the Niners here.