San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints Betting Predictions

49ers vs saints nfl season
San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints Betting Predictions

The New Orleans Saints made a statement last week with a dominant win over the Buccaneers, injecting them back into the conversation in the NFC. It was a complete effort on both sides of the ball for New Orleans that must continue this week against a depleted San Francisco 49ers squad. The 49ers were overmatched last week against Green Bay with all of their injuries and it feels like the same thing might happen this week in New Orleans.

San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints Betting Odds

It’s still unclear if the 49ers can expect any of their injured players back for this matchup, but the most important weapons are definitely still out. We saw last week what an offense without San Francisco’s top-three running backs, top pass-catcher and starting quarterback looked like, and it’s unlikely any of them will return this week. This is not an indictment on Nick Mullens, who has looked solid in place of Jimmy Garoppolo, and Mullens will actually get some more help this week with his receivers returning from the COVID/reserve list. The San Francisco defense has cobbled together decent enough performances against weaker offenses, but after the Packers carved them apart last week, it’s hard to expect anything different from the Saints offense.

New Orleans sent a strong statement with such a resounding road win last week in Tampa Bay, but now the Saints must continue the momentum at home. What we saw last week was vintage Drew Brees as he completed 81 percent of his passes and threw four touchdowns, both season-highs. Four different receivers caught those touchdown passes, and none of them were Michael Thomas, who made his first appearance since Week 1 for the Saints. The addition of Thomas into the fold adds that missing dimension to the Saints offense that was missing without their top receiver. He had five catches on six targets in his return and his role in the offense will only increase as he adjusts back to the games. The biggest difference in New Orleans, though, was a defense that forced three interceptions from Tom Brady, sacked him three times and held the Buccaneers scoreless for the first 54 minutes of the game. It was the performance of a defense that many expected could lead the Saints back to the Super Bowl this season, and New Orleans is finding that rhythm at the right time on defense.

I’m honestly shocked that the New Jersey online sports betting sites were generous enough to set the over/under on the 49ers at 20 points. San Francisco scored 17 points last week against Green Bay with a depleted offense, and the 49ers aren’t expecting to get much healthier this week. Plus they are facing a Saints team that shut down Brady last week and made him look average at best, so what can that defense do to Mullens with half as many weapons as Brady had? I’ll hammer the under 20 points for San Francisco at -112 odds. The total over/under for this game is 49.5 and that is where I begin to contemplate what New Orleans will be able to do at home. The Saints should surpass the 30 points of their own over/under, but it’s a question about whether or not they can score enough to hit the total points prop. I’ll say this game falls a bit short and take the under 49.5 total points at -105 odds.

Saints to win

New Orleans begins the week as 9.5-point favorites at the NFL betting sites in New Jersey, which is a conservative estimate. The Saints’ offense ranks fourth in points scored and most of that came without a full complement of weapons at receiver. Thomas’ return from injury only adds to how powerful New Orleans can be, especially at home. San Francisco is competing well but the injuries have taken its toll on the defending NFC champions and it’s starting to show. The 49ers just don’t have the skill players to keep track with the Saints, so this game should be at least a two-score contest. I’ll push it, though, and say New Orleans rolls at home and take the Saints laying 17.5 points at +210 odds as they fight for playoff seeding.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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