Thursday, August 9, 2012

This is a guest post by CC.  He will be posting a "pick of the week" all preseason long.  Want to submit your best pick?  Send me a prediction along with a short write-up and I'll feature it on the site.

New Orleans Saints vs New England Patriots: NE -3 (Pinnacle)

It will be a short turnaround for the Saints after their 7-point victory on Sunday night against the Cardinals in the Hall of Fame Game. With just 3 days to recover, the Saints will get the unenviable task of taking on a Patriots side ready to start their 2012 campaign on the right foot.

Coaches

Both coaches hold winning preseason records with Vitt sitting at (1-0) while Belichick holds a (28-22) mark.

Saints

The Saints offense looked very solid against the Cardinals on Sunday and they will hope for more of the same this weekend. The running game is what impressed me most but this physical style will be hard to replicate on just 3 days rest. In terms of QB play, Brees should see limited time again. Daniel is a solid no. 2 guy, leaving rookie Canfield and Luke McCown to battle it out for the third string spot. McCown will likely see more game time this week, which is great for me. TE Graham is Questionable and their receiving core is pretty banged up.

On defence, they are missing their starting CBs, which will give Brady and co. enough chances to score. They simply lack talent on this side of the ball and new D Coordinator Spagnolo has admitted that they have a long way to go, “"I'm not sure we're ready to go against this (Patriots) offense from where we are right now”.

Patriots

Brady was apparently a bit frustrated at training this week when things weren’t perfect which is a great sign heading into Thursday night. His appearance will be brief but he obviously wants it to go well. The big advantage NE have here is their backup QBs. Hoyer and Mallett are the best of buddies off the field but are locked in a nice battle to backup Brady. Hoyer has been a solid preseason QB while Mallett has a ton of talent and has shown up at camp looking fitter and more in tune with the offense this year. They are stacked at WR while the RBs will be looking to cement their positions on the squad led by the new No. 1 Ridley.

The Patriots D should be better this year and they will want to prove it against the Saints. The secondary, in particular, appears hungry this week if quotes are anything to go by. I’m looking for a big showing from them along with emerging rookies such as Hightower (at LB) to impress Belichick.

Overall

With a short turnaround, the Saints should struggle to play hard for the full 4 quarters here allowing the Patriots to run away with the win later in the game. They will be hungry for their first taste of football this season. Take the Patriots (-3).

CC is an up and coming handicapper with a focus on American sports.  He covers NFL, NBA, MLB and more. You can follow all his plays on Twitter @CCPicks.