Monday, August 27, 2012

New Orleans Saints vs Tennessee Titans: TEN -4 (Pinnacle)

Coaches

Not a lot to report here. Last season Mike Munchak won his final game of the preseason.  Joe Vitt is in his first tour at the top and stands at 2-2 this year.

Markets

The Titans opened at -3, but it took a while before the information trickled in. Given the latest reports, it's no surprise that heavy money is coming in on the home team. The line sits at -4, but a look around the neighborhood will show you it's even higher at some places.  I think the line should be around -6.5 or -7 and I won't be surprised if it keeps going in that direction. 

Quarterbacks

The most surprising news to hit the wires is that Jake Locker is scheduled to play into the second quarter on Thursday.  Last year Munchak pulled Hasselbeck just after one series.  It's uncertain whether or not Matt Hasselbeck will see any playing time after Locker departs, but Rusty Smith will see the field at some point in the game. He's never been a guy anyone raves about, but he's familiar in his role and should be able to do a respectable job.

For the Saints, Drew Brees and the starters have been ruled out - including Darren Sproles.  Chase Daniel is definitely a guy who can move the chains, but last year Sean Canfield played the entire 4th game for the Saints.

Looking Ahead?

One thing I'm taking out of the news this week is where these head coaches are looking forward to.  Keep in mind this is the 5th game of the preseason for New Orleans, so it's safe to assume they know what they got and they know where they are going.  When you add in the fact that they're schedule was displaced thanks to Hurricane Isaac this week and it's safe to assume that it won't be "business as usual".

Conversely, when you come out and say that your starting offense is going to play close to a half in the final preseason game, it's obvious that Mike Munchak and company are looking for some positive gains heading into Week 1 of the season.

Pick

My analysis is really as simple as that.  I think we have two teams on two different pages to close out the preseason and it should pay dividends on the scoreboard.

NFL Pick: TEN -4.

The rest of my Week 4 predictions are here, or you can find all my 2012 predictions on the home page main menu.