Friday, October 24, 2014

NFL Predictions 2014 Week 8: Packers Vs. Saints

Green Bay Packers Vs. New Orleans Saints: GB +1.5 (Pinnacle)

Market Watch

Talk about a curious point spread. A week ago in the advanced line at Westgate, this game was listed at a 'pick em'. The Saints blew a two score lead in Detroit, while the Packers blew out the Panthers. For some reason the line reopened at Saints -1.5 on Sunday night. This isn't a significant line move, but it doesn't make any sense either. Obviously, we are seeing 4 out of every 5 tickets being printed on Green Bay.

Bottom Line

Part of the reason why the Saints are still favored in this game is thanks to their amazing ATS record at home. Before the Bucs game, they had covered all of them going back to 2010 (if memory serves). That's quite impressive given how much they are inflated on the spread. Usually I'd have a lot of respect for that and either play them or pass, but I can't look beyond the mismatches on paper.

What are those mismatches? Well clearly Rodgers is on fire. A really good passing game is only getting better as they rank near the top in most offensive categories, including red zone offense. The Saints rank near the bottom in these areas, and they're trending downwards in red zone defense.

The matchup on the other side of the ball is a bit more of a mixed bag. The Packers pass defense is actually pretty good statistically, which doesn't quite match what we are seeing with our eyes, but this unit isn't as bad as people think. These two are also going in opposite directions on third down. For whatever reason the Saints offense is still not hitting on all cylinders, and the big problem that stands out is their turnover margin, which ranks near the bottom of the NFL (Green Bay are near the top in this category).

I'll ride the Packers train until I see a reason not to.

NFL Pick: GB +1.5.

Read moreWeek 8 picks.