NFL Betting -- Saints Look For Better Luck as They Re-Visit Seattle

On Saturday they have to pass that way again, as they face a rematch with the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs, with the game scheduled to kick off at 4:35 PM ET. 

 

Seattle had a bye in the first round, as they had the best record in the NFC. They are 13-3 straight-up on the year, with an 11-5 mark against the football odds. New Orleans moved its record to 12-5 with a win at Philadelphia last weekend, and the Saints are 9-7-1 against the pointspread. 

 

In the NFL betting odds that have been established on this game at BetAnySports, the Seahawks are very solidly the favorites: 

 

Seattle Seahawks  -8

New Orleans Saints  +8

 

Over 45.5 points  -110

Under 45.5 points -110

 

It's bad enough that the Saints had a huge bubble burst when they went to Seattle for a playoff game in January 2011, when they were a wild card and the Seahawks were the NFC West champions with a 7-9 record. In that one, Marshawn Lynch went on his famous touchdown ramble as the Seahawks won 41-36 as a ten-point underdog in the football odds. The Saints had a night to forget on December 2, when they went back and managed just 186 yards in a 34-7 drubbing that truly illustrated Seattle's superiority at home. Drew Brees had 144 yards on 38 attempts, and that wasn't going to solve any problems for this team when it was gaining just 44 yards on the ground.

 

Is there a different dynamic now? The Saints, all of a sudden, found a running game against the Eagles last week at Lincoln Financial Field, rolling for 185 yards as former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram showed why he can be so valuable (97 yards). But there is still this problem with the disparity in efforts on the part of Brees outdoors, as opposed to indoors.

 

For example, when playing outside, he is 62% accurate as opposed to almost 73%, with a quarterback rating that is 37 points lower,. And he has 10 TD passes with nine interceptions, vastly different than indoor numbers (30 TD's, 5 INT's). 

 

BetAnySports customers are well aware that after giving up more yardage than anyone in history last season, the Saints (+315 underdogs in the NFL money line) have made great strides on defense under first-year coordinator Rob Ryan. They ranked fourth overall in defense - second in passing yardage - but there is a problem here as well. Jabari Greer, a starting cornerback, along with two backups at that position and rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro,. are all out,. and last week Keenan Lewis suffered a concussion. 

 

Will Lewis be available here? Well, he insists that he will be, and he's practicing. "It felt good having an opportunity to prepare for a big game like this," he has told reporters. 

 

This is going to be bothersome for those NFL bettors who may be leaning toward the Saints based on their performance last week, as they have surrendered 4.6 yards per rushing attempt. Yes, here comes Mr. Lynch once again. 

 

And, re-introducing Mr. Harvin. Having played only one game in the regular season, Percy Harvin, the dual threat (wide receiver and kick returner) that the Seahawks acquired in the off-season, then sent into hip surgery, has been saved for the post-season, and he will be someone the Saints have to account for. 

 

Seattle's stop unit has allowed 273 yards a game, which ranked it first in the league in total defense. That alone is a tough nut to crack. When you add the fact that Russell Wilson has excelled on this field (going 15-1 straight-up as a starter), things may line up very well for the Seahawks in NFL betting; that is, unless the Saints can hammer out the ground game again and indeed have been boosted from getting rid of the burden of having never won a post-season game in enemy territory.

 

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