Welcome back for week two of “Monday Night Mania”. Last week I featured the Kansas City / San Diego game hitting on both Side and Total as I had my Game of the Week on Baltimore over the Jets. Tonight the Superbowl Champion New Orleans Saints invade the Bay Area to match up against the San Francisco 49ers.
Last week the 49ers looked completely outmatched on both sides of the ball in Seattle, while the Saints maintained their National Conference dominance with a close win at home to the Vikings on Thursday Night. If there is anything that you learned yesterday hopefully it was you can’t base todays performances on the prior week in the National Football League.
New Orleans -vs- San Francisco (5 / 44): The 49ers haven’t beaten the Saints since 2001 in this old NFC west rival match-up. To make matters worse they are a dreaded 2-10 ATS dating back to ’98. When I first looked at this opening number I was surprised to see oddsmakers leaving it into the hands of bettors with a 5. Personally I don’t see any reason that this number shouldn’t have been a 7.
Looking at a few match-ups for tonight the 49ers will need to establish the run to have any chance of moving the ball in this game tonight, because their reliance on Alex Smith to move the ball through the air may be lost dreams. The 49ers came into this preseason as a darling favorite to win the West with the dismantling of the Cardinals, however they looked lackluster last week in their opening season game in Seattle and bettors are nervous.
Once again we go into the 3rd Monday Night game in a row with a Home Dog for bettors to preview. If San Francisco can exploit the match-up with Vernon Davis on the linebackers and move the ball on the ground I certainly think they may be up for the task. I just don’t think that Alex Smith can beat this Saints team tonight.
One thing people aren’t talking much about this early point in the season and that is the fact that the Saints were the best team in football last season and on paper only got better. I can’t back this barking dog tonight, because if they were to line up and play 10 games in San Francisco I see the Saints winning at least 6 of them.
No question that New Orleans is not looking past this task tonight and with the extra time to prepare makes this travel less difficult. The Saints Offensive Line and Drew Brees are in the zone right now limiting the pass rush heavy Vikings to only 1 sack in the first game of the season. Now I know that the 49ers and Mike Singletary will have this defense in top shape tonight. Look for tough match-up against Nate Clements on the corner against Marques Colston. The Saints will be looking to create mismatches with Henderson and Moore on the check-downs, and don’t forget that Shockey can create a real problem for opposing defenses.
Something worth noting about this game is that the Saints have a chance to further enshrine themselves in franchise history by going 2-0 a feat never achieved by any other Saint squad. This team seems to be up for the task of dispelling all rumors of Superbowl hangover, and continue to dominate opponents. Drew Brees has never lost to San Francisco (4-0) and he looks to guide this team back toward their prior offensive superiority in the league. If there is anything negative to say about the Saints it is that they looked flat on offense, but the Minnesota defense tried in every way to win that game. Remember don’t put too much emphasis on prior weeks results in this league. All eyes are on the Monday Night stage tonight and I think both defenses will be in top shape, but the upper hand is on the reining Superbowl Champions.
Weather Report: Tonight in Bay Area it will be a perfect night for football with 0% chance of precipitation and temps at the 60 degree mark.
Prediction: New Orleans 27 San Francisco 16