New Orleans has won three straight games both straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS), and they will need another win this Sunday to keep its playoff hopes alive when they host the San Francisco 49ers at the Superdome.
Is desperation a handicapping angle? What about the fact that the Saints are 6-1 SU in seven games against the 49ers? What about the fact tthe Saints are 12-2 ATS in 14 games at home?
With a 5-1 SU and ATS record over their last six games including a current 3-0 SU and ATS streak, the New Orleans Saints have put their 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS start behind them.
But is it too late to make a playoff push? At 5-5 SU, the Saints are still alive but will need to be virtually perfect down the stretch. Oddsmakers have kept this game as a PK or very close, at most sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark.com this week.
New Orleans has been strong on offense all season averaging 28.7 points per game, and the defense has come around in recent weeks allowing just 19 points per game over their last three games.
Coach Jim Harbaugh says he's going with the hot hand, and that means that second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be making his second career start at New Orleans even if Alex Smith is cleared to play.
Kaepernick was sensational Monday night against the Chicago Bears going 16-for-23 with 243 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. The 49ers are 7-2-1 SU this season with a 6-4 record ATS.
New Orleans is 6-1 SU and 4-3 ATS in its last seven games against San Francisco, but the one loss came in their most recent meeting in the playoffs last year. Five of those seven games went OVER the posted total.
The Saints are on a roll, but this week they face the toughest scoring defense in the league as San Francisco is allowing only 13.4 points per game this season. New Orleans has looked improved on defense over the last three weeks, but games against struggling Oakland and Philadelphia could help that.
The Saints have been so bad defensively this season that the 49ers should be able to put up a good amount of points, and San Francisco's defense can do the rest.
PICK: San Francisco PK (courtesy of PickShark.com)