New Orleans (11-3) is still in the hunt for the top seed in the NFC, but enters play Sunday behind Seattle and Green Bay for a first-round bye due to tiebreakers. The Saints are coming off a record-breaking Monday night victory over the Colts that saw Drew Brees eclipse the all-time mark for passing touchdowns. The Saints defense should get a boost from the addition of cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who was claimed off waivers last week.
Tennessee (8-6) has their backs squarely against the wall as they must win out and hope for a Steelers loss in order to make the playoffs First things first, they must get past the Saints in a tough matchup as New Orleans is still jockeying for playoff position. A.J. Brown had 8 receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown in last Sunday’s 24-21 loss to the Texans. Brown has posted an impressive rookie campaign with 893 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.
ESPN’s FPI gives New Orleans a 54.3% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Sunday’s matchup between the Saints and Titans.
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Saints vs. Titans Game Details
Date: Sunday, December 22
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tennessee)
Spread: Saints -3
This line opened at Saints -1.5 and has been bet up to Saints -3 with the majority of the bets coming in on New Orleans. The money is split evenly between both sides.
- Saints are 11-3 SU and 9-5 ATS this season
- Titans are 8-6 SU and 7-6-1 ATS this season
- Under is 7-7 in Saints games this season
- Over is 8-6 in Titans games this season
Analysis & Picks
I don’t trust Tennessee after what I saw last week. The Titans seem to be capable of getting to the top of the mountain but are incapable of taking the final step to reach the summit. It’s not for lack of talent, Ryan Tannehill looks revitalized and is completing 71.5% of his passes this season while Derrick Henry has solidified himself as an every-down back and A.J. Brown has emerged into a legit threat on the outside. We know what we are getting with Drew Brees and the Saints offense, which is arguably the most consistent unit in the league. New Orleans is 6th in the NFL averaging 6.0 yards per play and have an underrated hammer at running back with Latavius Murray. If the Saints take an early lead, expect to see a lot of Murray as the Saints need to keep winning if they want to keep pace with the two top dogs in the NFC. With Green Bay facing a tough matchup at the Vikings on Monday night, this could be Sean Payton’s best shot at getting a first-round bye. Take the Saints.
PICK: Saints -3
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith