Pro Football Predictions Week 4: New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, 10/2/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  New Orleans -8
Current Betting Line:  New Orleans -7
Opening Total:  46.5
Current Total:  45
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Seahawks Saints NFL Preview
The New Orleans Saints have one of the best offenses in the National Football League led by quarterback Drew Brees

New Orleans will be looking to win its third straight game and remain in at least a tie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers atop the NFC South division.  The Saints are coming off an incredibly exciting 40-33 win over the Houston Texans as 3.5-point home favorites.  The Saints are 2-1 ATS on the year, missing a perfect 3-0 start in that category by a yard on the season’s opening night.  Offensively, the team is averaging 34.7 points per game, led by the great passing of quarterback Drew Brees.  He completed 32-of-44 passes for 370 yards with three touchdowns last week.  The former Purdue quarterback has thrown a touchdown pass in 30 consecutive games.  New Orleans is 19-20 ATS over the last two-plus seasons, including a 4-4 ATS mark as a road favorite of 3.5 to 7 points.

The Saints defense has struggled during the early parts of this season, but was able to limit the Texans to field goals in four-of-five trips inside the red-zone last week.  New Orleans and Jacksonville have met four times, with the series split at two games apiece.  All-purpose back Darren Sproles has filled in nicely for the departed Reggie Bush, leading the league with 528 yards from scrimmage.  New Orleans is ranked second in the NFL in offense and 21st on defense.

Jacksonville has dropped consecutive games since starting the season with a 16-14 win over the Tennessee Titans as one-point home favorites. The Jaguars have managed to score just 29 points combined in their first three games.  As bad as the team has been offensively, it’s defense is fourth in the league in surrendering just 280 yards a game, but that could change when facing a potent offense that averages 29.3 points a contest.    Jacksonville is 15-20 ATS over the last two-plus seasons, including an 8-9 ATS mark at home.

The Jaguars intend to open the playbook a little more this week, as the offensive play-calling was very conservative last week against Carolina.  Jacksonville knows it will have to score some points in this game to possibly pull off a home victory.  Running back Maurice Jones-Drew is having a solid season, but the team still ranks last in the league in 126.7 passing yards and 28th in total offense.  “I’ve always been a fan of scoring more and scoring a lot,” commented head coach Jack Del Rio.  “I would like to see that part of our football team improve dramatically.”

Bettors will find that the Saints are 1-9 ATS versus losing opponents, while the Jaguars are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games.

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