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Nine in a Row for the Saints?

Talk about clicking on all cylinders. The New Orleans Saints are winners of eight straight games, looking to make it nine in a row this weekend in Los Angeles. Brees and company are rolling, and things just feel right in “The Big Easy”.

New Orleans is playing better defense than they have in several years, and Sean Payton finally has a consistent running game to take the pressure of his All-Pro quarterback. If you are curious as to how the Saints are getting it done and if they will be able to keep the streak alive on Sunday vs. the Rams- you landed on the perfect page.

Betting fans stick around: this post will include vital information that you will surely want to have your hands on before you place your wagers. I’m going to break down the matchup to see if the Saints can make it nine straight. The Saints have earned the right to be in the discussion to be on the shortlist of Super Bowl contenders.

Let’s dive into how they have vaulted themselves into the conversation after an 0-2 start:

Current Eight-Game Winning Streak

Here’s why there was no reason to panic after starting the season 0-2. Want to talk about a brutal opening schedule? They had to start the season on the road against a red-hot Vikings team that is now 8-2. The next week Tom Brady and the Patriots rolled into town coming off an embarrassing loss on opening night at home.

How would you like to face Bill Belichick in that scenario, not to mention New England had an extra 3 days to prepare?

See, the 0-2 start wasn’t as bad as it sounded. It was how they would respond that would tell me if the Saints were going to be a contender or not. Boy have they showed. It has been eight consecutive games that they have found a way to win. They won close matchups. They blew teams out. We saw the two-headed backfield of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara develop into a scary combo for opposing defenses.

This team has won games every which way a team can. They have shown that their defense can travel and carry them, as they did in week 10 in Buffalo. They swarmed both Tyrod Taylor and Nathan Peterman and made them look like high-school QBs.

And their offense? Sean Payton has the luxury of the second-leading passing attack in the NFL behind only Brady and New England. Their 144 rushing yards per game ranks third in all of the National Football League. No longer is this a Saints team where Drew Brees has to drop back 45 times a game and sling it around the field just to give his team a fighting chance.

This Saints team is different. The variety of ways they have got it done over the past eight games proves they aren’t going anywhere.

As for the tilt this Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. Let’s take a look:

New Orleans Saints (8-2) at the Los Angeles Rams (7-3)

Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
When: 11/26/17 1:25 pm PST
Opening Line: Rams -2 O/U 54

This game is shaping up to be quite a spectacle. I mean, let’s look at the facts: we are looking at the number two and three teams in points per game in all of the NFL. Each team averages over 30 points, so this thing could be a wild shootout. The Saints lead the NFL with 415.7 yards per game while the Rams clock in at fourth in the league at a shade over 375 yards per contest.

Everything on paper points to this being a high-scoring, the last team with the ball wins kind of game. Certainly, that could happen, but here’s the thing: everybody and their grandmother is going to want to bet the over on this game based on the things I just mentioned.

If you know me, my style is not to just jump on board with the public. 54 is a lot of points and the teams are more than aware of each offense’s capabilities. I don’t have enough faith to bet against these two high-powered offenses, so for because of my mixed feelings, I’m staying away from the point total in this one.

In terms of who will win, I need to break the matchup down a little further. Where are the holes and who will figure out to poke the right ones? Let’s look at the home-favorite, the Los Angeles Rams.

Rams

Los Angeles is coming off their worst performance, perhaps of the entire year. I didn’t expect them to be able to go into Minnesota and pick up a tough road win, but I was hoping they would have been a little more competitive than they were.

The Vikings absolutely dominating the game, controlling the ball for more than 37 minutes of the game. The Rams ran 17 fewer plays and had 197 fewer yards. Plain and simple, the Vikings looked like the far better team. This doesn’t mean we just throw rookie head coach Sean McVay and his team out the window.

In fact, I am really looking forward to how this extremely young nucleus responds to such an embarrassing effort last week. It’s easy to have fun and play well when things are going your way. It’s how you react when the chips are down and your backs are against the wall that defines the true character of your football squad.

I like the Rams and think they have good leadership in the locker room. The problem is, the Saints are strolling into town. Rallying your troops to get motivated after a poor performance is one thing. Game planning for this specific offense at this time of the year is another thing. McVay and his assistants will have their hands full trying to figure out a way to slow down the speed of the Saints’ playmakers.

How will it all play out on the field on Sunday? I mean, that’s why you are here right. To gain insight into both sides of the ball and find out where the value is. Well, here I go.

What’s the Bet?

As you have learned, we have two, very talented offenses that can march the ball up and down the field and score plenty of points. Let me illustrate just how evenly these teams match up.

 

Saints Rams
Points Per Game (Offense) 30.2 30.3
Points Per Game (Defense) 19.6 18.6
Opponents Yards Per Game 326.7 335.0
Interceptions Forced 10 12
Sacks 27.0 28.0

On paper, this thing is about as close as it gets. It’s hard to find a more level matchup by the looks of it. If the stats say that the teams are fairly equal, what’s going to be the difference? What will stand out as the deciding factor this Sunday?

As much as I love what first-year head coach Sean McVay is doing, I know that Sean Payton has been here before. As solid as Jared Goff has looked and the improvements he has made, I see Drew Brees on the other sideline.

If all things are equal, I want to look at the two quarterbacks and head coaches to find out where the edge is. In this case, clearly Brees and Payton have the advantage in experience, and it’s not even close.

In a matchup of two teams that are this close, a discrepancy like this cannot be missed. I know the Rams have home-field advantage, but the Saints are getting 2-2.5 points depending on when and where you get your bet in.

Once I take everything into consideration, I expect to see the Saints pull through and win a tough matchup this weekend.

Summary

The New Orleans Saints are as hot as any football team in the NFL right now. Eight straight victories and an improved defense tells me what I need to know about the Saints: they are for real and will be a contender come January. This isn’t like the Saints teams of the past that couldn’t run the ball to save their life and their defense couldn’t get off the field.

The tandem backfield of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara is as strong as any duo in the National Football League. A defensive secondary that used to be the punch-line of jokes is now a reputable group of stingy defenders that hawk the ball.

On the other hand, this Los Angeles Rams team isn’t the bottom feeder they have been in recent years. They are scoring over 30 points per game and have a 31-year old head coach in charge who has somehow gotten his unit to buy-in to his system this early. This bodes really well for not only the future of this year’s team, but the Rams’ squads in years to come.

The teams are so evenly matched up. I think the quarterback play will be the significant difference that can give us the edge we need when it comes to finding a betting opportunity. Giving Drew Brees and the Saints 2.5 points in the midst of an eight-game winning streak is not something I’m rushing to the online sportsbooks to be a part of.

Don’t be part of the general public and throw all your money on the over. I don’t mind that bet, I’m just a little cautious due to the popularity of it.

After a couple days of leftover turkey sandwiches, I really think your spot to make some cheddar this weekend is going with the Saints +2.5. Betting the Saints moneyline at +120 isn’t a bad bet either, but I’m more attuned to taking the points if they are going to give them to me.

This should be an exciting matchup however it pans out, as both teams are currently leading their respective divisions and chasing down a bye in the playoffs. Any time two great football teams face-off, I like to tune in. When I have an inkling of who to bet and can make some money in the process, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be sprawled out on the couch soaking it all up.

Enjoy the game and good luck betting on football!

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