San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints Betting Odds Preview - NFL Week 12
The mighty San Francisco 49ers will travel to New Orleans this week to take on the fast rising Saints in what should be one of the premier match-ups of the weekend. Since losing their first 4 games the Saints have gone 5-1 and are vying for a playoff spot. That road will not be easy and their schedule will not get easier as the season wraps up. A win against the 49ers would go a long way but the 49ers have goals of their own and will want to make a statement to the league that their defense can handle Saints superstar QB Drew Brees.
This is another one of the NFL games that will be hard to find odds for this week as the odds makers are likely waiting to see which QB the 49ers will start. One source has put the odds at a 2.5 point spread and an over/under of 48.5 points favoring the 49ers.
Many fans feared the worst about the 49ers’ season when QB Alex Smith left the Rams game two weeks ago with a concussion. In came QB Colin Kaepernick who rallied the 49ers to a 4th quarter comeback to finish that game at a 24-24 OT tie. Then last week Alex Smith was still sidelined with his concussion so Kaepernick got the start and went 18-for-19, 232 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs to shock the Bears 32-7. This week Alex Smith has yet to be cleared to play and on Wednesday Kaepernick got the first string reps in practice. If Smith is healthy then most would assume he would be better equipped to take the 49ers on the road to New Orleans. He has proven himself in tough games and on the road. However, if Kaepernick starts there is no reason to doubt him and clearly the 49ers offense can play well with him at the helm. Early reports say Kaepernick has already been named the starter.
The 49ers have averaged 24.5 points per game on offense and allowed an average of 13.4 points on defense. The Saints have scored an average of 28.7 points and allowed an average of 27.3 points.
That’s a stark difference so it is worth looking at how each team has performed against similar teams. The Saints offense is all about the pass with very little run game and a weak defense. It would be reasonable to say that Green Bay and the NY Giants are pass strong teams with average to weaker defense so they are the best comparison to the Saints. San Francisco beat Green Bay 30-22 and lost to the Giants 26-3. That should tell us that the 49ers defense, while very strong, will likely give up 23 to 26 points to the Saints’ pass attack.
The 49ers are the best run team in the league with weaker passing numbers and a terrific defense that is 2nd against the pass and 6th against the run. Washington and Tampa Bay would be suitable comparisons to the 49ers on offense and the Saints lost 40-32 against Washington and won 35-28 against Tampa Bay. This does not give us a clear number but it does suggest over 30 points is achievable for the 49ers against the Saints.
That math produces a score estimate of 30-26 for San Francisco. That puts it way over the total and covers the spread. To just cover the spread and the total, the score would have to be 26-23 for the 49ers. 26 points for the 49ers seems too low against one of the worst defenses in the league. The better bet seems to be with the high score and a spread greater than 3 points.
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