The New Orleans Saints will be banking on their home-field
dominance when they host the surging Green Bay Packers on
Sunday night. The Saints have dropped all four games on the
road, including a galling setback last week at Detroit in which
they blew a 13-point lead over the final 3:38, but quarterback
Drew Brees said it’s not time to panic. “There’s no must-win
games until they’re must-win games,” Brees said. “It’s
important. It’s really important, but nobody needs that kind of
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers adopted a similar mantra to
Brees after Green Bay dropped two of its first three, telling
the home fans to “relax.” Rodgers has guided the Packers to
four consecutive wins and has been spectacular in doing so,
throwing 13 touchdown passes and zero interceptions to push
Green Bay into a tie with Detroit for first place in the NFC
North. “We’re 5-2. They’re 2-4,” Rodgers said. “They’ve lost
some close games. We won a couple close ones. But they’re a
good football team.”
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC.
LINE HISTORY: Since opening at New Orleans
-1.5, action has forced the line to jump a full point to NO
-2.5. The total market opened at 54 before climbing all the way
to 56 and it currently sits at 55.5.
INJURY REPORT: Packers – CB Sam Shields
(Doub-Knee), S Morgan Burnett (Ques-Calf), RB James Starks
(Prob-Ankle) Saints – CB Patrick
Robinson (Prob-Hamstring), TE Jimmy Graham (Prob-Shoulder), CB
Keenan Lewis (Ques-Knee)
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Green Bay with four
straight wins and covers, heads to New Orleans to face the
reeling Saints. The Pack are 1-6 against the spread in their
last seven games as underdogs prior to their bye week. The
Saints are thankfully home for four of their next five games
after falling to 0-4 on the road. The Saints are 10-2 ATS in
their last 12 at home vs. .667 or better NFC non-divisional
opponent.” – Covers Experts Matt Fargo
ABOUT THE PACKERS (5-2 SU, 4-2-1 ATS, 6-1
O/U): Rodgers has 18 scoring passes versus one
interception – that coming in Week 1 – and is coming off his
fourth consecutive games with at least three TD passes in a
38-17 demolition of Carolina. Jordy Nelson has six touchdown
catches and is second in the league with 712 receiving yards
while fellow wideout Randall Cobb has eight TD receptions. The
Packers are averaging 36.3 points during their winning streak
despite a slow start by second-year running back Eddie Lacy,
who has four touchdowns in the past four contests but has been
limited to 48 yards or fewer in five of the seven games. Green
Bay is one of the league’s worst team’s against the run,
ranking 31st with an average of 147.9 yards allowed.
ABOUT NEW ORLEANS (2-4 SU, 2-4 ATS, 5-1 O/U):
The Saints’ defense is permitting 27.5 points per game and
appear vulnerable to Rodgers and Green Bay’s vaunted aerial
attack, surrendering 270.5 passing yards while collecting only
nine sacks. Brees’ inconsistency is reflected in his past three
games – he has thrown for over 300 yards in each but has six
touchdowns and five interceptions in that span. One major
concern is the health of standout tight end Jimmy Graham, who
did not have a catch against the Lions while battling a
shoulder injury that has limited him in practice this season.
Third-down back Pierre Thomas is expected to miss the game with
a shoulder injury, leaving Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson as
the primary ball carries.
*Packers are 0-5 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
*Saints are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS
*Over is 6-0 in Packers last 6 games following a SU win of more
than 14 points.
*Over is 7-0 in the last 7 meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 62.1 percent of
Covers users are behind with an overwhelming 68.8
percent on the over.