DET-NO Free Pick
New Orleans, LA - The Detroit Lions feel as though they can only go up after suffering through a 0-16 season. They’ll start their 2009 season on the road when they travel to the Superdome to take on the New Orleans Saints.
The Lions went through a complete overhaul this offseason, as new GM Martin Mayhew hired Jim Schwartz to become Detroit’s next head coach. The team then drafted quarterback Matthew Stafford with the first overall pick in April and then made him the starter in preseason.
The Saints meanwhile, will be the same explosive team offensively as they were last year, but head coach Sean Payton is hoping that the defense will be much improved. They re-signed linebacker Jonathan Vilma, signed free agents Jabari Greer and Darren Sharper, and drafted cornerback Malcolm Jenkins in the first round.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made the Saints 14-point home favorites over the Lions in this matchup. The over/under total has also been established at 49.
New Orleans will be without running back Pierre Thomas as he continues to battle a knee injury. They won’t have defensive ends Charles Grant or Will Smith either, so their defense takes quite the hit.
That said, the Lions are so devoid of talent defensively that the Saints should score at will. The Lions actually did well last year from an ATS standpoint, covering in each of their final six games away from Ford Field. But again, Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense will be too much to take and it’s hard to trust a rookie QB on the road.
We favor the under 49 in this game as well. The Lions are going to be much better this year – eventually. But it’s going to take them time to get their offensive running and while we expect New Orleans to score plenty of points, we don’t think the Lions will match and therefore the total will fall way under.
Our NFL Week 1 Free Picks for this matchup are: NEW ORLEANS -14 and UNDER 49.
Detroit Lions +14 Over 49
New Orleans Saints –14 Under 49
Detroit is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Detroit is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New Orleans's last 5 games when playing at home against Detroit
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of New Orleans's last 10 games when playing Detroit
Drew Stanton, QB, Doubtful Week 1 (knee)
Phillip Buchanon, CB, Questionable Week 1 (neck)
Yamon Figurs, WR, Questionable Week 1 (finger)
Stephen Peterman, G, Questionable Week 1 (ankle)
Jason Hanson, K, Probable Week 1 (right knee)
Jason Hunter, DE, Probable Week 1 (ribs)
Grady Jackson, DT, Probable Week 1 (knee)
Dennis Northcutt, WR, Probable Week 1 (hand)
New Orleans Saints
Charles Grant, DE, Out Until Week 6 (suspension)
Garrett Hartley, K, Out Until Week 6 (suspension)
Will Smith, DE, Out Until Week 6 (suspension)
Jammal Brown, T, Out Week 1 (hernia)
Darnell Dinkins, TE, Out Week 1 (foot)
Pierre Thomas, RB, Out Week 1 (knee)
Jeremy Shockey, TE, Probable Week 1 (ankle)
Usama Young, S, Probable Week 1 (shoulder)
Posted: 9/13/09 8:45AM ET