Saints-Eagles Free Pick
The Philadelphia Eagles will likely be without their starting quarterback on Sunday when they host the New Orleans Saints at 1:00PM ET.
Donovan McNabb threw for 79 yards, two touchdowns and a rushing TD in the Eagles’ impressive 38-10 win over the Panthers last week. But he suffered a rib injury on the touchdown run and won’t play against the Saints this week. Instead, backup Kevin Kolb will get the start.
The Saints’ offense was incredible in a 45-27 win over the Lions in the team’s home opener. Drew Brees threw for 358 yards and six touchdowns, while Jeremy Shockey caught four passes for 31 yards and two touchdowns. New Orleans easily covered the 2.5-point spread as favorites.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Saints 1.5-point road favorites over the Eagles on Sunday. The over/under total for this matchup has been set at 46.
Without McNabb, the Eagles are a completely different team. Kolb has struggled in his limited playing time over his career, and chances are that head coach Andy Reid will work a lot of screens to his backs and receivers to help keep the pressure off his inexperienced quarterback.
The Saints’ defense isn’t the most polished unit in the league, but it is improving. The front seven is solid and the secondary seems to be taking shape with the addition of safety Darren Sharper, who had two interceptions last week. New Orleans will probably play a shell coverage and keep everything in front of them this week, knowing that Kolb won’t beat them deep.
The Eagles’ defense won’t allow the Saints to put up 45 points this week. They’ll try and pressure Brees with their outstanding blitzes and if New Orleans can’t get its running game going, the passing game could be affected. That said, the Saints are still going to put points on the board and it’s doubtful that the Kolb will be able to eek this one out.
We like the Saints in this one, and suggest taking the over since the total has gone over in four of Philadelphia’s last five games when playing New Orleans.
Our NFL Free Picks for this Week 2 matchup are: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS -1.5 and OVER 46.
215 New Orleans Saints –1.5 Over 45.5
216 Philadelphia Eagles +1.5 Under 45.5
New Orleans is 6-1-1 ATS in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of New Orleans's last 5 games
Philadelphia is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against New Orleans
Philadelphia is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing New Orleans
New Orleans Saints
Garrett Hartley,K, Out Until Week 6 (suspension)
Jammal Brown, T, Out Week 2 (hip)
Darnell Dinkins, TE, Out Week 2 (foot)
Kendrick Clancy, DT, Questionable Week 2 (knee)
Pierre Thomas, RB, Questionable Week 2 (knee)
Jermon Bushrod, T, Probable Week 2 (ankle)
Roman Harper, S, Probable Week 2 (hamstring)
Tracy Porter, CB, Probable Week 2 (knee)
Jeremy Shockey, TE, Probable Week 2 (ankle)
Usama Young, S, Probable Week 2 (shoulder)
Michael Vick, QB, Out Until Week 3 (suspension)
Quintin Demps, S, Out Week 2 (hamstring)
Todd Herremans, G, Out Week 2 (foot)
Joe Mays, LB, Out Week 2 (shoulder)
Donovan McNabb, QB, Doubtful Week 2 (rib)
Victor Abiamiri, DE, Questionable Week 2 (groin)
Kevin Curtis, WR, Probable Week 2 (knee)
King Dunlap, T, Probable Week 2 (elbow)
DeSean Jackson, WR, Probable Week 2 (groin)
Max Jean-Gilles, G, Probable Week 2 (knee)
Winston Justice, T, Probable Week 2 (shoulder)
Posted: 9/20/09 8:10AM ET