Sports Bet Overview:

In fairy tales you often hear of the underdog who suddenly finds super-human strength and overcomes the bigger opponent. In NFL betting, there is no such thing as fairy tales. The online football betting experts are not surprised to see the Seattle Seahawks win the NFC West considering how weak the rest of the division is. But the problem for Seattle is that they won a division that was taken by the team that lost the least rather than a team that won the most. The pay per head sportsbook experts are not giving the Seahawks much of a chance in this game, and that is because fairy tales are not reality.

The New Orleans Saints were riding an incredible wave of momentum until they lost in week 17 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There were a few things that cost the defending Super Bowl champs that game, but the biggest was their attempts to establish a running game that has been non-existent all season long. With players like Chris Ivory, Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas carrying the ball, it is hard to imagine that the Saints still rely almost solely on quarterback Drew Brees for their offense.

Offense:

As was mentioned, the Saints have no running game. When you look closely at the stats, you may start to realize why the Saints have no running game. Drew Brees was sacked 25 times in 2010. That is not excessive, but it is the second-highest season total in Brees’ career. When a quarterback as elusive as Brees is getting sacked more than an average of once per game, that means the offensive line is having some problems. There are no holes for the running backs to run through, and the line needs to fix that if they want to win in the playoffs.

The Seahawks let Charlie Whitehurst start in the week 17 game against the St. Louis Rams that decided the NFC West winner. Starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was able to play, but head coach Pete Carroll decided that Hasselbeck was too banged up to be effective. Neither of the Seattle quarterbacks has been very impressive this season, but if Carroll passes over Hasselbeck for the playoff game then that would pretty much sound the end to Hasselbeck’s career in Seattle. Seattle also has no running game, but they do not have the potent air attack that the Saints have to offset their lack of running yardage.

Defense:

The Saints defense showed an aggressive pass rush against the Bucs, but they left the middle of the field open for the pass. The New Orleans linebackers and secondary have been inconsistent all season long. If they were ever going to bring the defense together to play as a unit, now would be the time.

The Seahawks have the 27th ranked pass defense in the league, and that is what will cost them this game. They have no pass rush to intimidate or upset Brees, and their secondary is unable to stay with the Saints receivers. The line up front may be able to contain the Saints running game, but the secondary will not be able to keep Brees off the scoreboard.

The Bottom Line:

The Seahawks backed their way into the playoffs like no other team in history. They are the first team with a losing record to win a division and make the playoffs. The only thing they have going for them is their fans and the noise at Qwest Field. But the Saints play twice a year in the Atlanta Georgia Dome and are more than used to fan noise.

Pick: New Orleans Saints

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