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New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints Point Spread - Pick

New England Patriots (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
Week 2 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: NE -6/NO +6
Over/Under Total: 54

The New England Patriots come to the Superdome on Sunday to face the New Orleans Saints in week two action. The Patriots face a tough cross-conference road test, one that follows a tough week one home loss. New England was trotting out the Super Bowl hardware and was on the verge of putting the game away early against the Chiefs. Next thing you know, they were hanging on for dear life and ended up drowning 42-27, after getting dominated in the second half. The Saints also met with disappointment in week one, dominated on MNF by the Vikings. With the Pats rested after the long week, the Saints must gather themselves on the short week against what should be an urgent Pats' squad.

The week one loss was bad and not a good look for the defending champion Patriots. For the purposes of this game, however, it could result in a more on-point version of the Patriots. The problem is that it was a costly game in more ways than one, with some key players going down with injuries in a hard-fought game. Just when it looked like Danny Amendola might be a good replacement in the slot for Julian Edelman, he went down with a head injury and will be out indefinitely. And Dont'a Hightower, a key part of the Pats' defense, went down with a knee injury, but might be ready for week two.

On Thursday, Tom Brady wasn't his typical self, going just 16-for-36 with no touchdowns. Amendola had 100 yards receiving and Brandin Cooks was pretty good in his Patriots debut. Rob Gronkowski was quiet. One shouldn't bank on the New England offense looking like this all season. The backfield is stocked and on Thursday, we saw a new red-zone threat emerge in Mike Gillislee, who rushed for three touchdowns in his New England debut. James White, Rex Burkhead, and Dion Lewis also got work.

Though Brady didn't take full advantage of it, the New England line is really the goods. Center David Andrews, LG Joe Thuney, LT Nate Solder, RG Shaq Mason, and blossoming right tackle Marcus Cannon allow Brady to survey the field and make the best choice. The options are numerous, with Gronk and Cooks, along with guys like Chris Hogan. There are a lot of options and the results will likely get better starting this week. They work the whole field, with slants left and right, mixed in with a nice vertical game. The Saints defense looked improved on paper, but we will see how well they do with a Pats' offense looking to make amends with what you have to figure will be a good game-plan. Week one didn't paint the Saints' defense in that flattering of a light.

The Patriots' defense wasn't on-point against Kansas City, with some great individual performances from some Kansas City players making them look worse than they probably are. Early, the Patriots were good at what they usually do, which is taking away the best players on offense. They shut down Travis Kelce and early, were able to curb Tyreek Hill. But as the game wore on, we saw some troubling things. Giving up 537 yards to the Chiefs at home is not a good start—make no mistake about it. And seeing some key bodies drop doesn't inspire confidence, especially when poised to face a Saints offense that is still potentially explosive. But one shouldn't expect this to be what the Pats' defense brings to the table for the rest of the season.

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The Saints had a tough week one test in a road game at the Vikings. They hung in there early, but the Vikings started pulling away late in the second quarter and the Saints couldn't keep pace, with the Minnesota defense getting the better of the Saints offense. It was 29-12 late in the fourth before the Saints added a late TD to make it look more-respectable. All in all, it was a letdown for a team that looked to 2017 with some optimism.

The Saints didn't get a push from the offense, though Drew Brees did have 291 yards—most of that coming late with the game already sealed. In his return to Minnesota, Adrian Peterson was not a factor is his first game with the Saints. Mark Ingram also struggled with runs and they got away from the rush as they started having to play from behind. With LT Terron Armstead still recovering from surgery and RT Zach Strief left the game in the second quarter. They've had a rookie at LT and we'll see about Strief, but combine that with a key loss in WR Brandin Cooks and the New Orleans Saints didn't look all that impressive. Maybe it will get better this week at home and word is Armstead might be ready to rejoin the fray.

Equally troubling on Monday night was how the Minnesota offensive line seemed to have their way with the Saints' front. Sam Bradford was afforded the chance to calmly sit back in the pocket and pick apart the Saints' defense. Bradford was 27-for-32 for 346 and three touchdowns and looked as good as he ever has against this defense. They also couldn't stop the run, with Dalvin Cook putting up 127 yards in his pro debut. Cameron Jordan had a sack and the back-seven has a lot of tackles, only because the front was bowled over much of the game.

Neither team wants to go to 0-2—that much goes without saying. But urgency and willpower alone are not enough. The Saints will be tough and the New England offense will pour it on in spots. Overall, I see both defenses having their share of issues on Sunday. The Saints should be offensively competent at home, but their defense doesn't seem ready to hit the ground running this season. I'm going over.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting that the New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints game goes over 54 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the New England vs. New Orleans game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!

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