- Gary Porpora
TNF WEEK SEVEN - PICK ATS
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – WEEK SEVEN
New Orleans Saints (+1.5) vs. Arizona Cardinals (-1.5) 45.5 [U]
The most important stats in football are Turnovers and Turnover Margin. Basically if any given NFL team is near the bottom in any stat regarding turnovers, chances are they stink, have a losing record, won't make the playoffs-or some unwanted combination of the three.
Here are a couple of relevant stats courtesy of TeamRankings.com
· Only The Rams and Saints giveaway the ball more than twice a game…
· New Orleans has the worst Turnover Margin in the NFL—by far—at 1.2.
Luke Johnson at NOLA.com, delves deeper to explain why the Saints—with all their unique, and often explosive options on offense—are struggling with a 2-4 record as they March into the Giant Toaster for tonight’s contest in the desert
To make the problem even worse, these Saints turnovers are happening at exactly the wrong time, late in the game; and people who haven’t had the problem before this season are making the mistakes.
To this ‘Capper, these stats, while useful are often inexplicable, very much like defenses that make a lot of strips and fumbles one season, then lead the league in missed tackles—and bad defense— the next.
Matchup stats tell us the Holy Men are the better team. While both defensive groups give up a pedestrian 5.6 YPP, New Orleans gains a full 1.1 yard more per play than the Cards overall. In the passing game the YPP differential is an eye-popping 1.5 in the Saints favor.
The records I’m looking at say the Saints have lost just one game by more than nine points and Arizona has struggled in the passing game.
Good news for the Cardinals is, DeAndre Hopkins returns from a PED suspension and Carolina’s disgruntled WR, Robbie Anderson, will join the team, but he doesn’t yet know the playbook.
Bad news is Hollywood Brown, Kyler Murray’s security blanket during most of the year, is out with a bad ankle.
Bottom line, I don’t think Arizona should be favored over anyone—especially in the Toaster Maximus where they have been burnt in their last seven tries.
I’m taking the Beatified Ones, 2.5 points and the Under.