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NFL Playoffs Free Picks: Saints vs. Seahawks Odds

Written by Matt Stevens   
Saturday, 08 January 2011 02:20

Saints vs. Seahawks Odds and PicksNew Orleans (11-5) at Seattle (7-9)

• Series Playoffs: First duel. In regular betting season, Saints dominated the series 6-5, including 34-19 win in New Orleans in Week 11 of the regular season.

• Record in Playoffs: New Orleans (5-6), Seattle (7-10)

• Record Wild Card Round: New Orleans (1-4), Seattle (4-4)

Although it looks like the most uneven game Wild Card Round, the weather (rain is forecast for Saturday in Seattle) and the noisy Qwest Field will be two rivals for the champions Saints, plus the long trip to Washington State. At Qwest Field (since 2002), the Seahawks are 4-1 in playoff mark.

The coach Pete Carroll will go with Matt Hasselbeck as their starting quarterback.

Hasselbeck has started nine postseason games and had one of his best games of the regular NFL betting season against New Orleans (with 366 yards) but suffered 10 interceptions in the following five commitments.

In four games against Saints, Hasselbeck has completed 89 of 139 passes for 1.111 yards, with 6 items into the end zone, 2 interceptions and a 97.1 rating. New Orleans finished the regular season as the fourth best total defense after allowing an average of 306.3 yards per game. Gregg Williams, the coordinator, loves to send blitzes and Hasselbeck so (by their low mobility) as the surrogate Charlie Whitehurst (for their inexperience) are perfect victims for his aggressive style.

The Seahawks defense has the difficult task of stopping Drew Brees and the Saints' attack, the sixth best in the NFL and third in the air. Brees has a collection of receivers to choose from: Marques Colston (83 receptions for 1.023 yards), Lance Moore (team leader with 8 touchdowns), Robert Meachem (two touchdowns in the last game against Seattle), plus rookie tight end Jimmy Graham (4 touchdowns in three games). It is perhaps a lot for a porous defense of the Seahawks, 27 against the pass after allowing 249.6 yards per game.

New Orleans lost to injury to rookie Chris Ivory, the team leader with 716 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Hours later also had to put Pierre Thomas on the disabled list. That leaves the fragile Reggie Bush as the only solution in the backfield for the Saints.

However, I insist, rain and noisy Qwest Field might be the worst enemies of the champions, but Saints are a team with more talent in all departments. The defeat was undoubtedly the biggest upset in the history of the Wild Card betting Round.

BSN Sports Free Pick: New Orleans 26-14 Seattle.

* Click on the banner below to bet on the Saints vs. Seahawks game.

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