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Taking the points with the better team on the road

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The 49ers and Saints have plenty to play for in Week 14. Here’s why I’m taking the points.

San Francisco 49ers pass rusher Ahmad Brooks sacks New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees

The San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints square off on Sunday in a monster Week 14 matchup, with huge playoff implications. Both teams sit at 10-2, but in decidedly different positions. The 49ers are tied with Seattle who have the tiebreaker edge in the NFC West, which leaves San Francisco as the fifth seed. The Saints have clinched the NFC South and have the number one seed thanks to a head-to-head win over Seattle and a one-game lead on Green Bay.

The Saints are home favorites, currently laying 2.5-points at DraftKings Sportsbook. The point total sits at 44.5, right in the middle of the pack at eighth highest. The Saints are -141 on the money line, while the 49ers are +125. The Saints are 8-4 against the spread this season, and have gone over the point total six times. The 49ers are 7-4-1 ATS and have gone over the point total five times.

Injury report

The Saints will likely be without left guard Andrus Peat and linebacker A.J. Klein, but left tackle Terron Armstead appears to be making progress toward a return this weekend.

The 49ers could get back left tackle Joe Staley and running back Matt Breida. Strong safety Jaquiski Tartt has not practiced yet this week, and seems likely to miss the game due to a rib injury. Marcell Harris would start in his place.

Pick against the spread

This line actually opened with the Saints at -3.5, but you can only get 2.5 points now. It was a no-brainer in my mind to grab it at 3.5 points and even a field goal. Three points is a magic number in sports betting, so now that we’ve moved down to 2.5, I imagine it will be a little bit more difficult for some folks to move on it.

This is a game the 49ers can win outright, so as the big, fat homer that I am, I’ll take the 2.5 points. This matchup offers a fair amount of balance, but the 49ers have the edge. They’ve got the better defense, and with their dynamic defensive front, I think they give Drew Brees and company all sorts of problems. That will be the difference in this one.

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