NFL South Sports Betting Preview

Granted, New Orleans
isn’t going to surprise anyone this year but with a solid cast, a new winning
attitude, and only Carolina as
serious division opposition, the Saints should march to another NFC South
title. The Panthers look good enough to battle for an NFC wild card. (2006
regular season records in parentheses):

SAINTS (10-6 SU, 10-6 ATS): Sean Payton
did the impossible in New Orleans
last season, turning a moribund 3-13 team into a Super Bowl contender. With the
return of QB Drew Brees, twin RB
threats Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush, and emerging WR
star Marques Colston, the offense is lethal. The
defense also showed improvement under first year coordinator Gary Gibbs but
lacked aggression, finishing 31st in the NFL in takeaways in 2006.
The line, led by Charles Grant and Will Smith, is solid but the Saints need
more big-play potential at linebacker and in the secondary. Still, an offense
as potent as New Orleans’ will win
a lot of games.
By the Numbers (Regular
Season, 1998-2006)

SU: 64-80
ATS: 69-72-3
HF: 14-24-1
HD: 10-16-2
AF: 9-6
AD: 32-25
Sportsbook Buster:
The Saints are 8-2 ATS their last 10 games versus the 49ers, who they play in San
, Oct. 28.
NFL Betting Angle:
New Orleans has been a miserable bet
at home, compiling just a 24-40-3 record ATS the last nine seasons.

SU, 5-9-2 ATS)
: Injuries ravaged the Panthers and the team that
made it to the Super Bowl a year earlier couldn’t even make to a winning record
in 2006. The offense struggled last year with inconsistent play from QB Jake
Delhomme and a ground game that finished 24th in the NFL, prompting
Head Coach John Fox to fire offensive coordinator Dan Henning and replace him
with Jeff Davidson. The Carolina
defense was as good as the offense was bad last year with DE Julius Peppers
leading the way. The Panthers also have a quality secondary and hope that No. 1
draft choice Jon Beason (Miami)
will be the playmaker they need at linebacker.
By the Numbers (Regular
Season, 1998-2006)

SU: 64-80
ATS: 71-66-7
HF: 20-27-1
HD: 13-9-2
AF: 8-12-1
AD: 27-19-3
Sportsbook Buster:
The Panthers are 6-0 ATS versus the Saints, their last half-dozen meetings.
NFL Betting Angle:
Carolina is 3-12 ATS as a favorite
of between four and seven points.

(4-12 SU, 6-9-1 ATS)
: While the Saints were going from worst to
first, the Buccaneers were heading in the opposite direction, from first to
worst last year. Head Coach Jon Gruden hopes that
savvy QB Jeff Garcia, who the Buccaneers acquired through free agency, will be
able to run his complex West Coast offense with more precision than Chris Simms
or Bruce Gradkowski did in 2006. Tampa Bay has gotten old on defense, falling
from the top 10 in the league for the first time in a decade last season while
ranking 31st in sacks with just 25.
By the Numbers (Regular
Season, 1998-2006)

SU: 77-67
ATS: 69-69-6
HF: 30-26-2
HD: 9-2-1
AF: 15-18
AD: 15-21-2
Sportsbook Buster:
The Buccaneers are 5-1 ATS versus the Rams, who they play at home, Sept. 23.
NFL Betting Angle:
Tampa Bay
was 3-1 ATS last year and is 9-2-1
ATS the last nine seasons in the role of a home underdog.

The Falcons didn’t figure to be a playoff contender with QB Mike Vick so their
fortunes are even dimmer now that Vick is likely to miss the season defending himself against a federal indictment for dog-fighting sand
gambling. New Head Coach Bobby Petrino will have to
overhaul an offense that has been dependent on Vick since his arrival in Atlanta
seven years ago. The defense, which played well last
year, gets a new coordinator in Mike Zimmer, from Dallas.

By the Numbers (Regular
Season, 2002-2006)

SU: 70-73-1
ATS: 68-70-6
HF: 22-21-2
HD: 10-17
AF: 9-6-1
AD: 27-26-3
Sportsbook Buster:
The Falcons are 4-0 ATS versus the Lions at home their last four meetings. The
teams meet in Tampa Bay,
Nov. 11.
NFL Betting Angle:
Atlanta is 9-2 as an underdog after
a bye week. This year, Atlanta
travels to Tampa Bay,
Nov. 4, after its open week.

SU = Straight Up
ATS = Against the Spread
HF = Home Favorite
HD = Home Underdog
AF = Away Favorite
AD = Away Underdog


Article is courtesy of the Greek Sportsbook
one of the few sportsbooks good enough to get the highest endorsement from the
wagering experts at

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