Henderson: Saints the favorites this week, but it's hard to see why

Henderson: Saints the favorites this week, but it's hard to see why

Henderson: Saints the favorites this week, but it's hard to see why

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by Jim Henderson / Eyewitness Sports Director

wwltv.com

Posted on October 28, 2010 at 9:23 PM

NEW ORLEANS – The odds-makers usually know something, though they didn't know much last week when they made the Saints 13 point favorites against the Browns, only to see the Browns win by 13 in the Superdome.

The Browns are the last place team in the AFC North. This week the first place team in the division follows them into town.

And for some reason the Saints are deemed one-point favorites over the team that many consider the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This inter-conference matchup of the past two Super Bowl champions pits infrequent foes. The Steelers lead the limited series 7-6.

So why are the Saints favored?

Home-field advantage? The Saints have lost two of their four home games this season. The Steelers are 3-0 on the road. They've won their last four road games.

High-powered offense of the home team? The Steelers boast the toughest defense to run against in the league. They haven't allowed a single run longer than 14 yards and are allowing just 64 yards per game on the ground.

Saints passing game? The Steelers have allowed just four passing touchdowns in six games and have given up just six touchdowns and 82 points overall in six games, a league-best and an average of just under 14 points a game.

Special teams? The Saints had significant breakdowns in them in last week's loss to the Browns.

Apart from one punt return against the Falcons in game 3, the Saints have done nothing of note in the return of kickoffs or punts. And Garrett Hartley remains a weekly question mark.

Still, the odds-makers must know something. Or do they know anything? We'll find out Sunday night.

 

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