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14th January 2012, 8:22am

New Orleans @ San Francisco Betting: Saints can go to the NFC Championship match with win in San Francisco

New Orleans @ San Francisco Betting: Saints can go to the NFC Championship match with win in San Francisco


The NFL postseason has reached the divisional playoffs stage and the opening match of the weekend comes from Candlestick Park in San Francisco as the 49ers host a playoff game for the first time in a while when they take on the New Orleans Saints in an NFC clash. The 49ers, who come into the match as the outsiders at 17/10 with Paddy Power are the number two seeds while New Orleans finished as the number 3 seeds.

San Francisco had last week off to rest up their bodies and minds and they will be bidding to make it to the NFC Championship match in front of their own fans. If they are to do that then their defence is going to have to perform to the level it has done throughout the regular season while Frank Gore will need to go well as will Alex Smith at quarterback. David Akers can be relied on with his boot but the 49ers will need touchdowns you feel.

That is because this Saints offense is so potent right now that it almost looks unstoppable. The offensive line is allowing Drew Brees so much time and as we’ve seen for so long now when Brees has time he will pick any defence apart. His receiving core is in good form while the likes of Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles have done enough on the ground. If there is one concern for the Saints it is that their defence could be tighter.

This is a really intriguing match up to start the weekend with because it’s a classic battle of defence vs offense. They say defence wins championships and San Francisco fans will be hoping that adage holds true but I just don’t see them stopping Brees enough to win this. Even when they do stop Brees they will need to put up points but they aren’t as good in the red zone as perhaps they need to be. I’ll side with the Saints here and I expect them to cover the handicap too.

Back New Orleans (-3.5) to beat San Francisco for a 4/10 stake at 1.95 with BetVictor

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