Now that we’ve seen Big 12 football break out in the NFL — Rams 54, Chiefs 51 — can we get a college hoops score out of the Saints?
The Who-Dats will be rocking the Superdome on Thanksgiving night, with New Orleans facing its archrival, the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints are running away with the NFC South and the Falcons have faltered badly, but this is almost always a tense, close affair.
Except that the Saints have manhandled opponents this season, outscoring them 378-239 as Drew Brees, well, breezes through the best year of his superb career.
“Just focus on winning,” Brees says. “And if it takes 20 points to do that or if it takes 50 points to do that, you just focus on winning and everything else takes care of itself. But we’re just trying to stay in the moment right now.”
Coach Dan Quinn says the Falcons can win a high-scoring game against the Saints, who won at Atlanta 43-37 in September.
“We are. We’re equipped,” Quinn said. “Certainly when you’re going against another team that’s high scoring, it was no surprise to see that in the first game, either.”
New Orleans, ranked atop the AP Pro32, is a 13-point favorite. At home, that doesn’t seem too charitable.
KNOCKOUT POOL: Arizona flopped like a wanderer in the desert, yet another nasty blow to Pro Picks. If anyone is interested, we’ll try DALLAS this week.
No. 4 New England (minus 9) at No. 29 New York Jets
Angry and rested Patriots are not an opponent the Jets want to face.
BEST BET: PATRIOTS, 37-13
No. 24 Cleveland (plus 3 1-2) at No. 19 Cincinnati
The football power in Ohio is changing area codes — if there really is any football power there.
UPSET SPECIAL: BROWNS, 26-24
No. 6 Chicago (OFF) at No. 23 Detroit, Thursday
Unsettled status of Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky means no line, so two picks here:
With Trubisky: BEARS, 24-17
Without Trubisky, LIONS 17-13
No. 13 Washington (plus 7 1-2) at No. 14 Dallas, Thursday
Don’t underestimate Colt McCoy and don’t overestimate Cowboys. Still …
No. 11 Seattle (plus 3 1-2) at No. 9 Carolina
Winner here has inside track to wild card.
No. 5 Pittsburgh (minus 3 1-2) at No. 18 Denver
Steelers got lucky in Jacksonville despite poor performance.
No. 16 Green Bay (plus 3 1-2) at No. 10 Minnesota
Vikings have lost all three prime-timers this season. This won’t be a fourth.
No. 20 Miami (plus 10) at No. 12 Indianapolis
How good has Andrew Luck been in his return from injury?
No. 32 Arizona (plus 11) at No. 8 Los Angeles Chargers
Two teams coming off ugly collapses. Chargers are better than that.
No. 26 New York Giants (plus 6) at No. 21 (tie) Philadelphia
Eagles are going to get things right eventually, aren’t they?
No. 31 Oakland (plus 11) at No. 15 Baltimore
Lamar Jackson might actually throw a bit more this week.
No. 25 Jacksonville (minus 3) at No. 28 Buffalo
Biggest question is whether Jags can handle cold temperatures.
No. 30 San Francisco (plus 3 1-2) at No. 27 Tampa Bay
Is it Jameis Fitzpatrick or Ryan Winston at QB for Bucs?
No. 17 Tennessee (OFF) at No. 7 Houston, Monday night
Had there been a line, we would have laid the points.
Last Week: Against spread (6-5-1). Straight up (8-5)
Season Totals: Against spread (78-73-6). Straight up: (106-53-2)
Best Bet: 3-8 against spread, 7-4 straight up
Upset special: 7-4 against spread, 6-4-1 straight up
Source: The Associated Press