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NFL upset of the week: The Packers should be on alert against the Saints

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Each week, we'll try to pinpoint an NFL game that should come with a warning label - perhaps a matchup where the betting public all lines up on the favorite thinking there's no way they'll lose.

Before we land on our game of choice, we have to set some boundaries. Of the 16 games in Week 1, eight of them are lined inside of 3.5 points. I hate to break this to you, but a 3-point 'dog winning an NFL football game isn't an upset.

Packers (-3.5) @ Saints

I never would have thought this would require a sell-job after Aaron Rodgers basically announced he wasn't interested in rejoining the Packers, but here we are.

Why don't we like the Saints? It comes down to Jameis Winston and his comically high interception total the last time he started under center. However, we are talking about a Heisman Trophy-winning top draft pick who threw those picks in his first (and only) season in an offense conducted by a guy whose mantra is literally "risk it to get the biscuit." Are we going to beat Winston up because Tom Brady - and the guys he brought with him - were a better fit?

Winston gets his shot now with Sean Payton, who made it work the last two campaigns with Drew Brees' weakened arm and whatever we're calling the position Taysom Hill plays. Let's not worry about Michael Thomas' absence after he amassed a whopping 438 yards last season. With a top-five offensive line, Payton is capable of plotting routes for a group of no-name pass catchers. But that doesn't mean the Saints are devoid of talent at the skill positions.

Alvin Kamara had 13 receptions for 139 yards in New Orleans' meeting with Green Bay last year and sprinkled in 58 yards on just six carries. Green Bay's run defense was its Achilles' heel last season, and if it doesn't show any improvement under a new regime, Kamara should get more than half a dozen rush attempts and do some series damage with them.

On the defensive side for the Saints, they'll take advantage of a Packers offensive line starting two rookies, including one at center in place of the departed Corey Linsley. The squad will also be without the injured David Bakhtiari protecting Rodgers' blindside. You know who's aware of that? Rodgers. We've spent more than enough time trying to figure why he could want out of football's Mecca, and we've landed on Green Bay drafting his replacement as the main culprit. Maybe he sees what's in front of him and has some major concerns.

Big picture: New Orleans' veteran defense might have trouble staying healthy over the course of the campaign but will be fresh and ready to accept the short-term challenge of dealing with the reigning league MVP. The Saints get the emotional bump and win one for New Orleans - even while playing in Jacksonville.

Pick: Saints ML (+170)

NFL upset of the week: The Packers should be on alert against the Saints
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