By Drew Olson Special to Published Nov 24, 2008 at 2:28 PM

Just as in real estate, location is everything in the National Football League.

The Packers will bring a 5-5 record into their "Monday Night Football" matchup against New Orleans tonight at the Superdome. If the Packers prevail, they will keep pace with Chicago and Minnesota in the battle for first place in the NFC North.

The Saints, also 5-5, are in last place in the NFC South. A loss tonight will put their playoff hopes in severe jeopardy.

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

The Saints sport a roster ravaged by season-ending injuries to cornerbacks Mike McKenzie and Tracy Porter and starting defensive end Charles Grant. Tight end Jeremy Shockey missed time with a sports hernia. Reggie Bush has missed three games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee.

The Packers? Well, they've lost a couple close games and have been generally inconsistent.

Despite the mediocrity indicated by the numbers, this could be one of the more compelling "Monday Night Football" matchups of the season. The Saints have the top passing offense in the league. The Packers have an outstanding secondary.

The oddsmakers figure this game is close to a tossup.

Here is a look at why the Packers will win tonight -- along with corresponding reasons that the Saints will win. Use the Talkback feature to go on record with your prediction:

The Packers will win because... their secondary is outstanding and will be up to the task of containing quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints' high-octane passing attack.

The Saints will win because... they are playing at home. Most oddsmakers feel that home-field advantage is worth three points. In a tossup game, that could be the difference. The Packers have shown a tendency to jump offside in critical situations. Mistakes like that could be costly.

The Packers will win because... their receiving corps is going to give New Orleans' depleted defensive backfield fits.

The Saints will win because... Brees is a stud. He is on pace to break Dan Marino's record for most passing yards in a season and this is a chance to show the country how good he has become.

The Packers will win because... Aaron Rodgers is very efficient on third down (65 for 98 for 845 yards and 10 touchdowns). Third-down conversions create huge momentum swings.

The Saints will win because... running back Reggie Bush is likely to play.

The Packers will win because... even if Bush plays, he likely will not be 100 percent.

The Saints will win because... the Packers generally do not play well in domes. The linemen all looked two steps slow in Minnesota and that won't cut it at the Superdome.

The Packers will win because... Mason Crosby will hit a howitzer from 50 or more yards.

The Saints will win because... tight end Jeremy Shockey is back from a sports hernia and ready to get untracked on the big stage.

The Packers will win because... they will "wake up the echoes" from their most recent Super Bowl victory.

The Saints will win because... Devery Henderson will capitalize on a rare miscue by the Packers secondary and catch a long touchdown pass.

The Packers will win because... Ryan Grant is ready for another breakthrough game.

The Saints will win because... Grant and the Packers' offensive line is better on grass and in cold weather than on artificial turf indoors.

The Packers will win because... wide receiver Donald Driver will be inspired to make big plays in light of what happened to his father, who allegedly was beaten by Houston police.

The Saints will win because... Driver will have trouble keeping his focus on the field.

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.