Another week of great matchups in the NFL for both fans and bettors is underway. This week on Monday Night Football, the New Orleans Saints head out to Las Vegas to line up against the Las Vegas Raiders. Both teams are coming into the game off of victories in Week 1.
It’s the usual Monday Night Football kick-off time of 8:15 ET. Be sure and tune in to catch ESPN’s new and much-improved broadcast team.
This game will mark the Raiders’ home opener and is the first game in their brand new home field, Allegiant Stadium, a moment that Las Vegas Raiders fans have waited for, and Oakland Raiders fans have been dreading. The Raiders hope to open the stadium with a win, but the formidable Saints will provide a tough test.
Saints Go Marching
The New Orleans Saints didn’t need an offensive explosion from veteran quarterback Drew Brees to get the job done against the revamped division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brees finished the game completing 18 of 30 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
Offensively, there weren’t many stand-outs from the Saints in week 1. No running back topped 50 yards. Jared Cook and Alvin Kamara combined for 131 of the Saints’ 198 receiving yards, and All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas was limited to three catches for 17 yards.
What they did see was a strong performance from the Saints defense, which recorded three sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery. Janoris Jenkins ran his 36-yard interception into the end zone for a touchdown early in the third quarter.
If we had a Player of the Game award to give, it would’ve likely gone to Jenkins. In addition to the pick-six, he finished the game with nine total tackles, and a pass defended.
Defending the Allegiant
The Raiders are all set to kick things off in Allegiant Stadium for the first time. It took a few years, but now Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones finally has some rivals in the home stadium department. Both Allegiant and Los Angeles’ new SoFi stadium are works of art.
Las Vegas beat the Carolina Panthers 34-30 in Week 1, but unlike the Saints, the Raiders did have an offensive stand-out. Second-year running back Josh Jacobs finished with 139 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns on the day.
The Raiders defense did allow nearly 400 yards of offense to what, on paper, was supposed to be one of the worst offenses in the NFL. They will need to be much stronger on the defensive side of the ball, because Brees, the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns, can break a game open at the drop of a hat.
But…Who is Going to Cover?
Both teams covered their respective spread in the first week; the Saints covered by seven points, while the Raiders snuck by the spread to cover by one point.
PointsBet has the Saints favored by five-and-a-half points headed into the weekend, with the over/under sitting at 48.5. The game total here seems low for any game involving the Saints and a running back who scored three times a week ago. We advise taking the over.
As for your game pick, even at this stage in his career, it’s hard to bet against Brees. A five-and-a-half point spread is nothing for this gracefully-aging veteran.
The weather could play a factor, with the forecast calling for bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid-90’s at kickoff.
Take the Saints and the 5.5 points, and consider adding the over to your bet slip as well.