NFL Week 1: Monday Night Football

Houston Texans @ New Orleans Saints, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 7:10 PM, ESPN (Saints -6.5, O/U: 52.5)

The Texans made some moves this offseason to help Lamar Miller and the rushing game and it proved necessary as Miller is lost this season before the preseason ended to a knee injury. They traded for Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde, who are a good enough tandum to be effective enough. They also valued Watson’s blindside (Tunsil) more than a second elite pass rusher (Clowney). The Saints had back to back disappointing losses in the playoffs to end their season, last year on a brutal non call PI. Not a bunch changed on their roster but with Murray replacing Ingram and Cook coming in for a hole at TE coming off of a great year with Oakland should keep their offense on track. Saints end a 5 year opening week winless drought by winning but take the Texans to cover in the over, Saints 31-27.

Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, 10:20 PM, ESPN (Raiders +3, O/U: 42.5)

The Broncos have been waiting for years and finally, they have someone to lead their offense in Flacco. Philip Lindsay is back 100% from his broken wrist in the last game of last year, building off an amazing performance as an undrafted rookie. Flacco will have two great young receivers in Sutton and Hamilton to throw to as well as veteran Sanders. The defense pretty much stayed the same, should continue to dominate. The Raiders were mired by the AB drama between the frostbitten feet, helmet issues and GM/fines/contract issues, they still showed on HBO’S “Hard Knocks” that they had still worked hard despite all of that and played fairly well fitting their pre season games. Impressive undrafted rookie Kellan Doss comes back from his week on the Jaguars practice squad to sign a decent deal to be on the 52 man roster to fill in for AB’s spot. He will see plenty of targets after his impressive pre season. Josh Jacobs was drafted to be the feature back for the offense and from what he showed in his limited carries in the pre season, we’re in for a treat. I may be a bit high on them but take the Raiders to cover in the upset win in the under, Raiders 21-20.

Week 15: Monday Night Football

New Orleans vs Carolina, 8:15p, ESPN (Panthers +6, O/U: 50.5)

The Saints ran into a scare last week against the Buccs until they had to rattle off 25 unanswered points to pull out a win. While they barely covered the spread, questions remain as to if they can keep up their play on the road, such has been much better than in years past? Michael Thomas has 298 catches in his first 3 years with its an NFL record (102 so far this year) and he’ll continue to be the main target tonight. The defense wo have their hands full with Cam and McCaffrey even as the top team against the run (mostly due to jumping on teams early, forcing more passing).

Cam comes into this game with a sore shoulder. Whether that affects him trying to find DJ Moore down the field or not will be seen early on. As for McCaffrey, he’s got nearly 1,700 yards from scrimmage and 13 TDs. It’ll be intersting to see how the linebackers trying to matchup up with the speedy backs.

Saints on the road: 6-1 (31 pts for/game & 20 pts allowed/game)

Saints ATS on the road: 6-1

Panthers at home: 5-1 (31 pts for/game & 23 pts allowed/game)

Panthers ATS on the road: 4-2

Take the Panthers to cover in the loss in the over, Saints 34-30.

#beatyourbookie

Week 13: Thursday Night Football

New Orleans at Dallas, 8:20p, NFLN (Cowboys +8, O/U: 52.5)

New Orleans comes in with the league’s best offense, averaging 37.2 points per game. They’ve also only turned the ball over 9 times, tied for the league lead. Michael Thomas has 86 catches already and Kamara has been hot all year, especially the last 6 games where he has 9 touchdowns! The Saints also lead the league in rushing defense which is more than likely from teams being forced to throw more given how quick the Saints go up early in games, which has caused the pass defense to be 30th worst in the league. The rush defense will be tested tonight.

The Cowboys have really turned it up lately since Amari Cooper has come aboard eventhough he’s really only been involved in the offense starting last week on Thanksgiving with an 8 catch, 180 yards and 2 touchdown performance, looking like the first rounder he was supposed to be. Garrett will have to strategize against the Saints and do his best to keep the Saints high powered offense off the field. That means utilizing the league’s leading rusher, Zeke (1,074 rushing yards). But when the ‘Boys defense is on the field, they’ll need Lawrence to continue his wrath of the last 4 games where he’s snagged 3 of his 8.5 sacks on the season. Question is, can the Cowboys newly found 3 headed monster keep up with the Medusa (multiple weapons) offensive threat of the Saints?

Take the Saints to cover on the road in the over, Saints 36-24.

#beatyourbookie