New Orleans Saints vs. Las Vegas Raiders – NFL, September 21, 2020
The wait is over in Sin City. Allegiant Stadium won’t be packed with 65,000 strong, but there’s a nice consolation in store. The Raiders new $1.84 billion home is being featured on Monday Night Football in Week 2 in what should be an electric battle.
The MNF game pits the 1-0 Saints versus the 1-0 Raiders, and I can assure you, no love will be lost.
Jon Gruden desperately wants to move his franchise to 2-0, but he’s got a major obstacle standing in his way. It’s called “Drew Brees in a prime time spot.”
Let’s start this Saints vs. Raiders prediction with a quick peek at the odds.
Saints vs. Raiders Odds
Why has this total has crept under 50 after opening at 51?
Look no further than Michael Thomas missing the Monday night game in Vegas.
Of course, Thomas’ quiet day against the Bucs didn’t stop New Orleans from hanging a 34-spot on Tampa Bay, and let’s not lose sight of how discouraging the Las Vegas defense is. The Raiders surrendered 30 points to a Carolina squad that figures to be among the bottom-dwellers in 2020.
In terms of the MNF spread, Vegas is getting six points at most of the top bookies. However, you may still be able to latch on at 5.5 at BetOnline if you plan on backing New Orleans.
Saints vs. Raiders Preview
The burden of losing Tyrell Williams for the season falls directly on rookie Henry Ruggs’ shoulders. Unless of course, Gruden goes back to force-feeding the rock to his second year RB.
Highest share of total team touches in Week 1:— PFF (@PFF) September 15, 2020
1. Josh Jacobs – 48%
2. Derrick Henry – 44%
3. Christian McCaffrey – 40%
4. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – 37% pic.twitter.com/JCFupWW00I
Jacobs surely can’t sustain such an alarming rate of touches throughout the course of a 16-game regular season, especially if/when the Raiders find themselves trailing. That’s when Bryan Edwards will be asked to step up, and that’s when Darren Waller will have to make a difference.
Fortunately, signs are pointing toward the Las Vegas passing game coming alive playing under the bright lights of MNF. The Raiders offensive line is a premier unit, plus the Saints only put pressure on Tom Brady on 5% of his dropbacks.
Derek Carr has already demonstrated he’s an accurate passer with a good handle on the playbook. Now it’s time for Derek to spread his swings and establish himself as an elite signal-caller in this league.
Saints vs. Raiders Betting Pick
Make no mistake, Sean Payton’s bunch is as formidable as it gets in the NFC. Drew Brees only threw for 160 yards and the Saints averaged 2.4 yards per carry in week 1 – and yet they had no problem dusting off the new-look Buccaneers by double-digits.
On the other hand, we’ve been down this road before of watching New Orleans steam-roll their competition in the Big Easy. Take Drew Brees out of his element and put him on the road in an unfamiliar environment – and things change drastically.
|Drew Brees – Career Home Road Splits|
|Games||W-L Record||Yards||Passing TDs||Interceptions||QB Rating|
We don’t have to pretend that the Raiders defensive shed is loaded with a bevy of sharpened tools, but Paul Guenther’s group can at least count on a couple of “pruners.” Namely safety Jonathan Abram, who recorded a team-high 13 tackles in his debut last Sunday.
Between a sturdy offensive line and lots of positive vibes in their new stadium, my hunch tells me that Vegas can hang around on Monday night.
On that note, my Saints vs. Raiders betting pick is to back the home team with the points.