Los Angeles Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints Betting Predictions

Chargers at Saints NFL
Los Angeles Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints Betting Predictions

The Los Angeles Chargers collapsed last week against Tampa Bay, leaving doubts about how they will fare this week heading into the Superdome. The New Orleans Saints are coming back home after picking up a much-needed win in Detroit last week and it seems like the offense is starting to click yet again. If Michael Thomas can return for the Saints, it’ll be another big boost, but either way, New Orleans should be able to get the job done at home.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints Betting Odds

There are a lot of questions about Los Angeles’ offense after the Chargers scored just seven points in the second half last week against Tampa Bay. The loss of running back Austin Ekeler to a knee injury limited the Chargers’ effectiveness in the ground game, and it will be interesting to see how much the Chargers try to run the ball this week. There’s also the question of who will start at quarterback as Tyrod Taylor looks to potentially be healthy enough to resume duties despite Justin Herbert playing pretty well in Taylor’s absence. The Saints’ defense has given up 11 passing touchdowns already this season, the fourth most in the NFL, so the Chargers will need to attack the Saints through the air. Herbert seems to be better at that than Taylor, but Taylor’s mobility will punish New Orleans for being too aggressive defensively.

Drew Brees really needs Michael Thomas back in the lineup for this game because he needs a second reliable target besides Alvin Kamara. The Saints have used Kamara as their main offensive weapon since Thomas’ injury, but they will need to spread the love to take advantage of the Chargers’ weaknesses defensively. Los Angeles had been pretty good at stopping the run until last week, but it was consistently struggling against the pass. Tre’Quan Smith caught two touchdowns last week and I expect he’ll be targeted a decent amount this week as well, but adding Thomas to the mix will take New Orleans over the top. That should also allow Kamara and Latavius Murray to have more success on the ground and open up the Chargers defense to some play-action and other similar actions that will keep them guessing.

This is a game that on paper makes it seem like there will be a lot of points on the board, however, I don’t know if the Chargers are going to be able to actually accomplish that. I am concerned about their offense without Ekeler and if Taylor starts at quarterback, it’s a drop in the passing game. I think it’ll be close, but I’m betting the under 20.5 total points for the Chargers at -116 odds. On the other side, I expect the Saints to be able to score points on the Chargers after watching what Tampa Bay was able to do so well last week. New Orleans should be able to score more than 30.5 points, so I’ll bet the over at -106 odds, and I think they might cover the rest of the points in the total over/under. However, I’ll take the better odds and bet on the under 50.5 total points at -105 odds.   

Saints to win

The Saints are 8.5-point favorites at the New Jersey online sports betting sites, which is a risky proposition for bettors. The Chargers are obviously going to be missing Ekeler, but Herbert and Tyrod Taylor provide different challenges for the Saints defense that could keep this game close. Ultimately, the lack of a running game will hurt Los Angeles’ ability to move the ball against New Orleans, and the Saints should be able to use Kamara in different ways again to move the offense. I’m not as confident in the Saints being able to win by more than a score, however, so I’ll take New Orleans laying 5.5 points at -170 odds at the NFL betting sites in New Jersey.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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