Stats

Back

Teams
Logo
W/L
ATS
O/U
PPG
OPPG
#289 New Orleans
#290 Las Vegas
1-0
1-0
1-0
1-0
1-0
1-0
34
34
23
30

More

In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Saints vs. Raiders Prediction

Monday, September 21, 2020 at 8:15pm EDT
Oakland Coliseum, Oakland
#289 New Orleans Saints -5.5 vs. #290 Las Vegas Raiders 50.5

In-depth Coverage

This is an in-depth analysis of this game, covering every possible detail and angle. Use the table of contents to navigate between each section, or just jump on in!

Have thoughts or feedback? Let us know!

Table of Contents

Last Updated: Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 11:09am EDT

Introduction

It's Monday Night Football and the NFC South will take on the AFC West as the New Orleans Saints invade Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada to grapple with the Las Vegas Raiders. This contest has a start time of 8:15 pm ET and will be televised on ESPN. These teams last met back in 2016 and the Raiders won that game on the road by a score of 35-34.

New Orleans Saints Review

The Saints enter this game off of a big 34-23 home win over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints covered the 3.5 points they were favored by and the game went over the posted total of 48.5. The Saints are expected to win the NFC South but with the addition of Brady to the Buccaneers, it will not be as easy as last year when the saints took the division by six games.

The offense did not have a very good showing against the Bucs. Yes, they put up 34 points but they were also aided by some short field with a fumble recovery and two INTs, one of which was returned for a TD. The Saints had just 271 yards of total offense and Drew Brees had an off game as he threw for just 160 yards in the game. Can Brees and the offense have a better showing in this one? You'll have to read on to find out.

Las Vegas Raiders Review

It will take a little while to get used to saying the Las Vegas Raiders. This is their first year with that name and they looked good in their opening 34-30 road win over the Carolina Panthers. Josh Jacobs had a big game with 93 yards rushing and three TDs, while Derek Carr threw for 239 yards and a TD with no INTs. The offense will need to have another good showing in this one as the Saints are a bit angry after having a lackluster offensive showing in their opener.

The defense needs work and that could be an issue here against the high-scoring Saints. The Raiders allowed Carolina to hang up 388 yards of total offense with 260 coming through the air and 128 coming on the ground. Those are not good numbers but still, the Raiders were bailed out by their offense. This marks the first game for the Raiders in their new home, Allegiant Stadium. Can the Las Vegas raiders christen it with a big win over the Saints? You'll have to keep reading to find out.

The Running Game

New Orleans Saints Running Offense
vs. Las Vegas Raiders Running Defense

New Orleans Saints Running Offense

Not a whole lot worked well for the New Orleans offense in their opener as they were bailed out by their defense. It's not often that we can say that about the Saints. New Orleans had just 82 yards on the ground in their win over the Buccaneers, and it was Latavius Murray that led the way with 48 yards. That is a bit of a stunner as Alvin Kamara is their 2nd best weapon on the team. Michael Thomas is the top. 

Last year, Kamara had 797 yards rushing with five TDs but he did miss a couple of games and started just nine of the. In the win against the Bucs, he had just 16 yards rushing and a TD on 12 carries. Not very good numbers at all but we do note that he was facing the top run defense in the league a year ago. It will be interesting to see if the Saints can get him going against a bit of a weaker run defense in this one. 

Las Vegas Raiders Run Defense

The Las Vegas Raiders were 8th in the league against the run last year, allowing just 98.1 ypg on the ground but they did have some issues in containing Christian McCaffery and the Panthers’ ground attack. McCaffery ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns against this defense last week while the Panthers as a whole ran for 128 yards in the contest. The Raiders can not let that happen in this one because if the Saints get their ground game going then Drew Brees and company will have a field day throwing the ball. We will get to that a little further down. 

The Raiders must get back to defending the run like they did last year. It may be a bit harder for them to do so as starting LB, Nick Kwiatkoski, who had four solo tackles last week, is listed as questionable for this one. The Raiders have also lost some depth with LB Ukeme Eligwe and DE Jeremiah Valoaga opting out of this season. 

Stats

Key Saints' Rushing Stats

  • 6th in rushing attempts per game (34.0)
  • 27th in rushing yards per game (82.0)
  • 30th in yards per attempt (2.4)
  • 26th in rushing first downs per game (5.0)

Key Las Vegas Defensive Rushing Stats

  • 20th in run plays per game against (30.0)
  • 18th in rushing yards allowed per game (128.0)
  • 18th in opposing yards per attempt (4.3)
  • 22nd in rushing first downs per game against (8.0)

Who has the Edge?

I will be giving the Raiders a slight edge in this category. They struggled against the Panthers last week but they were also facing the best running back in the league in Christian McCaffery. Las Vegas will be facing Alvin Kamara in this one and while he is good, he is also about two runs lower than McCaffery. The Raiders were 8th in the league against the run last year and the saints had just 82 yards rushing on a mere 2.4 yards per attempt in their opener. I can see the Raiders having a better showing against this ground game than the one they had last week against the Panthers.

Advantage: Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders Running Offense
vs. New Orleans Saints Running Defense

Las Vegas Raiders Running Offense

The Raiders were a decent running team last year as they ranked 13th in that category, putting up 118.3 ypg on the ground for the year. Josh Jacobs had a great rookie season as he rushed for 1150 yards with seven TDs in just 13 games played. The Las vegas ground game will be in great shape if he continues to put up numbers like that. In the opener, Jacobs picked up right where he left off as he rumbled for 93 yards and three TDs in the win over the Panthers. 

Jacobs will be facing a New Orleans defense that looked good against the run last week but let’s face it, the Saints were up against a Tom Brady led offense that will look to throw far more than it runs this year. He is turning into one of the best backs in the league and I do not see the Saints being able to contain him here. The Raiders had 133 yards on the ground overall in their opener. 

New Orleans Saints Run Defense

The Saints had a very good showing against the run last week as they allowed the Buccaneers just 86 yards rushing on 3.3 yards per attempt. Still, as I noted above, the Saints were not facing a good running team. The Bucs have a high powered passing game with Tom Brady and a bevy of talented wide receivers, so why would they look to be a running team. It will be a different story for the Saints in this one as the Raiders will look to pound the rock at them, which would in turn open up throwing lanes for Derek Carr. The Saints were 4th in the league against the run last year, so it was no fluke what they did against the Bucs, but we do note that in order to keep pace against New Orleans last year, teams did have to throw the ball more. It will be crucial for the Saints to have a showing against the run like they did last week or it could be a long night for their defense. 

Stats

Key Las Vegas Rushing Stats

  • 11th in rushing attempts per game (31.0)
  • 13th in rushing yards per game (133.0)
  • 14th in yards per attempt (4.3)
  • 5th in rushing first downs per game (10.0)

Key New Orleans Defensive Rushing Stats

  • 12th in run plays per game against (26.0)
  • 8th in rushing yards allowed per game (86.0)
  • 6th in opposing yards per attempt (3.3)
  • 19th in rushing first downs per game against (7.0)

Who has the Edge?

I have to give the edge to the raiders in this one. Yes, the Saints held the Buccaneer ground game in check but as I have stated, New Orleans was not facing a good ground game. Tampa Bay is not a run-first offense whereas the Raiders are. Josh Jacobs is quickly turning into one of the best running backs in the league and he had 93 yards along with three TDs in the opener. Las Vegas will look to pound him away at a very average new Orleans’ front wall. That will suck their linebackers up and allow Derek Carr to hit some big plays downfield. A solid edge goes to the raiders in this category.

Advantage: Las Vegas Raiders

The Passing Game

New Orleans Saints Passing Offense
vs. Las Vegas Raiders Passing Defense

New Orleans Saints Passing Offense

Every year, the Saints are among the best passing teams in the league. Drew Brees has had an amazing career and he is off a year that saw him throw for 2979 yards with 27 TDs and just four INTs. we do note that he played in just 11 games during the regular season and back in 2018, he threw for 3992 yards with 32 TDs and just five INTs in 15 games. He is one of the best QBs ever to play the game. It also helps to have the best wide receiver in the game at the moment in Michael Thomas, who led the league last year with 1725 yards receiving while posting nine TDs. The Saints even added to their offense this year by bringing in WR Emmanuel Sanders from the 49ers. 

Despite all of that, the Saints had just 189 yards passing in their opening win against the Buccaneers. It could have been due to the fact that the team did not have any preseason games to work on their timing. Brees was 18/30 for 160 yards with two TDs and no INTs in the game. TE Jared Cook led the team with 80 yards receiving while Kamara was 2nd with 51 and Thomas was 3rd with 17. Thomas averaged 107.8 ypg receiving last year and he had just 17 yards in the opener but we do note that he was hobbled with a high-ankle sprain and is currently out for this game. That is not good as those kinds of injuries tend to last all season long.

Las Vegas Raiders Passing Defense

The Las Vegas Raiders had a miserable pass defense last year as they ranked 25th in that department, allowing 256.7 yards per game. Things have not gotten better as the Raiders allowed the Panthers to throw for 260 yards against them. They just didn’t have an answer for Teddy Bridgewater and must now face an angry New Orleans passing game that had just 189 yards through the air last week. Las Vegas did use a first-round pick on CB Damon Arnette while also taking CB Amik Robertson in the 4th round, but it didn’t help. Arnette had three tackles and two assists in the opener but not much else. The raiders will need their pass defense to step up big time in this one. 

Stats

Key New Orleans Passing Stats

  • 23rd in pass attempts per game (31.0)
  • 26th in passing yards per game (189.0)
  • 24th in completion percentage (61.29%)
  • 23rd in yards per pass attempt (6.1)
  • 14th in yards per pass completion (9.9)
  • 12th in team passer rating (101.3)

Key Las Vegas Pass Defense Stats

  • 16th in pass attempts against per game (34.0)
  • 23rd in passing yards per game allowed (260.0)
  • 16th in completion percentage allowed (64.71%)
  • 24th in yards per pass attempt (7.6)
  • 25th in yards per pass completion (11.8)
  • 28th in sacks per game (1.0)
  • 19th in passer rating allowed (98.9)

Who has the Edge?

I have to go with the Saints in this category. They are a far better passing team than they show last week and the Raiders were weak against the pass last year. The Raiders picked up where they left off in that category, allowing the panthers to throw for 260 yards against them. That does not bode well against a New Orleans team that has to be angry after struggling to throw the ball last week. It is not often that Drew Brees will have two bad games in a row and I do not expect that to happen here either. Yes’ he will be without Michael Thomas, but there are still plenty of weapons on this offense. This is a solid edge for the Saints.

Advantage: New Orleans Saints

Las Vegas Raiders Passing Offense
vs. New Orleans Saints Passing Defense

Las Vegas Raiders Passing Offense

The Raiders will look to run the ball but they were also a strong passing team last year, ranking 9th in the league in that department, piling up 245.4 ypg through the air. Part of the reason their passing game is successful is that they have a solid running game led by Josh Jacobs. Once he gets going, then the passing game will follow and that is what the Raiders will look to do here. Derek Carr had a very solid game against the Panthers as he completed 73.3% of his passes for 239 yards and one TD. 

Henry Ruggs III began his NFL career by leading the team with 55 yards in the contest. He should have a big career, especially playing in this offense. Now we go back to Jacobs, who is not only a great rusher but he was 2nd in receiving with 46 yards while TE Darren Waller was 3rd with 45. The Raiders have added Tyrell Williams during the offseason, but he is currently on IR with a shoulder injury. Nelson Agholor also was brought in and he had one reception for 23 yards. Despite not having Williams, this is a very good receiving corps overall. 

New Orleans Saints Passing Defense

Defending the pass has not been the forte of the Saints over the year and they finished 20th in that department last year and 29th the year before. We do note that the Saints are a very strong offensive team that will build up big leads which means that teams have to abandon the run and resort to their passing games. When teams throw more, they will pile up more yards through the air. In this game, the Raiders should be able to keep the game close with their running game and that will only make their passing game all the more effective. It will be a big test for the saint pass defense in this one. They did fare well last week against Tom Brady and the Bucs, holding them to 224 yards while picking off two passes. New Orleans will need their pass defense to step up like that or they could be in for a long night. 

 

Stats

Key Las Vegas Passing Stats

  • 26th in pass attempts per game (30.0)
  • 16th in passing yards per game (239.0)
  • 8th in completion percentage (73.33%)
  • 7th in yards per pass attempt (8.0)
  • 11th in yards per pass completion (10.9)
  • 8th in team passer rating (107.5)

Key New Orleans Pass Defense Stats

  • 20th in pass attempts against per game (36.0)
  • 15th in passing yards per game allowed (224.0)
  • 12th in completion percentage allowed (63.89%)
  • 11th in yards per pass attempt (6.2)
  • 14th in yards per pass completion (9.7)
  • 4th in sacks per game (3.0)
  • 9th in passer rating allowed (78.4) 

Who has the Edge?

The Raiders will pull the edge in this one. Their running game will set up Derek Carr to have a big game. Henry Ruggs III showed his talents in the opener and I will look for him to have a bigger game in this one. Carr has other weapons including Devin Waller, Nelson Agholor, and Devin Booker and they will face a New Orleans pass defense that looked better than it really is last week. The Saints were 20th and 29th against the past the last two years and I just do not see them slowing down Las vegas in this one, especially since the Raiders have a game under their belts to get the timing of real football back.

Advantage: Las Vegas Raiders

Intangibles

New Orleans Saints

The Saints have to avoid a letdown here after last week’s huge battle with the Buccaneers and tom Brady. That was billed as a battle of two of the greatest QBs ever and while Drew Brees did not have a good game, he still won it. The Saints are 30th in yards per play at 4.1 and they will need to be far better than that against this defense or they could be in trouble. New Orleans is not usually a team that beats themselves with penalties but they did have six of them for 119 yards last week. New Orleans can’t be giving away extra yards in this one.

Las Vegas Raiders

This is a huge game for the Raiders as it marks their first game in their new building and city. One has to wonder if some of the luster will be taken away since las vegas will be playing in front of cardboard cutouts instead of thousands of screaming fans. That will be interesting to watch as it is a key intangible for this game. The Raiders are normally one of the worst teams in the league in penalties but they committed just three of them last week. The Raiders are 8th in the league in yards per play at 6.1 but they are 29th in yards per punt attempt at 32.7. The Raiders need to punt better as to not give a very good offense a shorter field.

Who has the Edge?

The Raiders will not be playing in front of the fans that they were expecting to and that could take away some of their edge in that respect, especially against a New Orleans team that was 7-1 on the road last year. The Raiders seemed to have cleaned up their penalty problems while the Saints had a rough showing in that category last year. This is a tough category to grade and wit the Raiders not having a true home-field edge, I will have to call this category a draw.

Advantage: Push

Final Outlook

I will be going with the Raiders in this one. They had some struggles on defense last week but still, I will look for it to play a bit better this week. The Raiders have a very good offense led by josh Jacobs and once he gets going then Derek carr will have a very good game against a less than stellar New Orleans pass defense. The Saints looked good in their opening game against Tom Brady but we do note that it was Brady's first live-action with his new team and that probably hurt the Tampa offense in the contest. Here is a tasty little stat: the Raiders were 7-1 last year when rushing for at least one TD and 0-8 when they didn’t. Jacobs had three of them on the ground last week and I see him punching in at least one this week. Lastly, Home dogs in game two are 13-1 ATS if both teams were favored in their last game. That angle goes back to 2010. Look for the Raiders to not only cover this game but I expect them to win it outright.

Prediction: Las Vegas +6

Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com

All predictions are made well in advance of game time. Don't bet this pick before calling the free Winners And Whiners update line to make sure the pick is still good (recorded message): 1-213-205-3114

Additional Insiders' Best Bets

Full-game Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I will be looking at the Under in this game. The Raiders will look to pound away at the Saints’ defense with their running game and that will do a few things. First, it will chew up the clock. Second, it will keep the Saints offense on the sidelines and 3rd it will eventually open up throwing lanes for Derek Carr. Teams may not have great passing numbers early in the year as they are still looking to get used to live-action. The Saints are not a great running team but they need to try and it starts with getting Alvin Kamara going. The Saints may also have to run more as WR Michael Thomas is out indefinitely with a high-ankle sprain. That will hurt their offense. The Under is 1-5 in New Orleans’ lat six off of a divisional home game and 0-4 in Las Vegas’ last four on Monday night. Take the Under in this one.

Prediction: Under 49.5
Loading...

Written By David Hess

David has always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so he combined the two to become a handicapper and a writer for us here at Winners & Whiners, along with StatSalt. All the information that David puts in his articles are well-researched and his predictions are well-thought out. He is a big fan of all the major pro sports and the colleges making David a very versatile and a constantly winning handicapper. David has been writing for the past 10 years and has been handicapping for over 20 years. He will help you beat the Man, so be sure and follow along.