NFL Oakland Raiders vs New Orleans Saints Pick

NFL Week 1 begins with a game that should be fun to watch. Last year both teams ended up at 7-9 and for the New Orleans Saints it was disappointing 7-9 but for the Raiders it was a sign of improvement. Not to make to much of preseason but the New Orleans Saints went 0-4 in the preseason and that is never a good sign. The Saints Drew Brees led the league in passing yardage a year ago, and the Saints finished eighth in scoring with 25.5 points per game. However, the defense was the worst in the league giving up an average of 29.8 points per game. The Raiders come into 2016 looking to build on last year but, it shows how down this franchise has been that a 7-9 record is a sign of hope. In 2015 the Raiders averaged 22.4 points a game, but gave up an average of 24.9.

Raiders vs Saints Odds, Totals, Time

When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, September 11, 2016
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Betting Spread: Raiders +1, Saints -1
Total: 51

About Oakland Raiders (7-9)

The Raiders had a busy offseason, during which they upgraded their offensive line by adding guard Kelechi Osmele. That acquisition should help Derek Carr as he passed for almost 4,000 yards last season along with 32 touchdowns. Cooper led Oakland with 14.9 yards per catch in his rookie season. Crabtree, meanwhile, had a team high of 85 receptions for 922 yards and nine scores in his first year as a Raider. On defense, the Raiders had problems. You would think that the pass rush provided by Khalil Mack would be enough to help the Raider rank in the top half of the NFL Even with his pass rushing they ranked 26th against the pass. The secondary is shaky and if the pass rush doesn’t get to the quarterback quickly this unit can be burned.

Oakland Raiders Betting Trends

Raiders are 3-6 SU in its last 9 games
Oakland is 5-20 SU in its last 25 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Oakland’s last 9 games when playing New Orleans
Oakland is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing New Orleans
Oakland is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games when playing New Orleans
Team record: 7-9 SU,8-8 ATS
Oakland is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games
Raiders are 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
Oakland is 5-20 SU in its last 25 games on the road

About New Orleans Saints (7-9)

The Saints can score in bunches at almost any moment with Drew Brees, who passed for 4,870 yards and 32 touchdowns last season. With a relatively deep set of targets in Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead and rookie Michael Thomas, the Saints offense should hum along this year. Cooks had 84 receptions for 1,138 yards along with nine touchdowns. Snead had 69 catches for 984 yards and three scores.

However, the real question was how bad was the Saints defense? They ranked 32nd in scoring defense and 31st in total defense last season. They gave up an NFL-worst 6.6 yards per play in 2015, a full half-yard more than the next-worst teams, the Giants and Browns. The team hit the free agent market and acquired some solid players with; S Roman Harper, DT Nick Fairley and ILB James Laurinaitis. The Saints also tried to improve the defense in the draft but, the No. 12 overall pick Sheldon Rankins a 305-pound defensive tackle broke his leg in practice, leaving the defensive line no better than last years.

New Orleans Saints Betting Trends

The total has gone OVER in 6 of New Orleans’s last 9 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of New Orleans’s last 5 games at home
New Orleans is 4-9 SU in its last 13 games at home
Saints are 4-8-1 ATS in its last 13 games at home
New Orleans is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Oakland
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of New Orleans’s last 9 games when playing Oakland
Team record: 7-9 SU,8-7-1 ATS
New Orleans is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of New Orleans’s last 9 games
New Orleans is 4-8-1 ATS in its last 13 games at home

Raiders vs Saints Prediction

The Saints will go as far as Drew Brees can take them and absolutely no further. The 36 year old quarterback will need to out produce what a weak defense can give up. The Saints did sign a couple of free agents but in truth they needed to sign about 8 or 9 to have a top defense. At best they should move up a little bit but against the pass they will still be a quarterbacks dream. Carr had good and bad moments last year. As soon as it looked like he was ready to roll he would make a bad pass and kill a drive. He likes to throw deep and the Raiders do have the receivers to throw downfield. He just needs to make better decisions on who to throw to. One thing he will have going for him in this game is that the Raiders offensive line should be able to protect him against the Saints.

For all of the talk about the Raiders as an up and coming team there are some concerns that need to be addressed. One thing I noticed was breakdowns in the secondary. The Raiders pass defense ranked 26th and I really didn’t see any improvement in the preseason. So, we have a match up between the 22nd ranked and the 31st ranked defenses. Add that to two teams that revolve around the passing game and you have the makings of an old fashioned shootout.

If you play daily fantasy sports, try and get as many players as you can in this game. I can see the losing quarterback throwing for more than 350 yards and 3 touchdowns. The winner might not have as many yards but will likely have more touchdowns. So, for me I am not taking a pick on the side but I am making my bet on the total. I am betting the over in this one.

Oakland vs New Orleans Pick: Over 51