Monday Night Football Betting Preview: Can New Orleans Hold Serve at Home?

The Saints are 2-2, but can keep pace with the Buccaneers with a home victory. Can they hold off the plucky Chargers?

After a COVID-19 scare last week, the New Orleans Saints ended up playing, and now they are back in primetime once again against the Los Angeles Chargers and rookie quarterback Justin Herbert.

Let's dive into what we think could be some interesting betting angles for this contest.

Consider the Under and the Chargers With the Points

This game may not be the most gorgeous of opportunities due to some serious injuries, but we can remain hopeful it's played at a high level.

We know that the Saints will be missing star wideout Michael Thomas, who continues to deal with a high-ankle sprain. Jared Cook looks likely to return, but some key members of the defensive backfield are still banged up.

The Chargers have given Herbert the reigns under center, but they will be without star running back Austin Ekeler, two starting linemen, and Mike Williams. Woof.

While the NFL has been putting up points left and right -- this week, six games topped a combined 50 points or more, including a massive 72-point outburst in Kansas city -- the over doesn't seem so likely here with those injuries.

As we look at pace, the Chargers rank fifth in situation-neutral pace (27.77 seconds), but the Saints are second-slowest at 32.51 seconds and pounded the rock 42 times a week ago. The over/under is set at 49.5 points this week, so this one could be tough to hit.

Without a rowdy crowd on Bourbon Street and with the fact that the Chargers have been within a touchdown in every contest this year, the 7.0-point spread seems like too much here, as well.

Bets to Consider

Typically, the public teams such as the Saints are the ones that garner the majority of the attention. Surprisingly, that's not the case this week, as 54% of bets have come in on LA. However, to swing things back around, 52% of cash is on the Saints. This one truly appears to be a toss up.

Our algorithm loves the home Saints. We have them winning 71.3% of the time, but the 7.0-point spread isn't as locked in. We like the Chargers to cover at 50.41% of the time, which is a no-bet for us.

For a fun single-game parlay, peep Alvin Kamara, but maybe not how you may be thinking. The dude has been an absolute boss in the receiving game, and his prop bet of 51.5 yards at the FanDuel Sportsbook makes it seem like he could see heavy volume with Michael Thomas out. If you think points will continue to come on the board, Kamara's receiving yards and the over (49.5 points) aren't a bad idea.

Historical Betting Trends

-- These two teams couldn't be more opposite in terms of against-the-spread bets last year, with the Saints going 11-6 and the Chargers a 4-9-3 mark.
-- While the Chargers were awful last year against the spread, they have been pretty good as an underdog, logging a 9-3-2 mark against the spread as underdogs.
-- As heavy favorites, the Saints have struggled. Over their last 21 games as favorites of 7.5 points or more, they are an ugly 6-15, and they have lost their two primetime games this year.
-- New Orleans is part of the over machine -- their last four contests have hit the over.