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Why I like the Saints against the spread on MNF

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The Saints should be able to cover the spread against the Raiders on Monday despite playing without star receiver Michael Thomas.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas runs against the Minnesota Vikings during the first quarter of a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders are relatively young across the board on offense and will face the experienced New Orleans Saints in a Monday Night Football matchup at Allegiant Stadium to wrap up Week 2 of the 2020 season.

While New Orleans has players who have been together for longer, a key injury could make this game closer than expected. Star Saints receiver Michael Thomas won’t play on Monday because of an ankle injury he suffered in Week 1, and his absence could affect the game script significantly.

The Saints are road favorites in this game, as they are favored by 5.5-points at DraftKings Sportsbook. I think they have enough talent on both sides of the ball to cover the spread

ATS Pick: Saints

New Orleans was able to put up 34 points in its season opener despite Drew Brees throwing for 160 yards and completing three passes to Thomas for 17 yards. Tight end Jared Cook was able to carry a heavy workload through the air with five receptions for 80 yards while Alvin Kamara was able to use his versatile skill set to score two touchdowns on 17 touches. Both players will likely have larger roles on Monday.

Brees has yet to establish trust with a legitimate WR2, so Emmanuel Sanders, Tre’Quan Smith, or Deonte Harris could have to step up. A trick play or two featuring Taysom Hill could even be good for the Saints’ offense.

New Orleans kept the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ star-studded receiving corps contained in Week 1, and Las Vegas doesn’t have nearly as much talent on the outside. The Saints have a defensive line that can make things tough for Josh Jacobs as well. The favorite’s chemistry and balance should prove to be too much for the Raiders.

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