Editor’s update: The first Monday Night Football contest of the 2019 season might be the best football game we see all season. New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz kicked a 57-yard field goal as time expired to secure a 30-28 victory over the Houston Texans. DeShaun Watson had led the Texans 75 yards on two plays in 13 seconds to give them a 28-27 lead with 37 seconds to go. However, a horrific decision to play prevent defense when the Saints only needed nine yards came back to haunt Houston.
The Saints got the win, but the Texans walk away with the cover after entering the game as a 6.5-point underdog. The game also shot past the 52 point over/under in spite of a scoreless first quarter.
The Saints travel to face the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2, while the Texans host the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Week 1 is the only time of the season that we’ll have two games to enjoy on a Monday night. And honestly, we should all be looking forward to these two matchups. The Broncos/Raiders game will be exciting for different reasons, but I’ll talk about that elsewhere. As for the Texans/Saints matchup, it piques my betting interest more than any other Week 1 game.
Houston (+7) heads to New Orleans as one of the biggest underdogs in Week 1, tied with Miami but behind Washington (+10,) Cincinnati (+9.5) and the New York Giants (+7.5.) The Texans are the favorites to win the AFC South, but their opponents from the NFC South don’t care about that. Let’s not forget (because they certainly won’t) that the Saints fell victim to a no-call of one of the most seemingly obvious pass interferences we’ve seen in playoff history, which, for all intents and purposes, cost them a trip to the Super Bowl. But don’t base your bets off of emotions. This Saints squad may have lost Mark Ingram II, but they still have the young, versatile Alvin Kamara (DFS salary $8,500.) Adding Jared Cook ($4,900) as a weapon for Drew Brees ($6,200) makes for an even more dynamic offense. And when you trade away a pass-rusher like Jadeveon Clowney, which the Texans just did last week, you make your defense that much more susceptible.
One last nugget before we get to the betting odds. Nine of the Saints’ 13 wins last season were by more than seven points. When they have the lead, they don’t let up. I’m predicting New Orleans covers the spread, punctuated by a multi-touchdown game from Kamara. The game will still hit the over thanks to two TDs from the best receiver in football, DeAndre Hopkins ($8,000.)
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Texans at Saints
Point Spread: Texans +7
Total Points: 52
Money Line: Texans +260; Saints -315
Overall 2018: Texans 11-6; Saints 14-4
ATS 2018: Texans 8-9; Saints 10-8
O/U 2018: Texans 7-10; Saints 7-11
Notable Prop Bets
- DeAndre Hopkins to score 2+ TDs: +375
- Deshaun Watson to go over 269.5 passing yards: -112
- Alvin Kamara to score 3+ TDs: +750
- Jared Cook to score a TD and team to win: +210
- The Saints have won 15 of their last 18 games at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
- The Saints have failed to cover the spread in seven of their last eight season openers.
- Each of the Saints’ last five season openers have gone OVER the total points line.
- Michael Thomas has scored at least one touchdown in each of the Saints’ last five games against AFC opponents.
- DeAndre Hopkins has scored at least one touchdown in six of the Texans’ last seven road games.
- Alvin Kamara has scored at least one touchdown in each of the Saints’ last three games against AFC opponents.
- Carlos Hyde has scored two touchdowns in each of his last two Monday night appearances.
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Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
*21+. NJ/WV only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See website for details.