Who is playing?
The Raiders (2-4) won two of their last three games following an 0-3 start to their season, and they’re coming off a 38-20 win over the Houston Texans at home last week. Josh Jacobs had a big day with 143 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries, and Derek Carr threw for 241 yards and a touchdown, completing 21-of-27 passes. All four of the Raiders losses came by six points or fewer, so this team could be much better than the record suggests.
The Saints (2-5) lost five of six games after picking up a season-opening victory, and they lost to the Arizona Cardinals 42-34 on the road last week in a Thursday night matchup. Andy Dalton threw for 361 yards with four touchdowns, but he turned the ball over three times, and New Orleans lost despite outgaining Arizona 494-326. It appears the Saints will start Dalton even though Jameis Winston is available to play.
What are playoff picture/draft order implications?
Both teams are in an interesting spot as their records are bad, but things could turn quickly. As mentioned above, the Raiders are not a terrible team as they hung with every opponent including the Kansas City Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Saints are just a game out of the top spot in the NFC South, so both teams still have a ton to play for without much reason to be playing for a better draft spot.
Game pick — Raiders to win
It feels like Las Vegas just needed to get a win to instill confidence moving forward, and the Raiders should keep that success rolling into Sunday afternoon’s matchup. A two-win team ranks third in the NFL in points per game, and this will even out as things will start to go the Raiders way. Let’s go with them as slight favorites.
Raiders vs. Saints odds and predictions
Point spread: Raiders -1
Total: 49.5 (over priced at -110, under priced at -110)
Moneyline: Raiders -115, Saints -105
Betting splits: Info on spread splits from https://www.vsin.com/betting-resources/daily-betting-insights-for-mlb-nba-nhl/ (add this Saturday night)
Raiders vs. Saints statistics
Points per game: 27.2, 3rd
Passing yards per game: 238.7, 12th
Rushing yards per game: 128.5, 11th
Points allowed per game: 25, 26th
Passing yards allowed per game: 262.7, 26th
Rushing yards allowed per game: 104, 9th
Points per game: 25, 7th
Passing yards per game: 256.3, 8th
Rushing yards per game: 142, 8th
Points allowed per game: 28.6, 31st
Passing yards allowed per game: 217.3, 16th
Rushing yards allowed per game: 123.1, 21st
Raiders vs. Saints injury report
Questionable: S Johnathan Abram (illness), WR Davante Adams (illness), DE Tashawn Bower (illness), LB Divine Deablo (back, ankle), WR Mack Hollins (heel), WR D.J. Turner (hamstring), TE Darren Waller (hamstring)
Out: WR Jarvis Landry (ankle), CB Marshon Lattimore (abdomen), WR Michael Thomas (foot)
Questionable: CB Paulson Adebo (knee), TE Juwan Johnson (hamstring), DT David Onyemata (illness), G Andrus Peat (chest), TE Adam Trautman (ankle)