New Orleans vs. Washington Spread Pick
Date/Time: Sunday, October 10, 1:00 PM EST
Where: FedEx Field, Landover Maryland
Point Spread: NO -1 / Wash +1
Over/Under Total: 44.5
Sean Payton brings the New Orleans Saints to the Nation’s Capital to do battle with Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team. This game is a match-up of 2 teams that have not lived up to pre-season expectations and BETANYSPORTS.EU (You can bet on games at -105 there!!!) has made the Saints 1 point road favorites and set the game total at 44½. I’m looking for the Football Team to come out victorious and cash tickets for their backers. Here are three reasons.
Heinicke Is Proving He Belongs
Taylor Heinicke was forced into action for the Football Team when starter Ryan Fitzpatrick went out in week 1. Heinicke has proven to be almost as effective as Fitzpatrick, completing 70% of his attempts and averaging 8.3 yards per attempt. The WFT is averaging 28 points per game in Heinicke’s three starts, including putting up 30 against the G-Men that held the Saints to 21 last Sunday. Terry McLaurin is the Alpha receiver and will be the first read for Heinicke all day on Sunday. McLaurin will have a tough go of it Sunday across from Marshon Lattimore, but he has twice eclipsed the 100-yard mark and could do it again Sunday. One area of concern for Heinicke is that he will be without Tight End Logan Thomas, who has been his primary target over the middle. J.D. McKissic has been a reliable outlet out of the backfield catching 12 of his 14 targets from Heinicke for 12 yards per catch and a touchdown and should fill part of Thomas’s role. Antonio Gibson is carrying the load in the running game, averaging 63 yards per game but has only reached the end zone once. He may struggle this week, so look for The Football Team to lean on the pass.
New Orleans’ defense is solid but not exceptional. They are 6th in points allowed but are only 13th in yards per play and 26th in passing yards allowed. The root of their passing defense woes stems from their lack of pass rush, only getting to opposing quarterbacks six times through 4 weeks. Heinicke has only been sacked three times, so look for him to have time this week to work through his progressions. Heinicke will also take off and run, which could be very effective this week against a Saint team that likes to play man to man. New Orleans has only allowed 3.1 yards per rush against some very strong rushing opponents, but the WFT will not abandon the run while the game is close. However, look for Washington to do their damage through the air.
Jameis Is Not Inspiring Confidence
Jameis Winston won the pre-season quarterback competition and proceeded to light up the Packers in Week 1 for five touchdowns. On the season, Winston’s numbers are not bad, but not good enough to inspire confidence – at least not from Coach Sean Payton. Payton is only dialing up 22 pass plays per game, and last week was the first time Winston topped 200 yards. The Saint offense will again rely on Alvin Kamara to set the tone. Kamara averages 90 yards from scrimmage per game but has only reached the endzone twice. The Saints receiving corps, minus the injured Michael Thomas, is mediocre at best. Payton is one of the great offensive minds in the NFL, but he doesn’t have the weapons to be very creative, and Payton has shown no confidence to turn Winston loose. The conservative approach has generated only 24 points per game, so don’t look for them to light up the WFT.
The Football Team defense may be the most disappointing unit in the league. They were expected to be an elite defense but instead are 30th in points allowed and dead last in opponents’ 3rd down conversions – allowing a 1st down on 60% of 3rd downs. Their run defense is middle of the pack, but the pass defense is 30th in yards allowed and has only recorded seven sacks. Their front 4 is a collection of 1st round draft picks that was expected to lead the league in sacks. Likewise, Winston has only been sacked seven times, so the WFT front four will have to raise their game to pressure Jameis. One plus for the WFT defense has been their red zone performance, only allowing touchdowns on 52% of red-zone visits. Payton has been at his best in the red zone, hitting pay dirt on a league-high 92% of trips to the red zone. This could be the week that number regresses, and the Saints settle for some field goals.
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WFT Is On the Right Track
Rivera’s squad had high expectations coming into the year before losing their QB in week 1. Heinicke has led them to two wins against just one loss to the red-hot Bills. They won on the road last week in come from behind fashion, with their defense starting to look better. They should be able to have better success against a fairly bland and conservative Saint offense. Heinicke earned the respect of his team by leading two scoring drives in the 4th quarter to seal the win. This is a team that expected to make the playoff and maybe a deep playoff run, and they still have a chance.
The Saints, on the flip side, suffered a bad loss to the Giants at home last week. Winston can’t inspire his coach, so he has no chance with his team. With the ghost of Drew Brees hanging over him, Winston plays very tentative, afraid of tossing picks rather than playing loose and letting it fly. Kamara is amazing, but he can only do so much, and I don’t see him doing enough this week.
Take the Home Dogs in the DC
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