Examining trends for each team can help you make better-informed gambling and fantasy decisions. It’s never wise to bet a game based on a single trend and it’s also never wise to back off a wager based on a single trend, either. With that said, trends can point you in the right direction by corroborating stats and information you’ve gathered or they can make you reconsider making a bad wager based on flimsy data. I’ve gone game-by-game and compiled the most relevant trends for each team heading into this week’s contests. I’ve included any bets or leans I have for each game at the end of each writeup. Good luck with your wagers!
Monday Night Football
New Orleans Saints (1-0, 1-0) at Las Vegas Raiders (1-0, 1-0), 8:15 p.m.
Implied Team Totals: Saints 27.25, Raiders 21.75
Spread/Total Movements: 6.5 to 5.5, 51.5 to 49.5
Saints Injuries to Watch: WR Michael Thomas (high-ankle, out), DE Marcus Davenport (elbow)
Raiders Injuries to Watch: WR Henry Ruggs (knee), LT Trent Brown (calf, doubtful) LB Nick Kwiatkoski (pec, doubtful)
The Saints have covered four straight spreads as road favorites, and they finished 7-1 ATS on the road last season.
New Orleans has played over the total in four of its last five road games.
New Orleans is 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall
The Saints are 2-5 ATS in their last seven Monday night contests and they’ve played over the total in five of those contests.
New Orleans averaged the third-fewest yards per play (4.0) last week.
Drew Brees had a less than stellar opening performance in 2020. He averaged just 5.3 YPA against the Buccaneers, which was his lowest YPA average since Week 13 of 2018. Brees’ average intended air yards sat at a minuscule 4.7 yards against Tampa, and he’ll be playing without WR Michael Thomas this week. The Raiders allowed 269/1 passing to Brees’ old teammate Teddy Bridgewater last week.
Alvin Kamara figures to be extremely busy this week with Thomas out of the lineup after turning 20 opportunities into 77/2 scrimmage last week. Christian McCaffrey had just 3/38 receiving last week but he added 23/97/2 rushing.
Jared Cook will be the primary receiver next to Kamara this week. Cook posted 5/80 receiving last week on seven targets, which is more targets than he saw in 12 of his 15 games last season. The Raiders gave up the eighth-most FPG to TEs (13.76) last season, but they held Ian Thomas to 2/16 receiving last week.
Emmanuel Sanders and Tre’Quan Smith will also need to step up in Thomas’ absence. Smith actually played more snaps (44 to 33) and routes (25 to 23), but he had just 1/4 receiving while Sanders wasn’t much better with 3/15/1 receiving. The Raiders allowed 16/211/1 receiving to Panthers WRs last week.
The Raiders won’t have fans for the entire season.
The Raiders have covered three straight spreads dating back to last season.
The Raiders ended a six-game under streak with last week’s 34-30 contest.
Las Vegas is 6-2 ATS in its last eight home games as an underdog.
Josh Jacobs looked like a true bell-cow back by playing on 78% of the snaps, ahead of Devontae Booker (13%) and Jalen Richard (11%). He broke a league-high 12 tackles last week and he also set career-highs in targets (6) and routes (17) last week. The Raiders could face a negative game script this week but there’s some hope he’ll stay on the field more in passing situations after last week. The Saints held the Bucs to just 3.2 YPC last week.
Derek Carr threw for just one touchdown and 239 yards last week with Jacobs dominating on the ground. The sledding should be much tougher for Jacobs this week so Carr needs to snap out of fantasy funk as he’s thrown for multiple TDs in just one of his last nine games.
The Raiders drafted some new weapons for Carr but Darren Waller remained his top option with eight targets last week, which he turned into just 6/45 receiving. Buccaneers TEs finished with 6/47/1 receiving on 10 targets against the Saints last week.
Henry Ruggs saw 60.1% of Carr’s air yards on just five targets in Week 1. He finished with an aDOT of 18.5 yards. Ruggs and fellow rookie Bryan Edwards are in tough spots this week going against Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins.
Las Vegas Raiders +6 (Best Bet)
Alvin Kamara over 90.5 rushing + receiving yards (Best Bet)