Week 5 of the NFL season closes out on Columbus Day evening (8:15 p.m., ESPN), as the New Orleans Saints (3-1) host the Washington Redskins (2-1) on Monday Night Football. Here are the odds spread and line for the game as well as a pick. The Saints have been installed as sizeable seven-point favorites, while the betting total is 53 points.
Drew Brees will likely eclipse Peyton Manning as the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader in this game, as he’s 201 yards away from the record.
“It speaks to the longevity,” Brees told reporters on Friday. “And it says a lot about the teams I’ve been on, the coaches, the teammates, the players. Everyone has a hand in this, and I hope they know that.”
The Redskins will not make Brees’ task easy though, as they bring their second-rated scoring defense to town off a bye week. Name a metric and Washington is probably good at it; they’re third in yards per game allowed, and fifth in first downs per game allowed. The Redskins had an easy matchup with Arizona in Week 1, but they followed that up with Andrew Luck’s Colts and Aaron Rodgers’ Packers.
Washington’s offense has been a bit lackluster under the leadership of Alex Smith. He’s connecting with receivers at over 68 percent but has thrown just four TDs. Smith has relied on Adrian Peterson (4.2 yards per carry and three TDs on 56 attempts) to keep opponents honest with the ground game, but New Orleans has defended the run well enough this year (fourth by yards per game).
However, the Saints are 28th in points per game allowed, so Washington will definitely hit the board early and often in this one. The return of Mark Ingram off a suspension signals that the Saints might rely more heavily on the ground game than they have with just Alvin Kamara through four games. That may lead to a more methodical approach on offense for New Orleans, taking more time off the clock with their possessions. The Redskins are third in the NFL in time of possession (33:31), so they can play keep-away with the best of them. This signals the potential for this game to go under the 53-point total.
As for picking the winner, recent trends suggest the Saints are a bad bet in this spot. They’re 2-13 against the spread in their last 15 games as 6.5-point favorites or higher. New Orleans is 8-17-1 against the spread in their last 26 games when favored in the Louisiana Superdome. Washington, on the other hand, has covered in three of their last four as road underdogs. That includes last year’s 34-31 loss at the Superdome, when they were getting 9.5 points.
The Saints may prove best, but grab the points with Redskins and give a serious look toward the under.
Prediction: Saints win, 27-23
If you are in the state of New Jersey you can bet on this game now at 888 Sportsbook.
The play: Redskins +7, Under 53, one unit each.