Looking for plenty of offense on Sunday in Week 4 of NFL action? The highest total on the NFL lines board is when New Orleans and its terrible defense visits San Diego. It’s the first game back in the city for Saints QB Drew Brees, who left the Chargers after the 2005 season as a free agent. San Diego had traded for Philip Rivers to replace him.
New Orleans at San Diego Betting Pick, Prediction & TV Info
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 30, 2016
Why Bet on New Orleans?
Only if the Saints can score about 50 points because their defense is on pace to be the worst in NFL history.
New Orleans (0-3) lost 45-32 at home to Atlanta on Monday. The game was played nearly 10 years to the day after the Saints’ memorable return to the Superdome on Sept. 25, 2006, 13 months after Hurricane Katrina. Brees put up his usual big numbers — 376 yards and three TDs passing — but his interception for a touchdown on a tipped pass early in the fourth quarter gave the Falcons a 45-25 lead. Brees once again leads the NFL with 1,062 passing yards and is tied for the league lead with eight TD passes.
The defense has been decimated by injuries so far this season. They were without six or seven projected starters due to injury — including three members of their secondary (cornerbacks Delvin Breaux and P.J. Williams and safety Kenny Vaccaro) and first-round draft pick Sheldon Rankins.
For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the Saints rank among the NFL’s bottom two defenses in yards allowed (448.3). They are 0-3 this season and finished with a losing record on the other three occasions. Since the start of 2012, the Saints have the NFL’s No. 1 offense — and the league’s No. 32 defense. The Saints’ defensive woes have consumed three defensive coordinators over the past five years (Steve Spagnuolo in 2012, Rob Ryan from 2013-15, Dennis Allen presently) The Saints and Chargers have played 11 times in the regular season, with San Diego leading the series 7-4. Most recently, the Saints defeated the Chargers on October 7, 2012, when Brees tossed a touchdown in his NFL-record 48th-consecutive contest. The Saints have played in San Diego in the regular season since September 17, 2000, when they defeated the Chargers 28-27.
Why Bet on San Diego?
The Chargers (1-2) lost 26-22 at Indianapolis last week as Colts QB Andrew Luck threw a perfect strike to T.Y. Hilton with 1:17 to play, and the Pro Bowl receiver spun out of a tackle and ran 63 yards down the field for the winning TD. Rivers got two chances to win it. The first ended when Pro Bowl safety Mike Adams recovered a fumble with 62 seconds left. The second ended when linebacker D’Qwell Jackson covered the bouncing ball on the Chargers' last gasp desperation play. Rivers was 26 of 39 for 330 yards.
Melvin Gordon totaled just 35 yards on 16 carries. He did notch four receptions for 43 yards. However, the Chargers managed just one offensive touchdown, a 1-yard plunge by Gordon — his fourth TD of the season. With Danny Woodhead, Keenan Allen, Stevie Johnson and Branden Oliver all done for the year due to injuries — along with Antonio Gates not playing vs. the Colts due to a hamstring issue — the Chargers needed Gordon to do more. Gates likely will miss this game as well.
Rivers is the first quarterback in franchise history to not throw a pick in the team’s first three games of the season since Stan Humphries in 1994. With a clean sheet against the Saints, he’ll become the only QB to be perfect in that regard over the first four games.
The San Diego defense will take the field without one of their leaders as captain Manti Te’o will miss the rest of the season with a torn Achilles. Rookie Jatavis Brown will replace him in the lineup. Brown finished with six tackles — including two tackles for a loss — and two pass breakups in 31 defensive snaps against the Colts. San Diego’s defense has held its first three opponents to less than 93 yards rushing. If the Bolts hold the Saints to less than 93 yards on the ground, it would mark the first time doing so since 2006.
My Betting Pick
Saints are 1-7 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
Chargers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss.
Chargers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
Bet on the Chargers and over on NFL odds.