Do you like offensive football? Then the Week 1 game between Oakland, a rising power in the AFC, and the New Orleans Saints, one of the NFL’s worst defensive teams ever for some stretches last season, is for you. The Saints are 1-point favorites on NFL odds with a high total of 50.5 on NFL betting odds.
Here’s How to Bet on the Raiders at Saints Week 1 Free Pick, Odds & TV Info
The big guys are ready to battle in the trenches.https://t.co/H35AXBt4eY
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) July 11, 2016
Oakland vs New Orleans Historic Betting Trends
These teams last met in Oakland in Week 11 of the 2012 season and the Saints won 38-17, although these Raiders are much better than that team. Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes and Malcolm Jenkins returned an interception for another score. Lance Moore caught two touchdown passes and Mark Ingram ran for a score. Brees and Ingram are still around. The Raiders’ head coach back then was Dennis Allen. He’s now the defensive coordinator of the Saints. Last November with the Saints on pace to have the worst defense in league history, the team fired coordinator Rob Ryan and promoted Allen to take his spot.
Why Bet on New Orleans?
The Saints’ greatest assets are at quarterback and coaching. Head coach Sean Payton is signed through 2020, but Brees is entering the final year of his contract with the team. Payton recently said he has not seen a drop off in play from Brees. Brees turned 37 in January, but he has thrown for at least 4,600 yards every season but one since 2008 and at least 32 scores every year over that span. That streak will come to an end soon, but with tight end Coby Fleener and WR Michael Thomas added to an already solid group of weapons, it is unlikely to be this season. Fleener is essentially a big wide receiver. Fleener only had 491 yards last season after gaining a career high 774 yards in 2015 with the Colts.
Brees and the Saints are coming off a 7-9 season that included five losses by eight points or less. The quarterback was largely true to form at least statistically, finishing with 4,870 yards passing (68.3 completion percentage) and a 32-11 touchdown-to- interception ratio.
New Orleans’ defense already has taken a hit with the loss of defensive end Hau’oli Kikaha with a torn ACL. Kikaha tore his ACL in that same left knee twice during college. The Saints signed veteran DE Darryl Tapp to help fill the void created by Kikaha’s injury. Tapp, 31, is a 10-year veteran who has 27.5 career sacks with the Seahawks, Eagles, Redskins and Lions.
Why Bet on Oakland?
This team has the talent to finally get the Raiders back in the playoffs — in what might be the club’s final season in Oakland. There’s young QB Derek Carr, WR Amari Cooper and linebacker/end Khalil Mack. The Raiders’ offensive line projects to be one of the NFL’s most dominant units in 2016. Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranked all 32 teams by their offensive lines on Tuesday, and the Raiders’; front five came in at No. 2. PFF noted that the Raiders had the NFL’s best pass-blocking last season with a pass-blocking efficiency of 83.7, then pointed out how the unit got even stronger this offseason. The team added Kelechi Osemele (Ravens) in free agency.
The Raiders were active in free agency this offseason and the additions of players like linebacker Bruce Irvin, Osemele and cornerback Sean Smith promise a higher level of talent across the roster than they had last season. The Raiders also focused on defense in the NFL Draft with safety Karl Joseph in Round 1, defensive tackle Jihad Ward in Round 2 and defensive end Shilique Calhoun in Round 3. Oakland was No. 22 in total defense in 2015.
The Raiders haven’t made the playoffs since losing Super Bowl XXXVII to the Buccaneers in 2002, a span of 13 seasons. That’s tied for the second-longest playoff drought with Cleveland, behind only Buffalo at 16 seasons.
My Free Pick
Looking forward to watching this game and I’d go over that total. Go Oakland with a minor upset on NFL odds.