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Monday Night Football opens with a bang as the high-flying Texans and Saints go head-to-head in the Superdome. This is yet another game this weekend in which both of the teams involved have a realistic shot to go deep into the playoffs. Both teams have talented players and the ability to put up points very quickly when it all comes together. In the first game back in the Superdome since that notorious call in the NFC Championship game, who will come out on top?
- Opening Lines: The Saints opened at -7 and the over/under opened at 53. The numbers have flickered a little but have largely stayed constant.
- Current Line: New Orleans Saints -7
- O/U: 53
- Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana. | Monday, September 9th @
- Start Time: 7:10 pm EST
- Television: ESPN
- Last Meeting: November 29, 2015 – Houston defeated New Orleans 24 – 6 in NRG Stadium
This will be the first game the Saints have played in anger since being robbed of the Super Bowl. That is going to lead to some pretty serious motivation in this game. It will also mean an already partisan crowd will be even more motivated to make their voices heard. The Saints come into this game with a few bumps and bruises, but no major injuries that should hamper them overly in this one. Sheldon Rankins likely missing with his Achilles issue is perhaps the biggest loss. Against a line with the weaknesses the Texans have, he could have been devastating in this one.
The Texans come into this season in a crazy situation. Their roster has been turned over pretty comprehensively in the last few days, including new starting left tackles, running backs, and defensive contributors. It is a big ask in just over a week for them to gel and get working as as a team as well as the Saints, who have been together all offseason. Injury-wise they have covered their major loss of Lamar Miller with the addition of Carlos Hyde, and both Keke Coutee and new arrival Kenny Stills are questionable. This offense is going to need to be at full force to go toe-to-toe with the Saints, but as long as they have Hyde, Duke Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, and Will Fuller good to go they will stand a chance to score points.
- Saints are 1-1 ATS when facing the Texans since 2010.
- In 2019, the Saints were 7-8 ATS as favorites and the Texans 2-2 ATS as underdogs.
- The Saints were 4-6 ATS at home last season with the Texans 4-4 ATS on the road.
- The over is 44-32 since 2010 in games played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The over was 5-3 in the regular-season in 2018.
- The Saints are 0-5 straight up in their last five season openers
- The Texans have lost their last two season openers and three of their last four.
There is going to be a theme to my analysis here. The Saints are traditionally a slow-starting team in terms of outcome, but they did score a lot of points at home against the Buccaneers in 2018. They also have added motivation because of what happened the last time they were in this stadium. I am expecting the Saints to score a lot of points. We have seen the Patriots in angry mode before, and now it is the Saints’ turn. The combination of a talented offense and a team feeling robbed is a scary thought. Expect to see the Saints go all-out for 60 minutes and not take their foot off the Texans’ throat. I fully expect 30 points, and frankly, 40 or more would not surprise me.
Pick: New Orleans Saints over 29.5 points
The numbers from last season are not favorable for the Saints, but this game has the makings of being a good one for them. The Saints had a strong defensive line last season and now they are going up against an offensive line which ranked among the worst in the league last season. The Texans added Laremy Tunsil last weekend, but in just seven days there will still be intricacies that the Texans’ line will be missing as a new group. Even with Tunsil, there are weaknesses across the line, and I expect the Saints to take advantage.
The Saints are a strong offensive unit, and with the Texans trading away one of their best defensive players in Jadeveon Clowney, this Saints offense, fully healthy and rested, should be able to dismantle a Texans’ defense which ranked 28th in the league against the pass in 2018. Ultimately, the Saints’ all-round strength, backed by the wall of noise that usually greets you in the Superdome, should be too much for the Texans, and I expect the Saints to cover in this one.
However, I do expect the Texans to score some points, either during the early part of the game or in garbage time once the Saints have their lead. In the controlled atmosphere of the Superdome, 53 points should be extremely achievable between these two offenses. This should be a really fun way to kick off Monday Night Football for the 2019 season.
- New Orleans Saints -7
- Over 53 Total Points