Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints (-6.5)
Mon. 10/8, 8:15 p.m. ET
Three things you need to know before betting on Washington-New Orleans:
1. The Saints are gunning for their fourth straight victory when they host the well-rested Redskins on Monday night. New Orleans is returning home after having racked up 76 points and 923 total yards without turning the ball over in back-to-back road victories against the Falcons and Giants. If recent history is any indication, the fact that Washington is coming off a bye isn’t a good thing for the Redskins, who are 3-7 straight up and 2-8 against the spread since the start of the 2008 season when coming back after a week off. That includes an 0-3 record (both straight up and against the spread) in road games when coming off a bye, with Washington losing all three games by 14 points or more. When the Monday game kicks off, it will have been more than 16 calendar years since Washington covered the spread in a road game when coming off a bye.
2. Not only does Drew Brees enter Week 5 with the NFL’s third-best passer rating (115.3) with 1,295 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions, he has consistently shined brightest in the primetime spotlight on his home turf. In his last 10 home starts on Monday Night Football, Brees has thrown for 3,461 yards and 34 touchdowns with just five interceptions. (Projected over a 16-game schedule, those numbers come out to 5,538 passing yards, 54 touchdowns and eight interceptions.) The Saints have scored 27 or more points in all 10 of these contests with an average of 37 points per game. Even more significantly, New Orleans has outscored these 10 Monday visitors by an average of 11.3 points per game. Washington, meanwhile, has been awful on Monday nights. Since 2008, the team is 2-13 when playing the NFL’s final game of the week, failing to surpass 20 points in 12 of those 15 contests. That stretch includes an 0-4 record in Monday night games since the start of 2016, with the Redskins losing by more than eight points each time.
3. Brees dominated the Redskins in last year's meeting at the Superdome, completing 71% of his throws for 385 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the 34-31 overtime win. Also effective in that game was running back Mark Ingram, who rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown on only 11 carries (12.2 average). Ingram has finished serving his four-game suspension and has rejoined the team this week to lighten the load of RB Alvin Kamara, whose six touchdowns entering Week 5 are tied for the NFL lead. Kamara also enjoyed a big day against Washington last season, amassing 116 yards from scrimmage on 14 touches and adding a touchdown. Bettors looking to back the Saints in this one are likely to also be encouraged by the fact that the calendar has turned, because New Orleans has won nine of its past 10 October games, which includes an unbeaten 9-0-1 record against the spread.
Pick: New Orleans -6.5
Confidence Level: High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)