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  • The Rams are the lone undefeated team in the NFL, but Drew Brees and the Saints have what it takes to hand them their first loss.
By Scott Gramling
October 31, 2018

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (-1.5)

Sun. 11/4, 4:25 pm ET

Three things you need to know before betting on Rams-Saints:

1. Although the Rams are the NFL’s lone remaining unbeaten team, Los Angeles has covered the spread only once in the past five weeks, a span in which it's gone 1-3-1. L.A. has also benefited from a relatively easy schedule, as the team’s opponents have a combined win percentage of .400 this season. The only team currently at .500 or better against which the Rams covered a spread against was the Chargers in Week 3. New Orleans, meanwhile, has covered the spread in five straight games during its current six-game winning streak, with four of those victories coming on the road.

 

2. Due largely to an offense that’s been difficult to contain inside the Superdome, New Orleans has won 10 of its last 11 home games, including the playoffs. In these 11 contests, New Orleans has averaged 32.4 points per game, and quarterback Drew Brees has averaged 303.9 passing yards per game with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. The last time Brees hosted the Rams in 2016, he completed 78% of his passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-21 blowout. The 39-year-old quarterback has been remarkably accurate this season with a career-high 77.4 completion percentage, which is on pace to smash the NFL record of 72.0% that Brees himself set just last season. Since the start of the 2016 season, Los Angeles has struggled against accurate quarterbacks, going 6-15 against the spread when facing a team that’s completing at least 61% of its pass attempts.

3. Brees has the ability to outscore the high-powered Rams, as New Orleans has gone 8-1 against the spread since the start of the 2016 season when facing an opponent that’s averaging at least 24 points per game. And since Sean Payton became the Saints’ head coach in 2006, New Orleans has gone 16-3 ATS when facing a team that’s scoring an average of at least 27 points per game. The team is 12-2 against the spread in that same time frame when facing an opponent that’s averaging less than a turnover per game (Los Angeles has turned the ball over only six times in eight games). Payton’s Saints have also enjoyed success against formidable opponents, as New Orleans has gone 15-5 against the spread under its current head coach when facing a team with a winning percentage of at least .750. Finally, the Saints have tended to stay hot once they have gotten hot recently, going 8-1 against the spread since the start of last season when coming off back-to-back games in which they covered the spread.

Pick: New Orleans (-1.5)

Confidence Level: Very High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)

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