The New Orleans Saints (1-1) will host the Green Bay Packers (2-0) in this week's Sunday Night Football game. Coming into this season, the Saints had the second-best odds to win the NFC, according to William Hill, at +550. The Packers went into the season with the seventh-best odds at +900. This will be the first head-to-head meeting between these two teams, featuring quarterback legends Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers since October 2017.
This one has shifted fairly dramatically and not in favor of the hosts. The Saints opened as 6.5-point favorites but that is now down to New Orleans -3. 64 percent of the bets ATS are taking Aaron Rodgers with the points.
The total for this game opened at 52 points. There hasn't been a ton of movement as it now sits at 52.5 or 53 points, depending on the sportsbook. A hefty 71 percent of the bets on the total think this one is going over the mark.
Game-time Weather: The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is a domed stadium. Expect 68 degrees with no wind as a factor.
Packers looking to go 3-0The Packers are eyeing their second consecutive 3-0 start. Last season, Green Bay went 13-3 during the 2019 regular season and lost to San Francisco in the NFC Championship. Despite falling just short of the ultimate goal, the Packers made waves throughout the league by drafting Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with the 26th pick overall, as the assumed future predecessor of Rodgers. With Rodgers still performing at a high level, many believed the team should have drafted a player that had a chance to help the team get better immediately.
This season, Rodgers is off to another fantastic start throwing six touchdown passes with no picks through the first two games, holding a 91.0 QBR. Last week the Packers improved to 2-0 with a 42-21 victory against the Detroit Lions. Rodgers was 18 of 30, throwing for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Rodgers excellence took a backseat to the running game, as the Packers ran through the Lions for 7.4 yards per attempt for 259 yards on the ground. Aaron Jones led the way with 18 carries, 168 yards and two touchdowns. The Packers outgained the Lions 26 to 19 in first downs and 488 to 307 in total yardage. Throughout the first two weeks, the Packers are the highest ranked offensive team in the NFL averaging 42.5 points and 505 yards per game.
Defensively the Packers have allowed 27.5 ppg, which is 21st in the league and 344.5 total yards per contest, ranking 10th.
OUT: LB Curtis Bolton, CB Kabion Ento, WR Devin Funchess, LB Kamal Martin, WR Equanimeous St. Brown, G Simon Stepaniak, G Lane Taylor, RB Patrick Taylor
Doubtful: WR Davante Adams, TE Josiah Deguara, LB Randy Ramsey
Questionable: DL Kenny Clark, G Elgton Jenkins, S Darnell Savage
Saints look to bounce back from MNF lossThe Saints went 13-3 last season but lost to the Minnesota Vikings in the wild card round 26-20 in overtime. New Orleans began this season by defeating Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs in the opening week but were upset on Monday Night Football 34-24 by the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Saints outgained the Raiders 424 to 375 in total yardage in the loss, but the Raiders held a 28-26 edge in first downs.
Quarterback Drew Brees threw for 312 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the loss. On the season, Brees has a 69.3 QBR with 472 yards, three touchdowns, and one pick. He also has a 64.7% completion rate, which for most quarterbacks is decent. But for Brees, who completed 74.3% of his passes last season, it's way down. Alvin Kamara rushed for two touchdowns and 79 yards on 13 carries in the loss to the Raiders. One thing Brees could use is Michael Thomas in the lineup, but the star receiver is out with an ankle injury.
The Saints are sixth in the league average 29 ppg, but 21st with 347.5 yards per contest. On defense, the Saints are eight holding opponents to 342.5 yards of total offense, but 23rd, allowing 28.5 points.
OUT: LB Kiko Alonso, CB Jonathan Bademosi, DT Jalen Dalton, P Blake Gillikin, LB Chase Hansen, T James Hurst, RB Ty Montgomery, DE Noah Spence, WR Michael Thomas, TE Jason Vander Laan, TE Cole Wick
Questionable: DE Marcus Davenport, DE Trey Hendrickson, DT David Onyemata
- Saints are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games as a home favorite of 0.5 to 3.0.
- Saints are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing 350 total yards or more.
- Packers are 6-1 in their last 7 games in September.
- Packers are 5-2 in their last 7 games vs NFC.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Either team can win this game outright, so I am taking the Packers with the points. Drew Brees, while still effective, is no longer in his prime at 41. That doesn't mean the Saints are not Super Bowl contenders. However, I do think this game will be decided in the final minutes, so I am going to go with the better playmaking quarterback to pull this out. I will put my faith in Aaron Rodgers and an inspired Packers team to cover on Sunday.
Prediction: Green Bay +3
Full-Game Total Pick
When these teams collide, you can usually expect a high scoring affair with eight of the last nine meetings exceeding the posted total. The Packers won't score 42 points in every game this season, but still expect to see plenty of offense in this one. The Saints allowed 24 points in Tom Brady's first game in a new system, and 34 points to the Derek Carr led Raiders. I do not see New Orleans stopping Aaron Rodgers or the Packers' ground attack. The Saints are also averaging 29 points per game themselves and will give the Packers defense a challenge.
Prediction: Over 51.5