Drew Brees and the Saints may not have their head coach with them, but that hasn't stopped NFL odds makers from installing them as nine-point favorites in their opener against the Redskins. Will they cover the spread? Read to find out our picks.
The Week 1 NFL odds have shifted a little bit throughout the
New Orleans had opened as a ten-point favorite but now that
number can be found at nine and even at eight at some NFL betting sites.
A total of 50.5 can be located at sportsbooks in a game that
should bear witness to a lot of points.
New Orleans Saints
No team was in the headlines more than the Saints during the
offseason, but now the season's officially starting and we can get back to what
really matters: playing football.
That's something New Orleans is pretty darn good at doing.
Brees leads out another offense-laden offense this season,
this after a video game-like 2011 in which he threw for 5,476 yards and 46
Even with Robert Meachem leaving town, the Saints are still
filled to the brim with receiving talent. Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston and
Darren Sproles will get most of the targets, but don't forget about Devery
Henderson and Lance Moore either.
Sproles did a little of everything for New Orleans last
season and should again be a main cog in the offense this time around.
Defensively, the Saints brought in Steve Spagnualo, a highly
respected mind who should fit in nicely with a team desperate for some guidance
on that side of the ball.
Robert Griffin III makes his official NFL debut against one
of the better teams in the league, but his poise and confidence should give
Redskins fans a reason to be hopeful.
After a promising preseason, Griffin will be served up his
first real test. However, he couldn't have asked for a much better matchup
individually considering the Saints were terrible defensively last season.
A dual-threat QB, Griffin will make some plays with his legs
too but will mostly be relying on the running backs to do the heavy lifting.
This is Mike Shanahan we're talking about after all.
Alfred Morris has been named the Week 1 starter, but Evan
Royster and Roy Helu will be getting plenty of work too. Obviously this kind of
backfield situation is a nightmare for fantasy owners, but it's worked before
under Shanahan's reign.
Griffin's main targets in the passing game this weekend will
be Pierre Garcon, brought in as a free agent from Indianapolis during the
offseason, as well as Josh Morgan, Santana Moss and Fred Davis.
When the Saints get going, especially at home, they're
almost unstoppable to stop. This offense is too good and it seems unlikely the
Redskins will be able to keep up.
Griffin should put up some good numbers, especially
yardage-wise, given Washington's likely to be playing catchup for the majority
of the game.
However, when it comes down to make our NFL picks, we'd be
hard-pressed to suggest any other play but a comfortable Saints victory at the
Brees and his plethora of weapons show no signs they'll be
slowing down the pace this season, even with Sean Payton sitting at home on his
couch, so we'll take New Orleans and the chalk in Week 1.
Pick: New Orleans Saints -8