It promises to be an exciting opening night double-header on Monday Night Football as the New Orleans Saints play host to the Houston Texans.
Sean Payton and his Saints team are eager for a return to their glory days. They remain one of the elite sides in the NFL and though they have lost some key pieces, they should still be very competitive in a tough NFC South division. One thing worth watching out for as we enter 2019 is whether or not Drew Brees and this offense can repeat last years historic output. Though they are a great unit, some stiffer competition awaits – beginning in Week 1.
On the other side Monday evening will be Bill O’Brien’s Houston Texans. Houston has one of the toughest schedules this year, and heading to New Orleans for an opening week clash against the prolific Saints will provide a stiff test. Houston has some question marks on offense especially as key running back Lamar Miller was lost for the season during the exhibition games. They also made a pretty questionable trade, dealing away Jadeveon Clowney just before the season began. While the Texans have some nice pieces, many will be intrigued to see how the team responds to a hectic pre-season.
This game is loaded with talent and some intriguing storylines. It’s been a successful run at The Sports Geek in Week 1, so keep reading beneath the odds for detailed breakdowns, game analysis, and a betting prediction for New Orleans vs. Houston.
Saints vs. Texans Betting Odds:
Houston Texans +7 (-120)
@ New Orleans Saints -7 (+100)
Over 52 (-110)
Under 52 (-110)
Saints vs. Texans Pick:
Though the recent Clowney trade for Houston was certainly controversial, they did get a huge boost to their offensive line in Laremy Tunsil out of it. He is one of the sport’s best left tackles, will protect DeShaun Watson regularly, and should be able to open up frequent holes in the running game.
One of the best parts about Houston is their dynamic receiving corps. They have four talented receivers, who could all be number two guys on other squads. With DeAndre Hopkins, Keke Coutee, WIll Fuller, and now Kenny Stills – the aerial attack should be in fine form all season long for the talented Texans. Right now, the Saints have big issues within their secondary and will struggle to cover everyone. Expect Watson to be able to attack the corners opposing Marshon Lattimore, and find success in moving the chains.
On the other side of the football, Max Unger was lost on the offensive line as the Pro-Bowl center decided to retire. That should create some issues in hand-offs and blocking for Drew Brees, and it will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the early season. Replacing him is a rookie, which will be quite the introduction with J.J. Watt and a ferocious Texans’ pass rush barrelling down on him. Expect Brees to face significant pressure and this Houston defense is good enough to create some turnovers.
New Orleans still boasts heavy talents like Alvin Kamara out of the backfield, and Michael Thomas downfield – though if Houston can shadow them effectively, while making this an uncomfortable game for Brees, the Texans have a shot to hang around.
Expect the Texans to really commit themselves to an aggressive pass rush on Monday night. J.J. Watt should create havoc on the Saints’ O-Line and get to Brees frequently. The Saints are perennial slow starters, and Houston has enough talent to really scare New Orleans in front of the home crowd on Monday Night Football. Take the points.