Giants vs. Saints Odds, NFL Picks, Week 4 Predictions: Can New Orleans Cover Sunday’s Spread?
Al Bello/Getty Images. Pictured: Saints RB Alvin Kamara
|Moneyline||+270 / -335|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
The Giants suffered two consecutive heart-breaking losses to Washington and Atlanta by a combined four points. In Week 4, they are tasked with a road game at New Orleans, against a Saints team that returns to the Caesars Superdome after a Hurricane Ida-forced relocation.
Can the Giants find a way to stop a three-loss streak, or is an emotion-filled game against a Saints team with an elite defense simply too difficult of a hurdle?
Giants Plagued by Injury Bug
New York enters this game without several key players.
Starting linebacker Blake Martinez is now out for the year after tearing his ACL against Atlanta. As the Giants leading-tackler, Martinez also was responsible for the team’s defensive play calling. On offense, New York will be without a pair of key wide receivers in Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton (hamstrings).
These injuries present problems for New York. The Giants rank just 23rd in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA, including 23rd against the run. Martinez’s absence will leave a void in the middle of the field, precisely where Saints star running back Alvin Kamara operates.
The Giants have been better on offense, ranking 14th on offensive efficiency among the 32 NFL teams. But the loss of Shepard and Slayton will account for:
- 35% of the targets
- 37% of the receptions
- 44.8% of the receiving yards
- Both of the Giants receiving touchdowns
Newly-acquired wide receiver Kenny Golladay has battled a hip injury for the past two weeks. This severely limits the New York passing game and likely puts most of the offensive burden on running back Saquon Barkley.
Barkley has been eased back into the offense after recovering from ACL surgery but has yet to reach 100 total yards in a game this season. He tallied 94 yards, six receptions and a touchdown at home against the Falcons in Week 3, but that was against a far inferior defense to the Saints.
Saints Make Home Debut in New Orleans
The Saints will get a boost from the return of All-Pro cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who is the top-rated cornerback on PFF. Lattimore is second in coverage rating, behind only Trevon Diggs of Dallas.
New Orleans’ offensive line will be without two key starters: Center Erik McCoy (calf) and tackle Terron Armstead (elbow). That would normally cause concern for offensive efficiency, but can the Giants generate enough pressure to leverage this weakness? New York has averaged two sacks per game, including just one in its only road game at Washington.
On offense, New Orleans will welcome a return to its indoor surface. Explosive wide receivers such as Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris will be even more effective in the Superdome, but the Saints offense remains centered around Kamara.
In his career, Kamara has been dominant in home games, especially when the Saints are favored:
While the New Orleans offense doesn’t have a ton of playmakers, it ranks tied for first among all teams with a plus-five turnover differential. This team is efficient and doesn’t hurt itself.
The most dominant unit in this game is the New Orleans defense. Its secondary ranks first in the league with six interceptions, making for a difficult challenge for New York’s depleted offense.
I also expect to see New Orleans increase usage of backup quarterback Taysom Hill, who saw a season-high six rushes for 32 yards and a touchdown against New England. The Giants have allowed only 24 quarterback rushing yards this season, but a road game against Hill and playing without Martinez will be their hardest challenge of the season.
I expect both defenses to play well, keeping this score low. Normally, this would favor the underdog getting over a touchdown. But the Giants will be so limited on offense that they will not be able to generate enough points against an elite Saints defense.
Despite Barkley’s talent, the Giants offensive line will not be able to open enough lanes for New York to generate a consistent rushing attack. I expect New Orleans to continue its turnover advantage in its true home opener in front of a passionate and emotional New Orleans fan base.
This total has dropped from an open of 47 to the current level of 42 points on DraftKings. This may be a low-scoring game, but its one the Saints can still cover. New Orleans covered this spread against Green Bay at home and against New England on the road. In its return to the Caesars Superdome against an injury-filled Giants team, the Saints will do so again.
Pick: Saints -7 | Bet to -8