Eagles-Saints Betting Preview: Will New Orleans Cover This Hefty Spread?

Eagles-Saints Betting Preview: Will New Orleans Cover This Hefty Spread? article feature image

Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41).

Betting odds: Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints

    • Spread: Saints -8.5
    • Over/Under: 56
    • Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
    • TV channel: FOX

>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: This line can be found at a variety of numbers, ranging from 7.5 to 9.5 depending on the book. There has been a little sharp action on the Eagles, but not enough to push them toward that key number of +7.

Meanwhile, with bets and dollars heavily in favor of the over, the total has risen from 54/54.5 to 56 since opening (see live odds here). Mark Gallant

Trend to know: For the fifth time this season and the 108th time in his career, Drew Brees will face a defense that’s allowing fewer than 21 points per game.

He’s 4-0 straight up and against the spread vs. such defenses in 2018 and 57-38-3 ATS (60%) since 2003, profiting bettors 17.1 units to make him the second-most profitable quarterback in this spot in our Bet Labs database (behind Tom Brady).

When the Saints enter the game above .500, they improve to 33-20-1 ATS (62.3%), covering by 4.5 points per game. Evan Abrams

Did you know? The Eagles are only the 12th Super Bowl champion to be listed as an underdog of seven or more points the season after winning the title. The previous 11 teams went 3-8 straight-up and 8-3 against the spread. John Ewing

Since Brees’ first season in New Orleans (2006), the Saints have struggled to cover hefty spreads at home against teams under .500, which amazingly includes the reigning champion Eagles.

Brees is 13-22 ATS (37.1%) at home when facing a team that’s under .500 in his career with the Saints, losing bettors 9.5 units to make him the second-least profitable QB in this spot (behind Carson Palmer). Abrams

Biggest mismatch: Eagles’ pass-catchers vs. Saints’ pass defense

The Saints have one of the league’s biggest pass funnel defenses, ranking third in Football Outsiders’ rush DVOA but 28th in pass DVOA.

While perimeter wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and tight end Zach Ertz could have big performances against the Saints, the players who could really exceed their pass-catching expectations are slot receivers Golden Tate and Nelson Agholor, along with running backs Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement.

The Saints opened the season with veteran Patrick Robinson in the slot, but since his season-ending ankle injury in Week 3, they’ve been forced to use P.J. Williams inside. This has not gone well: Williams has allowed a 71.7% catch rate and 33-465-5 receiving line in his coverage, making him a massive liability.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: P.J. Williams

The Saints’ pass defense against running backs might be even worse. They’re 32nd in pass DVOA against the position; linebackers A.J. Klein and Demario Davis have combined to allow an 83.9% catch rate on 56 targets in their coverage.

In what is likely to be a high-scoring game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Eagles have a chance of keeping pace with the prolific Saints offense if the Eagles get significant pass-catching contributions from their ancillary skill-position players. Matthew Freedman

Which team is healthier? Saints

The Saints aren’t expected to have stud left tackle Terron Armstead (shoulder) or first-round defensive end Marcus Davenport (toe), but they’re otherwise almost fully healthy.

The Eagles are anything but. Their secondary could be without cornerbacks Sidney Jones (hamstring) and Jalen Mills (foot), in addition to Ronald Darby (knee, IR). Darren Sproles (hamstring) will miss another week, while it remains to be seen when defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (back) will be ready to make his season debut.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: The Eagles didn’t boast a great secondary during their Super Bowl run, and they’ve proceeded to allow a league-high 94.3 yards per game to opposing No. 1 wide receivers this season.

Now the Eagles will have to live with an injury-riddled version of their already-porous defense. If the trio of Darby, Jones and Mills misses Sunday’s game, they would be replaced by Rasul Douglas (2017 third-round pick), Avonte Maddox (fourth-round rookie) and Chandon Sullivan (undrafted rookie).

Up next is a matchup against Michael freaking Thomas, who has the highest median projection and projected ceiling in our Models. Hartitz

Bet to watch: Eagles +8.5

The current number is simply an overreaction to a disappointing Eagles team playing the red-hot Saints.

The Action Network’s power ratings make this line Saints -7.1, while our Bet Labs NFL simulations make it even closer at -5.5. The betting market also indicates that the value is with with Philly as 59% of tickets are laying the points with New Orleans, but 66% of actual dollars wagered are taking the underdog.

Our data and big bettors agree that Philly is the right side, so I’m taking the points and rooting for the Eagles to keep the margin within single digits. PJ Walsh

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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