Saints vs. Seahawks Odds, Predictions, NFL Pick: Trust Jameis Winston or Geno Smith on Monday Night Football?
Getty Images. Pictured: Jameis Winston and Geno Smith
- Our expert isn't willing to trust Geno Smith or Jameis Winston when the Seahawks host the Saints.
- That's why he loves this first-half over/under bet for Monday Night Football.
- Find Seahawks vs. Saints odds, and a top play for the game, in his full betting preview below.
|Time||8:15 p.m. ET|
We have Geno Smith taking on Jameis Winston on a Monday Night Football game in 2021. The season officially just got weird.
The Seahawks come into this game desperate for a win after dropping two straight to fall to 2-4 on the season. With Russell Wilson sidelined after surgery to repair a finger injury, this almost becomes a must-win game for the Seahawk’s playoff chances when you consider they play in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL.
Meanwhile, the Saints come in fully rested after an early bye week with a 3-2 record. New Orleans fans have to be somewhat satisfied with that start when you consider four of the first five games came away from home (Week 1’s home game was moved to Jacksonville due to Hurricane Ida) and the team also dealt with COVID issues and a number of injuries to key players.
The Saints are one overtime loss to the Giants away from a 4-1 start, and that one was their only game in New Orleans.
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Seahawks vs. Saints Injury Report
- RB Alex Collins (groin): Questionable
- G Damien Lewis (shoulder): Questionable
- DE Darrell Taylor (neck): Questionable
- CB John Reid (knee): Questionable
- QB Taysom Hill (concussion): Out
- WR Deonta Harris (hamstring): Out
- RB Dwayne Washington (neck): Out
- DE Payton Turner (calf): Out
- T Terron Armstead (elbow): Probable
Seahawks vs. Saints Matchup
|Saints Offense||DVOA Rank||Seahawks Defense|
|Saints Defense||DVOA Rank||Seahawks Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Saints Rely on Defense, Not Winston
The Saints could get healthier along the offensive line this week with the potential return of center Erik McCoy and tackle Terron Armstead. McCoy is probably more likely to return and would move Cesar Ruiz to guard.
New Orleans still has a very underwhelming receiver group with Michael Thomas still not available. Tre’Quan Smith also remains on injured reserve and Deonta Harris looks doubtful, which will also hurt in the return game. Speaking of, the Saints special teams unit remains full of question marks due to a bevy of injuries at key positions.
Overall, this is a very conservative offense. Head coach Sean Payton wants to lean on Alvin Kamara and keep Jameis Winston from imploding because of the self-inflicted mistakes that have haunted him in the past. The Saints want to grind out games and win with their defense, which I have as a top-three unit in the NFL.
Despite a plethora of injuries, the defense still ranks third overall in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. It also could see the return of a number of key pieces, including Kwon Alexander and Marcus Davenport. The interior of the defensive line still remains a bit shorthanded, but the Saints have had no issues shutting down opposing ground games.
Payton remains one of the best coaches in the league, so it’s no surprise the bye week usually works in the Saints favor. They boast an impressive 18-2 straight-up (SU) record in the four games following the bye week over the past five seasons. Payton is only 8-8 against the spread (ATS) the week following a bye since 2005, though, per Action Labs.
Seahawks Struggling Without Wilson
There’s a reason that Russell Wilson deserves to be in the MVP conversation every year. He does so much for a Seattle roster that has many holes along the offensive line and throughout the defense that struggles in coverage and in generating pressure — a nightmare combination in today’s NFL.
Coming into the season, I power rated the Seahawks as a slightly above-average team that I knew was capable of beating any team in the league with the magic of Wilson.
Without him, this is a bottom-10 (and arguably bottom-five) NFL team, depending on how you feel about Geno Smith. I personally have about a 6 or 7 point drop-off between Wilson and Smith, depending on the matchup and over/under.
Seattle’s biggest strength on the roster now becomes the wide receiver room, which needs a backup quarterback to get them the ball. Not great for a team that also is dealing with injuries in the backfield and along the offensive line.
For you trend folks, Pete Carroll is 13-8 ATS as a home dog and an impressive 38-21-4 ATS (64.4%) after a loss, including a cover last week against the Steelers. Only Bill Belichick and Payton have been kinder to bettors in that spot since 2005.
However, Carroll had the benefit of Wilson under center for most of those contests.
Seahawks vs. Saints Pick
Well, the range of outcomes is pretty wide here with these two quarterbacks. However, I expect both offenses to come out with a very conservative game plan to avoid any early costly mistakes in what should be a lower scoring game. I just can’t see the Seahawks offense doing much against this elite Saints defense and this subpar Seattle defense can actually hang with this conservative New Orleans offense that lacks explosive weapons on the outside.
In regards to the spread, this is the month you want to back Payton. In October, he’s 37-18-1 (67.3%) ATS since 2005. Only Belichick has been more profitable over that span. However, that means you have to back the highly-volatile Winston as a 5-point favorite, which hasn’t worked out too well in the past:
- Winston 8-16-1 ATS as a favorite
- 18-10-1 ATS as an underdog of three or more points
I personally believe the line is a tad high, but not enough to pull the trigger on Seattle as a home dog against a Saints team coming off of a bye. I foresee that this game is a grinder early on, so I went with the 1H under instead of the game under, which could be more susceptible to mistakes by either QB if one of these teams is forced to pass more frequently in comeback mode later in the game. I also like the Seattle team total under for what it’s worth.
Pick: 1H under 21 | Bet to: 20.5
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