Saints vs. Washington Odds, Pick, Prediction: Updated Spread, Betting Preview for Week 5 Game
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured: Jameis Winston
- The Saints and Washington Football Team meet on Sunday afternoon in NFL Week 5 (1 p.m. ET, FOX). The updated spread is Saints -2.5.
- Both teams are 2-2 with a mixed bag of results so far. New Orleans' offense is still searching for some answers with Jameis Winston under center, while Washington's offense has been good but the defense has taken a major step back.
- Get our Saints vs. WFT pick and preview below.
Saints vs. Washington Odds
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
Sportsbooks are anticipating a low-scoring affair between the New Orleans Saints and Washington Football Team on Sunday. Both teams are a disappointing 2-2 and missing key offensive players.
Washington remains without quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and will be without tight end Logan Thomas, as well. The Football Team could also be without starting running back Antonio Gibson, who was limited in practice on Thursday.
The Saints, meanwhile, will be missing star wideout Michael Thomas for at least one more game.
We’ll see which team can overcome its offensive deficiencies in this one.
Saints Sputtering After Week 1 Blowout
After dominating the Green Bay Packers 38-3 in Week 1, Saints fans have to be disappointed with a 2-2 record that includes a Week 4 loss to the lowly Giants. Another defeat here would be tough to overcome in a division that also features the Buccaneers and Panthers, making this a big game for New Orleans entering its bye week.
It’s hard to pass much early judgment on the Jameis Winston experiment in New Orleans. With Thomas out, the Saints have wisely kept Winston limited in the offense. He’s yet to throw more than 23 passes in a game this season.
Instead of putting their offense in Winston’s hands, the Saints have been the NFL’s most run-heavy team this season, consistently leaning heavily on Alvin Kamara.
Kamara has carried the ball 50 times over the past two weeks against bottom-eight run defenses by DVOA. This week won’t be as easy, with the Football Team ranking 11th.
That means the Saints will have to put more on Winston’s shoulders in Week 5. He’s taken care of the ball this year, throwing only two interceptions and completing 64% of his passes, but the former Heisman Trophy winner will need to do better than his 151 yards per game to give the Saints offense a chance this week.
The Saints defense has been the bright spot, allowing only 17.2 points per game. Their defensive front has controlled the line of scrimmage, allowing teams only 3.1 yards per rush attempt. New Orleans has also faced the third-highest percentage of pass plays against it this season.
We’ll see if Washington forces the issue on the ground or attacks the Saints where they’re weak.
Washington Relying on Heinicke
Despite losing its starting quarterback half a game into the season, Washington is 2-2 and one game behind the Cowboys in the NFC East.
Wins over the Giants and Falcons aren’t incredibly impressive, but staying in contention with a rash of injuries like the Football Team has had to deal with is. A win this week over New Orleans would be its best of the season.
Taylor Heinicke has been a pleasant surprise in relief of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Less than two years ago, he was signing an XFL contract. Now, he’s 11th in the NFL in adjusted yards per attempt.
Heinicke is keeping the Football Team in games, despite a disappointing start to the season for its defense. He’ll be needed this week against a tough Saints defense, especially if Gibson is less than full strength.
Speaking of the Washington defense, this would be a great week for its vaunted defensive line to return to 2020 form. Only three teams have fewer than their seven sacks to this point.
Famously erratic Winston could make some mistakes if Washington is able to put him under pressure, but the Football Team’s defensive front is yet to make that happen consistently.
Like the Saints, Washington’s biggest defensive strength has come against the run. Ron Rivera’s team ranks 11th in yards allowed per rush attempt. Look for them to load up against Kamara and the New Orleans run game this week, forcing Winston and the Saints’ depleted receivers to be the difference.
With both defenses forcing opponents to the air, this game should be played at a fast pace with more scoring than one might think.
Washington already plays at the eighth-fastest situation neutral pace in the league, and it hasn’t been in a game with fewer than 59 points scored since Week 1. That week the Football Team faced the extenuating circumstance of a mid-game quarterback switch.
The Saints have also been more productive offensively than the current public perception suggests. If you take out their Week 2 slog against the Panthers, they’re averaging 29 points per game on offense. That Panthers team plays at the 25th-fastest pace and features the fourth-best defense by DVOA. Washington is at the opposite end of both of those numbers.
Were it not for the injuries to both teams, this total would be much higher. Remember when every game Winston started went for 60 or more points?
While the defenses line up well in terms of stopping their opponents strengths, more passing leads to a quicker game and more scoring.
Pick: Over 43.5