Sonny Banks: How I’m Betting the Texans-Saints Over/Under

Sonny Banks: How I’m Betting the Texans-Saints Over/Under article feature image

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: J.J. Watt

For those who have followed @So_Money_Sports on Twitter, he’s now bringing his written analysis to The Action Network.

Texans at Saints Betting Odds

  • Odds: Saints -6.5
  • Total: 52.5
  • Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: ESPN

All odds above as of Monday afternoon and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

After consecutive seasons ending in heart-breaking fashion, the New Orleans Saints will attempt to finish the job this go-round. Their 2019 campaign will begin with a tricky matchup against the Houston Texans.

On the offensive side of the ball, we’re accustomed to seeing Sean Payton’s creativity in New Orleans.

However, I do think that we will see a relatively watered-down offensive game plan in Week 1. Why? For starters, someone other than Max Unger will be snapping the ball to Drew Brees for the first time since 2015. Rookie Erik McCoy will make his debut start, and while all the reports from camp have been positive, I do expect it will take him some time to grasp the complexity of the Saints offense.

Staying with the offensive line, tackles Ryan Ramczyk and Terron Armstead are elite and should hold their own against a strong Texans pass rush, but the Saints’ guards leave a lot to be desired. Even though Larry Warford is a former Pro Bowler, he has been steadily declining the past three seasons.

The Saints’ diminished passing game is also a factor here: Last season it ranked 12th overall, the lowest in Brees’ career. The accuracy is not the issue, as Brees completed 74% of his passes last season, throwing 32 touchdowns compared to 5 INTs. But these numbers also indicate that the 40-year-old QB has not been throwing the deep ball as much as he did earlier in his career. I do expect to see accurate, intermediate throws that will move the ball down the field, eating significant clock along the way.

Also factoring into my Under 52.5 bet here is the Texans’ improved pass defense. They got torched through the air last season (28th-ranked passing defense), but new additions Bradley Roby and Tashaun Gipson are significant upgrades.

While the pass rush suffered a big blow with the loss of Jadeveon Clowney, the Texans defense needs to be considered elite as long as J.J. Watt is leading the unit.

On offense, even with the addition of Laremy Tunsil, Houston will struggle to keep Deshaun Watson upright as it works through two rookie linemen. It just won’t be as bad as it was last season.

Watson will need to keep plays alive with his feet and I suspect the Saints’ aggressive defense to limit the Texans’ outside weapons and force Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde to make plays both running and catching balls out of the backfield.

PICK: Houston/New Orleans Under 52.5 (-110)

How would you rate this article?