NFL Betting – New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers Preseason Week 2

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Phil Simon
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The New Orleans Saints against the Los Angeles Chargers is a popular Super Bowl LIV matchup pick that can be bought at +3500. Don’t look at the Week 2 preseason game between the clubs for inside information, though.

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The teams got together this week for joint practice sessions and as a result a number of starters for both sides will sit out Sunday’s game. How cool would it be to see former teammates Drew Brees and Philip Rivers go head-to-head? Well, if that’s going to happen this season it won’t be until February.

New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers

Date and Time: Sunday, August 18, 2019, 4 p.m. ET

Location: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA

Opening NFL Odds: Chargers -3, O/U 44.5

Saints at Chargers TV Coverage: CBS

Odds Analysis

The Saints and Bolts are expected to not only reach the playoffs but contend for a Super Bowl title in 2019. With the main pieces in place we’ll see a number of position battles on Sunday and few regulars. With that comes a very generic line with the Chargers favored by a field goal. The total opened at 44.5, however, that’s been wagered down a full point and could fall further with few offensive starters for each side expected to play.

New Orleans Saints

Brees stumbled down the stretch last season raising concerns that his game may be leaving him now that he’s reached 40. That’s probably not the case yet and he should have a fine regular season with all the weapons he has. But it does make Sean Payton realize that his gunslinger isn’t going to be around forever and it’s time to work on an exit strategy. We won’t see Brees on Sunday leaving Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill to share quarterback chores.

There weren’t too many concerns with the offense last week. Bridgewater was an efficient 14 of 19 for 134 yards and a touchdown playing the first half. Hill took over after the break throwing for 80 yards and a score while rushing for 45 yards. The Saints will be looking to bolster the receiving corps behind Michael Thomas, who won’t play, and find another back to replace Mark Ingram.

The offense will be fine, but the defense needs some work after getting shredded by Minnesota last week. A number of first-teamers were on the field when the Vikings marched 76 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive. Expect the Saints to more be physical at the line of scrimmage and not facing the Bolts’ top playmakers should allow them to perform much better.

Los Angeles Chargers

The Bolts don’t need distractions entering a season with high expectations. But it is the NFL and it seems every club is dealing with something. With Melvin Gordon holding out for a new deal, the offense will be missing a key part. Not that we would have seen much of Gordon in this game, but it does put a lot of pressure on Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, and the rest of the backs to pick up the pace. Ekeler and Jackson will see a bulk of the snaps if Gordon doesn’t return, so how does Anthony Lynn delegate playing time to keep those guys ready?

We won’t see Rivers in this game after he and Brees got plenty of work during the joint practices. That means Tyrod Taylor is likely to get the early snaps after an efficient game last week against Arizona. “He’s a luxury to have on this football team. He’s a starter in this league so it didn’t surprise me for him to move the ball down the field,” Lynn said after Taylor went 6 of 6 for 72 yards in a loss to the Cardinals.

Using their backups for much of the 17-13 loss to Arizona, the Bolts outplayed the hosts and came out ahead in most statistical categories. However, 10 penalties and two turnovers proved costly. Those areas were addressed during the practice sessions and will be a point of emphasis on Sunday.

Bet Saints at Chargers at BookMaker.eu

You might as well flip a coin when it comes to picking a winner in this one. That’s not the best way to gamble but sometimes it works. The teams got quite familiar with each other during the week so I don’t expect much trickery from either side. Both coaches are looking to fill roster spots further down the depth chart and aren’t too concerned with the outcome. The Bolts were able to move the football last week with all three QBs having success. Things won’t change too much this week, so I’m leaning toward the home team to cover the spread while pounding the over when the total drops even further.

NFL Score Prediction: Chargers 26, Saints 21

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