Raiders vs. Saints NFL Week 8 Betting Preview: Steam Makes the Under Tasty

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Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the New Orleans Saints throws a pass against Arizona Cardinals. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP.

Early line movement has made the Under the right NFL pick for Sunday’s tilt between the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints.

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Las Vegas Raiders vs. New Orleans Saints

Sunday, October 30, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Caesars Superdome

It was inevitable. We finally had our first losing week of NFL picks here at the home office, and we’re pointing our fickle finger at the New Orleans Saints. They weren’t supposed to drive the Over to the pay window with Andy Dalton at quarterback, but they did it again last Thursday against the Arizona Cardinals, ruining our Sports Equinox in the process.

Odds Breakdown

Naturally, the Over has gotten all the early love for this Sunday’s matchup between the Saints and the Las Vegas Raiders. This bad boy opened at 44 points on the NFL odds board at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review), then steamed all the way up to 48.5. And it didn’t stop there; some of the best sportsbooks, including Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review), have Sunday’s total at 49 as we go to press.

We have to hit that Under now, right? Well, it might be the “GTO” play (shout-out to all my fellow poker nerds out there) according to the models, but how many times do we have to get burned before we reconsider the Saints as currently constructed?

Plenty, apparently. But at least we only recommended a fun-size bet for last week’s Under, and we’re doing the same this week. Let’s dig deep, peel back the layers, and see what the hell’s going on in the Big Easy.

Why Does Andy Dalton Suck in Prime Time?

That’s a bit harsh. But true enough, after throwing a pair of pick-sixes last week to help the Cardinals win 42-34 (Over 43.5), Dalton is now 6-19 lifetime and 0-12 in his last dozen prime-time appearances. Blame it on the tougher competition in this time slot, although Arizona hasn’t been that tough lately.

Otherwise, Dalton has played reasonably well since taking over for the injured Jameis Winston. The Saints covered both his previous starts, splitting the pair at 1-1 SU, and both went Over the posted total with utility man Taysom Hill playing a considerable role as well.

Winston (back) has been on the cusp of returning to duty for a while now, so all these Saints-related football picks have been tentative ones, as will this week’s pick. Dalton has also been limited by back issues, and the New Orleans offensive line has been plagued by injuries; aside from Hill’s antics, you can see why the Under would make sense here “in a vacuum,” as they say.

Are the Raiders Back?

Maybe. They’re still 2-4 to start the 2022 campaign, but that’s after honking the first 3 games. Since the calendar turned to October, the Raiders have covered 3 straight to even things up at 3-3 ATS, and they came within an eyelash of making it 3-0 SU, falling 30-29 to Kansas City (-7.5 at home) in Week 5.

More importantly for our picks, Las Vegas also has the Over on a 4-game winning streak. They’ve got a decent enough offense with Derek Carr under center; the Raiders' defense is a mess, though, and CB Nate Hobbs was placed on injured reserve after breaking his hand during the loss to K.C.

The Saints defense hasn’t been all that good, either, which makes the early action on the Over perfectly reasonable, especially in the cozy confines of the Superdome. The BMR consensus reports at press time still show 100% enthusiastic consent for the Over, and we would have joined in ourselves when the total was 44 points. Now? Not so much.

Why Is Scoring Down in the NFL?

Ah, you noticed. According to Pro Football Reference, teams have scored 21.7 points per game thus far, down from 23.0 points last year and 24.8 points 2 years ago. It’s their lowest-scoring output since 2009 (21.5 points). Ah, those salad days.

We can blame it on the recent retirements of big-name quarterbacks like Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger. We can also point to the late-career dips for Matt Ryan and others. However. the more important question is this: have you taken advantage? The Under is 64-41 (61.0%) across the league heading into the Week 7 Monday Night Football matchup.

With that in mind, we’re not going to let these unusual Saints results deter us too much. But as I said, we’re going to recommend a smaller bet size for this particular contest. We also think you should wait for more information on Winston’s status before proceeding. Be more willing to lay wood if he starts, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

NFL Pick: Under 49 (-105) at Bookmaker

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Under 49 (-105)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.