New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Date and Time: Saturday, August 25, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: StubHub Center, Carson, CA
Opening NFL Odds: Chargers -2.5, 44.5
Saints vs. Chargers TV Coverage: CBS
Though the Saints won their preseason opener at Jacksonville, it took a valiant fourth quarter comeback to pull it off. Down 10 with less than seven minutes remaining, backup QB Taysom Hill cut the deficit to three when he scampered in from three yards out. Then four minutes later, backup running back Jonathan Williams scampered into the end zone from four yards out to tally the go-ahead score and lead New Orleans to the come-from-behind 24-20 outright win and cover.
The mojo from that win wasn’t carried over into last week’s home tilt against what turned out to be a determined Arizona squad. The Cardinals stormed out to a 14-0 lead at the beginning of the second quarter, and didn’t look back en route to picking up the 20-15 outright win and cover as 6 point dogs. The only good news to come out of that one was Will Lutz successfully converting all three of his field goal attempts.
The Chargers felt the same wrath of Arizona in Week 1 only Los Angeles competed early only to fizzle out late. They took the 17-14 lead at the start of the fourth quarter, but then allowed the Cardinals to score the last 10 points of the game and ultimately fell by a 24-17 final tally and failed to cover the closing pointspread as 3 point underdogs.
It was a disappointing night for Anthony Lynn who needs to get his club winning immediately so as to avoid the winless start from last season that plagued them when it mattered most at the end of it. Thankfully, the Bolts looked like a completely different team in Week 2 when they took it to the Seattle Seahawks right from the get go and didn’t let off the gas the remainder of the game. The offense dominated the game with a steady ground attack that averaged 4.8 yards per carry and allowed LA to win the time of possession battle by over 15 minutes.
Both teams have some glaring issues along the offensive line. After allowing the Jaguars to register three quarterback sacks in Week 1, the hogs up front conceded four more against the Cardinals last week. Los Angeles also surrendered four QB sacks to the Cardinals opening week, and then gave up three more last week to the Seahawks.
With both starting defenses set to get some major burn in this one, it would behoove both front walls to bring their “A” games into this one so as to not allow either Drew Brees or Philip Rivers to take any worrisome hits. If it starts to get a bit scary, don’t be surprised if both head coaches elect to pull their Pro Bowl signal callers early. Should that occur, New Orleans has by far the better of the two QB rotations.
Saints vs. Chargers Free Picks
The betting market is currently siding with the Saints plus the points at a 75 percent clip, while most of the action has gone towards the under dropping the line to beat by half a point. It makes sense to expect a low scorer after both teams just got done having a couple days’ worth of joint scrimmages. From the limited video offered up from the scrimmages, Mike Williams was unstoppable. The Saints couldn’t do anything to stop him. He looks like a man possessed right now, and I expect him to continue his excellent camp with another fantastic showing that ups his ADP in fantasy football drafts and leads the Chargers to back-to-back wins and covers on the NFL betting lines.
NFL ATS Pick: Los Angeles - at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Chargers 24 – Saints 19