John Warner previews this week’s NFL MNF matchup and gives out his favorite bets!
Week 5 (semi) concludes Monday night in New Orleans between the Saints and Chargers of Los Angeles, and we are treated to a QB battle of the old guard and Drew Brees, and a sign of QBs to come when Chargers rookie Justin Herbert. The Saints are coming off a come-from-behind at Detroit, and the Chargers are coming off another blown game, this time to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Neither team is off to the start they hoped for, but things change quickly in the NFL, tonight could be a launch pad that turns the winner’s season around.
For New Orleans, a win tonight can put them back in the driver’s seat in the NFC South. It’s been a weird first quarter of the year for Sean Payton and Co., with Brees looking as washed as ever, with his depth of target continuing to get shorter and shorter. I get my Payton likes using gadget man Taysom Hill, but man would I love to see what this offense would look like w Jameis Winston at the helm. He’s got twice the arm Brees does that at this point, but obviously not the accuracy and experience, which we know Payton values more. New Orleans will again be without Michael Thomas, as he’s being disciplined for starting a fight in practice. Regardless, the Saints still have Alvin Kamala, who’s as dangerous as ever this season. Despite their weapons, New Orleans is middle-of-the-pack when it comes to YPP, and a game at home against a banged-up defense may be just what they need to get those numbers up.
For the Chargers, Justin Herbert has looked like a quality NFL starter already with just three games under his belt. Since Herbert started, LAC is 6th in the NFL in YPA at 8.3 yards. Herbert has had the Chargers on the brink of his first win each time out, they just can’t seem to get over the hump. With defensive anchors Melvin Gordon and Derwin James out, as well as starting RB Austin Ekeler, it puts even more pressure on Hebert to lead his team. The key to the game will be how he performs on third downs. New Orleans has been one of the worst teams in the league on 3rd down, allowing almost a 50% conversion rate. If the Chargers plan to keep up with the Saints track meet, converting on 3rd downs will be absolutely essential.
Another tough go on Thursday night, as Brady and the Bucs looked downright anemic against the Bears. What was looking like a lock with the Bears under 20, naturally saw them score two TDs in 1:15 to end the first half and end up w a nasty push. This is another game that’s really tough to read, especially w so many key players missing. I do like everything the Chargers have put together so far, even though it hasn’t translated just yet in the win column. I’ll be looking for Los Angeles to hang around here, possibly even win outright.
Monday Night Football Bets
Chargers +7 -110
Chargers 1h TT o9.5 -130 .5x
Season Total: 8-13-2 -3.4x