Return to the Superdome Doesn’t Help New York

Hurricane Ida cost New Orleans their home opener in NFL week 1, but authorities have approved a return to the Caesar’s Superdome for the week 4 Giants at Saints matchup. 

This is huge not just because it’s the home opener a month into the season for New Orleans, but also because it’s the first time that a full capacity of fans since the January 5th, 2020 playoff loss to Minnesota. Bovada and BetOnline still have the Giants as just +7.5 underdogs, which seems low. 

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Throw Out the Run Game for New York 

One of the reasons that a return of 70,000+ fans to the Superdome is such a key component to this game is that the Giants will probably have to throw the ball to win this game. 

Silent counts, false start penalties, etc., definitely favor the defense, and it’s hard to see New York being able to get a running game going with QB Daniel Jones being their leading rusher through three games with 161 yards. 

Sure, Saquon Barkley is back for the 0-3 Giants, but his highest rushing output so far this season is 57 yards in the NFL Week 2 loss to Washington. By the way, the Saints have the #3 rush defense in the league so far and are 3rd in scoring, allowing just 14.0 ppg. 

Jones has completed 65% of his passes this season but also has just 2 TD passes so far in 2021. Can he carry the team to cover the +7.5 betting odds even if there is no threat of the run? 

The Giants’ defense had their best game of the year last Sunday, but it still culminated in a 17-14 loss to the Falcons. New York’s biggest struggles in a 27-13 loss to the Broncos and falling 30-29 to the Broncos has been their pass defense, which ranks 21st in the NFL

Strangely enough, that’s good news vs. the Saints, who have the 2nd worst pass defense in the league over the first month of the season. 

Saints Lean on Their Defense 

The Saints have to be glad to be back on their home field, even though they looked pretty good in a 38-3 win over the Packers in the season opener playing at neutral site Jacksonville. New Orleans took a 180 in a 26-7 loss to Carolina in NFL week 2, but bounced back into form with a 28-13 win against New England as +3 point underdogs in Foxborough. 

This is one of the toughest sports betting picks of the week because of the Saints defense, which should dominate here, but because they still lack an offensive identity. 

Jameis Winston was elite vs. Green Bay with 5 TD passes, but he’s still playing like a game manager with a high watermark of 148 yards passing on the season. There were times in past New Orleans’ offenses where Drew Brees would have that in a quarter. 

The one thing you can do to have faith in these betting odds of the Saints -7.5 is had faith in New Orleans coach Sean Payton. The offensive mastermind put together a game plan that beat defensive guru Bill Belichick by 15 points last Sunday, mostly by getting Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill more involved with a run game that produced 142 yards on the ground. 

Giants at Saints Pick 

For some reason, that hook on the 7.5 betting odds looms large in this one. Is it possible the Saints come out too amped up playing in front of a full capacity crowd for the first time in 20 months? It’s a tough ask for Jones to carry this Giants offense, basically, but if Barkley can have his breakout game, then this one has outright upset written all over it. 

Giants +7.5

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