NEW ORLEANS SAINTS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Another matchup between two .500 teams as Sean Payton brings his Saints team to Foxboro to face Bill Belichick and the Patriots. This will be the fourth time these future HOF coaches have faced off, with Belichick currently holding a 2-1 lead. Will Payton draw the series level or will Belichick extend his dominance over yet another HC? 

New England bounced back from an opening day defeat to Miami with a convincing win over the Jets in Week 2. Belichick famously eats rookie QBs for breakfast, and the poor Zach Wilson was no different, throwing 4 INTs as the Patriots defense had a field day. That defense is what they’re going to have to rely on this season as the Patriots own rookie QB Mac Jones also acclimatises to life in the NFL. Jones has had a good start but does seem to prefer throwing the ball underneath instead of unleashing deep bombs through the air, luckily he has James White who is a short passing game QB’s best friend. White excels in catching passes out the backfield and has caught 6 passes in each of Mac Jones career starts to date, Belichick also has a history of using White in this way against Payton and the Saints, as White’s only previous career outing against New Orleans heralded 8 receptions for 85 yards. White’s U/O 4.5 receptions looks a playable line here. 

The Saints looked like they could be genuine Super Bowl contenders without Drew Brees when they dismantled the Green Bay Packers in Week 1 but it seems if it’s not one thing it’s another at the moment with the Louisianna franchise. First Hurricane Ida forced their home opener to be moved to Florida, then they lost 7 coaches for the trip to Carolina in Week 2 as a COVID-19 outbreak prevented them from being with the team and just days ago the roof of their stadium caught fire. I don’t know who upstairs they pissed off, but they’re definitely in some higher powers bad books, which is ironic considering they’re called the Saints… anyway, I digress. Jameis Winston looked like a controlled, game managing QB in Week 1 only for him to regress to the Jameis Winston we all know against the Panthers as he threw 2 INT’s and only completed 50% of his passes. Things won’t get much easier against a tough and well-coached Patriots defense who have kept both QBs they’ve faced this season to 210 yards or less whilst only giving up 1 passing TD and taking the ball away 5 times in the two games. Winston is yet to throw for 150 or more yards so it surprises me his U/O passing yard number is set at 213.5 and considering the above information combined with the fact he could be pulled for backup Taysom Hill at anytime, I’m going to take the under.ย 

Spread: Saints +3

Total Match Points line: 42.5

Game Prediction: Saints 30-24 Patriots

Best Bet: Jameis Winston under 213.5 passing yards & James White over 4.5 receptions @ 11/4 with Bet365 Bet Builder. [0.5]

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