Open the Zing Zang. Dig into the back of the closet. Find the parasol and antacids, because the New Orleans Saints play a real game of football this weekend against the Tennessee Titans. This is not an ideal way to start the Derek Carr era, facing one of the best front fours in the entire NFL. The offensive line, Carr, and coverages will be key for the Saints in this matchup. This game should be a hard-hitting matchup to open the season, with both teams having difference makers on both sides of the ball. Thanks to our friends over at DraftKings sportsbook for the lines for the Saints vs Titans week 1 best bets.
NFL Week 1 Saints vs Titans best bets
Titans spread +4(-136)
Yes, take the Titans and the points in the opening game. The Titans have a stout defense, a veteran team, and likely have a better head coach than the Saints. They are not as talented as the Saints on the field, but coaching matters. Home teams are normally given three points for simply being at home, so that means this game is likely a toss-up. Adding one point to the three-point spread for the Titans should make this a much safer wager. This game is likely to come down to a field goal or less for the winner. Derek Carr is going to have a tough test in his first action with the new Saints offense, but this should be a good measuring stick for the ceiling of this Saints team.
Under 42.5 total points scored(-128)
This game has one of the lowest point totals for any game this weekend at 41.5. With the spread being just a field goal for the home team as well, the under on points seems like a worthwhile wager. Adding one more point to the total up to 42.5 costs very little odds but will allow a win if one of the teams does happen to get to 21. Matchups and solid defenses signal a low scoring, playoff style game out of both teams. The Titans will use their front to get to Derek Carr, who is known to get rattled in games. While the Saints will use their secondary to try and get Ryan Tannehill to hold the ball, allowing the pass rush to get home. This game could come down to a last second field goal, with 20-17 being a very likely outcome for whoever has the ball last. Take the under on the total points.
Derek Carr over 244.5 passing yards(-115)
This is as much about the Titans allowed receiving yards as it is about respecting their run defense. No team was better against the run last season than the Titan, allowing just 3.35 yards per carry. They were highly successful at stopping runs, with 75% of attempts against the defense going for less than five yards. Jamaal Williams will not find much room this Sunday, so the Saints are going to have to rely on Derek Carr. He will need to get the ball out quickly and let his playmakers work. If the Saints hang in this game, and all other odds indicate a close matchup, then Carr is going to need to have the majority of the yards. This total seems fair, but the over is the wager for Derek Carr’s passing yard total.
Longshot of the week
Juwan Johnson, anytime TD Scorer(+295)
Only one team was worse against the tight end last season than the Titans. It does not appear that they addressed this issue either. They allowed over 60 yards per game, on average, to opposing tight ends while facing the second most targets to the position. Teams saw a weakness with the Titans and exposed it nearly every game, and that could mean a huge breakout game for Saints tight end Juwan Johnson. The Titans did not allow many touchdowns last year, but the targets should be there for Johnson. Also, if Johnson does have a good game, his receiving yard total would also be a good wager. This line is set at just 27.5 yards (-110).