The Saints and Chargers will play the lone Sunday game during the second preseason week with an NFL Network primetime spot slated for a 7:30 pm ET kickoff.
One could dub this matchup the Drew Brees Bowl or even go as far as calling it the Chase Daniel Challenge, but for now, we’ll be happy to settle in for live football before the grind of the work week begins again.
The visiting Saints are 3.5-point favorites in the Chargers’ building. New Orleans defeated the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs at home last week after jumping out to a 17-point lead and hanging on through a late opposing rally. Derek Carr and Jameis Winston threw touchdown passes in the first quarter of the Saints’ victory before handing the reins to rookie Jake Haener for the second half.
The Chargers also raced out to a first-half lead in their win against the Rams in Week 1, gaining a 20-7 advantage at halftime that was never challenged in the final two quarters.
A punt return touchdown from fourth-round pick Derius Davis gave the Chargers their first multi-score advantage, and two fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns from fellow rookie Elijah Dotson sealed their winning effort.
We have a pair of best bets lined up for the second game on each team’s preseason schedule, detailed next.
Saints -3.5 over Chargers (-105) (DraftKings)
Having a team that will trot out multiple starting-caliber NFL quarterbacks in the first half is a significant advantage in the preseason, let alone two Pro Bowlers like Carr and Winston.
Those two combined for 21 pass attempts, 162 yards, two touchdowns, and roughly a 130 QB rating for the first half in their win against Kansas City.
Alvin Kamara also got some action in the form of three carries for 14 yards and two catches for 21 yards while he saw snaps before a three-game suspension begins in Week 1 of the regular season.
The Saints played starting pass-catchers in Juwan Johnson, Michael Thomas, Chris Olave, and Bryan Edwards, which means that they’ve seen more snaps at game speed than the average starter in the preseason. Despite giving a field goal and a hook, we like the Saints to cover on the road in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
Saints @ Chargers: OVER 37 (-105) (FanDuel)
Week 1 of this year’s preseason saw an average of 39.5 points scored per game, and the two teams playing on Sunday night competed in matchups that averaged 50.5 points.
There was a punt return touchdown that we mentioned earlier in the Chargers game against the Rams, but other than that, all the points came on offensive scoring drives that should be replicable in this meeting.
On top of higher-scoring games overall, both the Chargers and Saints games saw 51 combined points scored in the first halves.
We’d love to see this one get above 24 in the first half and then let the reserves come in and put the finishing touches on this over play. We’ll be betting on both teams to continue their scoring form.