"Monday Night Football" heads to Caesars Superdome to close out Week 9. The New Orleans Saints look to capture their fourth win and move into a three-way tie in the NFC South. The Ravens come to town on a two-game winning streak and need a win to stay one game ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North. Baltimore is currently a 1.5-point favorite, a role where it is 2-4 ATS this year and has failed to cover in three straight. Here is why I am on the home dog, plus the best way to approach the total and a longshot parlay at +1450.
Injuries have been the story for both teams this season, but it doesn't appear to be getting any better for Baltimore. This is a really good spot for the Saints coming off a confidence-building 24-0 win over Las Vegas. Alvin Kamara had 27 touches for over 150 total yards, and they should be able to get going early against Baltimore's front. Football Outsiders' 25th-ranked rushing defense allowed the Browns' Nick Chubb to rip off 5.7 yards per rush only two weeks ago. New Orleans will bully Baltimore in the trenches behind an offensive line that ranks fourth in adjusted line yards. As long as they can keep Andy Dalton out of unmanageable third downs, he has the weapons with Kamara and Chris Olave to chain together long drives and keep their defense rested.
Lamar Jackson doesn't have that luxury. The Ravens are digging deep into the depth chart at the skill positions without Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman. Inexperience shows on the road, and it's going to be a real problem in a very loud environment. We have seen Jackson forced into doing more with less, which can lead to him pressing and turning the ball over. I am betting that happens here against a New Orleans defense that has been much better of late getting after the quarterback. I bet the Saints +1.5 and I think they have a good shot of winning the game outright.
I lean under on the full game total, but some significant splits have convinced me the best approach is to hold off and live bet at halftime. Baltimore ranks in the top 10 in first-half scoring but has averaged 17.8 points at home versus only 9.3 on the road. The Superdome can be one of the loudest stadiums for opposing offenses, and it could take the Ravens some time to get into a rhythm. Both defenses have performed much better in the first half this season. Here are their splits based on EPA per-play allowed.
1st Half (8th)
2nd Half (26th)
1st Half (6th)
2nd Half (31st)
We could be in for a very low-scoring game at halftime that will drag the live total down lower than the current number at 47. However, this season, both defenses have fallen apart in the second half, setting up an excellent opportunity to hit the live over at halftime. Admittedly, there is some injury variance baked into those numbers, as both teams have been hit hard on that side of the ball. However, I will be ready to fire at halftime if it dips below the key numbers of 43 and 41.
One-game parlay (+1450)
Anytime touchdown - Isaiah Likely
Alvin Kamara over 49.5 receiving yards
We had success and hit our +650 parlay last week, so let's look to recreate the magic for "Monday Night Football." As a reminder, you want to stake these lower, as the implied probability at +1450 odds is approximately 45% lower than your standard bet at -110. So let's break down why I landed on these three solid options for tonight's one-game parlay.
We have already invested in New Orleans as a short-home dog, so slightly increasing the risk by adding them to win on the moneyline makes sense. I expect the line to keep moving in our direction as it gets closer to kickoff. You do have the option of adding the Saints +1.5 instead of the moneyline.
Saints running back Alvin Kamara has eclipsed 49.5 yards in three of his last four games, and has also averaged 66 receiving yards over the same period. In addition, he gets an advantageous matchup with Baltimore's defense. The Ravens have struggled in this area all season, allowing the sixth-most receiving yards to opposing running backs this year. Expect New Orleans to attack that vulnerability in coverage and look to get its best playmaker in space.
Anytime touchdowns are one of the more arbitrary markets, but there is still sound reasoning behind Isaiah Likely's chances to find the end zone. Tight end Mark Andrews is the foundation of Ravens' passing attack, and his absence opens the door for Likely to fill that role. WR Rashod Bateman is also out, leaving Devin Duvernay as the only active receiver with more receptions or yards than Likely. When Andrews was forced out last week, Likely hauled in six receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown. I expect him to be the primary target in the red zone, making this a very valuable piece of the parlay.
Stats provided by teamrankings.com, rbsdm (90-10 WP), football outsiders