The NFL’s first week of the 2017 regular season wraps up with a Monday night doubleheader. In the first game, New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson returns home to Minnesota. And in the nightcap, Philip Rivers gets one of his favorite targets back in Keenan Allen as the Los Angeles Chargers era starts on the road at Denver.
All prop odds courtesy of Sportsbook.
Saints at Vikings
Dalvin Cook O/U 57.5 Rush yards
Bet: OVER (-135)
Kareem Hunt set the bar for rookie running backs by racking up well over 200 yards of offense, while Bears running back Tarik Cohen (66 rush yards on five carries) placed some pressure on Jordan Howard in Chicago. Leonard Fournette ate the most with 26 carries for 100 yards. Cook should do the same against a Saints rush defense that allowed more than 100 rush yards per game last season. Pro Football Focus ranked the Saints defensive front 29th in its preseason rankings. Cook should get at least 15 carries. At four yards per carry against a bad rush defense, there’s 60 yards. Cash out.
Sam Bradford O/U ½ Interceptions
Bet: UNDER (+150)
Sam Bradford was only picked off five times last season and didn’t throw his first pick until late October. With a measured passing game up against a bottom-five pass defense – which finished with nine interceptions all of 2016 – Bradford’s worst enemy is a tipped ball being picked off.
Stefon Diggs O/U 5.5 Receptions
Bet: OVER (-120)
Diggs averaged better than six receptions in 13 games last season. He finished with six or more receptions in seven of those 13 games. If he didn’t miss the three matchups, Diggs was on pace to see nearly 23 percent of Bradford’s targets, which was on par with Kyle Rudolph. The Saints pass defense is porous at best.
Chargers at Broncos
Kennan Allen O/U 5.5 Receptions
Bet: OVER (EVEN)
How’s the song go? Welcome back, welcome back, welllcome back! Before he missed most of the last two seasons due to injury (kidney, ACL), Allen’s stock was on the rise. Philip Rivers targeted him more than 11 times per game through the first eight games of 2015. Allen caught five passes on five targets in limited action against the Rams in the third preseason game. He’s full go and should see 10 to 12 targets against the Broncos.
Trevor Siemian O/U 1.5 TD Passes
Bet: UNDER (-145)
Siemian attempted 50 passes in the Broncos’ first meeting with the Chargers last season. He threw only one touchdown pass.
He completed less than 57 percent of his passes against the Chargers last season with the one TD and one interception. The offense is often anemic and perhaps it’ll be C.J. Anderson who sparks it, but I fade Siemian as a pass-tossing quarterback. You could also consider stacking this UNDER with Siemian OVER ½ interceptions against a Chargers defense that led the NFL with 18 last season (t-Chiefs, Ravens).