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Patriots Small Favorites At Home Against Saints

Damien Harris and the Patriots are favored by a field goal over the Saints in NFL betting odds.

The New England Patriots (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) return to Gillette Stadium on Sunday off their first win of 2021 to host the New Orleans Saints (1-1, 1-1), who will be playing away from home for the third consecutive week. The Patriots routed the New York Jets 25-6 last week as 5.5-point road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark, while the Saints fell 26-7 to the Carolina Panthers as 3-point road chalk after a season-opening 38-3 rout of the Green Bay Packers in Jacksonville.

New Orleans Saints vs New England Patriots
  • Date/Time: September 26, 1 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Gillette Stadium
  • TV Coverage: Fox
  • Opening Odds: Patriots -3 | O/U 46.5 (Line History)
  • Saints vs Patriots Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

There has been no early line movement on the point spread in this matchup between these two 1-1 teams, and rightfully so. Both have looked very good in their wins, leaving oddsmakers to wonder which version of the teams will show up in Week 3. New Orleans was hit hard with a COVID-19 outbreak heading into Week 2, as eight assistant coaches missed the trip to Carolina along with a few players. The Saints should be better prepared for this game, but the 3.5-point drop in the total down to 43 is indicative of what the betting public thinks about the offenses, with each of them playing a bit conservative last week.

New Orleans News & Notes

Jameis Winston is about as Jekyll-and-Hyde as any quarterback in the NFL, and last Sunday’s performance showed exactly why New Orleans fans and backers should not be overly excited about him.

Winston was certainly great in Week 1, throwing five touchdown passes, but he did not toss one in Week 2. Instead, he threw two interceptions against the Panthers and was also sacked four times for 31 yards.

On the ground, Winston was the leading rusher for the Saints with three carries for 19 yards and scored their lone touchdown on an eight-yard run. Running back Alvin Kamara was a major disappointment with only five rushing yards total on eight carries, though he was the lone player on New Orleans with more than two catches (four for 25 yards).  

New England News & Notes

New England has been able to bring rookie quarterback Mac Jones along slowly through the first two weeks, and fortunately running back Damien Harris helped him out big time last Sunday with 62 rushing yards on 16 carries.

Those numbers for Harris might not seem eye-popping, but his 26-yard touchdown run at the beginning of the third quarter stretched the lead six points from 13-3 and took pressure off Jones to make plays with his arm.

Jones ended up completing 22 of 30 passes for 186 yards, which was far better than rookie counterpart Zach Wilson, who was drafted 13 spots higher in the first round but threw four picks and completed 19 passes. Jones may be counted on more in this spot, especially since the Saints defense was just torched by former Jet Sam Darnold.

Staff Betting Pick: UNDER 43

UNDER trends for both teams are overwhelming here, but the game-planning ability of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is the biggest deciding factor with this play. Kamara was a non-factor for New Orleans last week, and Belichick’s goal is always to take away the opposition’s top player. Winston will most likely play more like he did in Week 2 than Week 1, and that means points will definitely be at a premium.

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Shark Bites
  • The UNDER is 9-1 in New England’s last 10 games.
  • New England is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games as a favorite.
  • The UNDER is 5-1 in New Orleans’ last 6 road games.