Week 5 in the NFL concludes with the Saints hosting the Redskins in a potential shootout on Monday Night Football. For this game and every other primetime contest, we’ll break down the sports betting lines and recommend where to place your bets at DraftKings Sportsbook,888 Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until kick off since things can change quickly in the NFL. Any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if they don’t respond well in warm-ups.
Week 5 Monday Night Football Betting
Washington Redskins (23) at New Orleans Saints (29.5)
With the Saints defense springing major leaks early in the season, the Over (52.5) will clearly be a popular bet in this primetime showdown.
In the early going, approximately 75 percent of bets were coming in on the Over. That said, the money was split evenly, indicating the sharps are less convinced.
For one, the Saints defense has improved each week. New Orleans still ranks dead last in DVOA pass defense, but it’s first in the NFL in DVOA rush defense. This is a critical factor when matching up against Washington. They have the highest rush percentage (49.3 percent) in the NFL this season.
Washington also has a Jekyll and Hyde defense that ranks 31st in DVOA rush defense but third in DVOA pass defense. Thus, the strengths of both defenses could offset both offenses. That would keep this game reasonably low scoring by Superdome standards.
Last season, the Saints ranked 20th in passing play percentage, proving they’re capable of attacking opponents on the ground as well.
The return of Mark Ingram from a four-game suspension will help them hurt Washington between the tackles. Meanwhile, Alvin Kamara remains a deadly playmaker out of the backfield.
Kamara’s insane workload will lighten a bit with Ingram back. But it’s worth noting the second-year back out-touched Ingram 8-2 inside the 10-yard line over the final five games last season. He remains the best bet to lead all scorers in Showdown DFS contests on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Ingram should slot back into his role handling 10-15 touches per game and potentially jamming in a short TD if the Saints get down inside the 2-yard line.
After his white-hot start, Michael Thomas was cooled off by shutdown Giants CB Janoris Jenkins. Washington ranks fifth in DVOA pass defense against opposing No. 1 receivers this year and have a borderline shutdown force in stationary RCB Josh Norman. Thomas should move around the formation enough to avoid Norman and pile up short receptions. This gives him a solid floor but a lower ceiling than usual.
Ted Ginn Jr. (knee) has been ruled out, opening the door for rookie Tre’Quan Smith to serve as the Saints’ situational deep threat. The Redskins coughed up the seventh-most pass plays of 20-plus yards (54) last season and continue to play shallow zones that are vulnerable at the back end when their pass rush doesn’t hit home.
Cameron Meredith and Ben Watson will likely fight for scraps in what could be a run-heavy game plan from the Saints HC Sean Payton.
Last year, New Orleans played solid defense at the Superdome. The Saints held opponents to 4.2 YPC and an 83.7 passer rating while recording 23 sacks over nine home games. They might have been torched in the 2018 season opener, but they bounced back to hold an improved Browns team to just 275 total yards.
The Redskins’ pace of play is concerning for those who might bet the Over. Washington ranks 30th in situation-neutral pace. Plus, new QB Alex Smith continues to play like a game manager with an average depth of target of just 6.6 yards.
Smith should keep the chains moving by exploiting the Saints’ shaky interior coverage, which is now badly missing slot CB Patrick Robinson (ankle, I.R.). Jamison Crowder has seen a stark drop in volume with Smith under center, but this is a sneaky spot for him to find a rhythm. Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson remain the most reliable pass catchers in this offense.
Adrian Peterson (ankle) returned to practice on Thursday and will be highly motivated to burn a Saints team that buried him on the depth chart before trading him in 2017. Only Todd Gurley and Kareem Hunt have more carries than Peterson inside the 5-yard line.
With a run-heavy approach and methodical QB, Washington leads the NFL in time of possession per drive. New Orleans ranks eighth. Over 50 percent of bets and approximately 65 percent of the money is coming in on the Redskins (+6.5). Washington will likely look to slow the game down. If they’re successful, this should keep the score within a touchdown.
Despite the slow pace numbers, the point total continues to rise (53 points in some places) as everybody hammers the Over.
Approximately 80 percent of bets are on the Over, but the money is split almost evenly on the point total. The sharps might expect this game to be more low scoring than past games at the Superdome. Still, they seem skeptical about New Orleans’ defense.
Taking the Saints (-6.5) and the Under would be a good teaser if you believe Ingram’s return and the improvement of New Orleans’ defense will lead to positive game flow for the home team. More rushing, more clock running, fewer points.