New Orleans Saints (3-2) at Seattle Seahawks (2-4)
The Saints have been the most inconsistent team in the league thus far this season, leading the league in DVOA variance, with their losses coming in overtime to a 1-win Giants team and in blowout fashion to a Panthers team that has only beaten the Texans and Jets aside from their victory over the Saints, while their wins have all been by double digits against the Green Bay, New England, and Washington, who have just two other double digit losses between them, which came against the Chiefs and Bills, two of the top teams in the league.
Now coming out of their week 6 bye, I would expect the Saints to be more consistent in a good way, as they are getting a significant number of key players back this week, including left tackle Terron Armstead, center Erik McCoy, and kicker Will Lutz, who are all among the best players in the league at their positions. Linebacker Kwon Alexander and Marcus Davenport also could return from extended absences this week. This is traditionally a team that gets better as the season goes on anyway, going 72-48-3 ATS in week 6 or later over the past 10 seasons. On top of that, big road favorites tend to cover at a high rate out of a bye, with favorites of 3.5+ covering at a 64.2% rate with extended rest over the past 30 seasons.
We aren’t getting much line value with the Saints this week, but my calculated line is New Orleans -6, with the Saints getting significantly healthier and the Seahawks continuing to be without quarterback Russell Wilson, which obviously handicaps them in a significant way. Between that and the great spot the Saints are in, there is enough here for New Orleans to be worth a small bet as 4.5 point road favorites.
New Orleans Saints 24 Seattle Seahawks 17
Pick against the spread: New Orleans -4.5