In what has the potential to be a shootout between two high-powered offenses, our partner Odds Shark shows the New Orleans Saints have opened as five-and-a-half point favorites at home against the Houston Texans in Week 3.
Led by quarterback Drew Brees, the (1-1) Saints rank 5th in total offense and passing offense, but struggles in the red zone (t-27th) has 41-year-old kicker John Kasay tied for the league lead with five field goals through two games. The Saints offense is still adjusting to life without wide receiver Marques Colston, who will miss a few more weeks with a broken collarbone. The Saints defense rebounded from poor performances in last year's post-season loss to the Seattle Seahawks and the season-opening loss to the Green Bay Packers to force sack quarterback Jay Cutler six times and force hold the Chicago Bears to just 2-of-12 on third-down conversion attempts last Sunday.
A similar defensive effort will be needed to stop the Texans, who despite the early season hamstring issues of Arian Foster, the league's reigning rushing yardage leader, have the league's fifth-ranked rushing attack. Led by 2010 second-round pick Ben Tate, who ranks third in the league with 219 yards through two weeks, the Texans have used their ground game to lead the NFL in time of possession, averaging over 35 minutes of possession in wins over the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins to start the season.