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NFL Predictions: Saints vs. Chargers Betting Odds and Picks
by Trevor Whenham - 8/27/2010

San Diego Chargers running back Darren Sproles

For a preseason game there are a lot of storylines in this one. First, for the second time in two days we have a potential Super Bowl preview. The defending champs are the second choice overall in Super Bowl futures odds, and the Chargers are the second choice out of the AFC. More significant than that, though, this is just Drew Brees’ second chance to play against the team that unceremoniously dumped him. No matter what he says there is no way that Brees doesn’t get an extra spring in his step heading into this one. The last time the teams met Brees was brilliant – 30-of-41 for 339 yards and three touchdowns - as the Saints won and covered as a home underdog.

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The latest chapter of the Drew Brees Revenge Tour takes place on Friday, Aug. 27 at 8 pm ET in New Orleans. It’s a dome game, so weather won’t be a factor.

NFL Predictions: Quarterback Matchup

The biggest storyline here is obviously the two men under center - Brees and the man who replaced him. Beyond that drama we have a marquee matchup. Brees is unquestionably an elite quarterback - the king of the passers in the league right now. Rivers isn’t quite on the same level, but he’s certainly no slouch. As hard as it is to believe that a team chose to give up on Brees when they did, the Chargers really haven’t suffered too much from his absence thanks to Rivers.

Rivers hasn’t seen a lot of action so far in the preseason, and what he has seen has been mixed. In his first game against the Bears he threw just six passes, completing four for 62 yards and a TD. The Chargers won and covered. Against the Cowboys in the second game Rivers saw more action. His accuracy was as good as we have come to expect – 11-of-15 for 125 yards. He didn’t throw a TD, though, and he had an uncharacteristically brutal interception. He’ll see much more action than he has before in this game - at least a half and perhaps more.

Brees has approached this preseason like he is still celebrating last season. He has played little - just 23 passes in two games - and with only 91 passing yards and no TDs it’s obvious he hasn’t flipped the switch to enter into game mode. He’ll play more in this game, and he should be more motivated, but Brees knows as well as anyone that he doesn’t need to prove anything here, and that there are few questions about his ability to step up in September. Perhaps the more interesting story to watch in this game will be the play of backup Chase Daniel. The former Missouri star was brilliant in his last game and is really proving to be a worthy backup.

Saints vs. Chargers Betting Odds and Line Movement

The Saints are favored by three points - a standard line for a home team in the preseason - with the total set at 42.5. There hasn’t been any significant movement yet, but action is heavily tilted towards the Saints so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the line move off the key number of three. The total has climbed slightly since opening, and given the respect both of these offenses are held in it could continue to rise.

Saints vs. Chargers Betting Trends

Both teams are 1-1 ATS, but three of their four games have gone ‘over’.

Both teams have outscored their opponents by an average of more than 10 points per game in the preseason

The Chargers have an overall 4-1 lead in the preseason series between these teams

Saints vs. Chargers Injuries

Both teams are reasonably healthy. Shawne Merriman is questionable for the Chargers and Vincent Jackson is obviously out, but for the most part they are fine. The Saints will be without Marques Colston, and Darren Sharper is unlikely.

Saints vs. Chargers Picks and Predictions

It doesn’t feel very bold or original to take the defending Super Bowl champions, but I am going to do it here anyway. New Orleans has the advantage of playing at home, Brees should be reasonably motivated, their offense has generally been stronger in the preseason, and their backup QB play has been much better as well. New Orleans should have an edge, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the total handily exceed 42.5.

Jason Sharpe is gearing up for his first season releasing his expert football picks at Doc’s Sports, but in now way is he new to the game – he has been beating the Las Vegas bookies for years as a professional sports bettor in Sin City. He has become known by those bookies for his college football and NFL handicapping capabilities, and now he wants to share these with Doc’s Sports. He expects to beat the majority of NFL point spreads this season and he plans on dominating the college football betting landscape as well!


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