New Orleans Saints at Oakland Raiders
Sunday, 8/28/11, 8:00 PM EST, NBC
Opening Point Spread: New Orleans -4
Current Betting Line: New Orleans -4
Opening Total: 37
Current Total: 38
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
New Orleans spent the entire week in Oxnard, California, to prepare for Sunday night’s contest against the Oakland Raiders, as the team looks to bounce back from a 27-14 loss to the Houston Texans. The Saints first-team offense was pleased in generating 149 yards and collecting 10 first downs in its limited amount of action, but managed to score just seven points. “I’ll have to watch the film, but just by the way I felt, it felt like we moved the ball well,” said Saints quarterback Drew Brees. “It felt like we mixed the run and pass effectively and spread it around to a lot of guys.” The running back trio of Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas combined for 16 carries for 82 yards in the contest. New Orleans is 27-12 ATS on the road during preseason action.
The Saints last preseason meeting against the Raiders was a laugher, as New Orleans posted a 45-7 win on Aug. 29, 2009, setting an exhibition record for the franchise in points and margin of victory. Overall, the teams have met four times in the preseason, with the series split 2-2 overall. The coaching staff has placed an emphasis on the defensive side of the ball leading up to this Week 3 contest, after giving up 323 yards and 24 points in the first half last week. “There’s no way to sugarcoat a game like that,” head coach Sean Payton stated. “They whipped us.”
Oakland has been handed defeats in both contests to open up the 2011 preseason, dropping a 24-18 home game to the Arizona Cardinals followed by a 17-3 road loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The Raiders and their coaching staff are looking to shake off the opening weeks and focus on Sunday’s dress rehearsal for the regular season. “I think the team has to get ready,” said Raiders first-year head coach Hue Jackson. “A lot of teams don’t play their starters very much. I think we haven’t played a ton of plays and to get ready for a big Monday night game in Denver, I need to make sure that this team is battle tested and ready.” Oakland is 3-3 ATS as an underdog during preseason action the last two-plus campaigns.
The Raiders made a big splash during this week’s supplemental draft by selecting former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the third round. Most of the conversation around him suggests that he could see action in Oakland’s preseason finale Sept. 2 at Seattle. Jason Campbell is currently entrenched as the team’s starter and Jackson is watching the battle behind him closely. Kyle Boller and Trent Edwards are both vying for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart and neither has moved above the other.
Bettors will likely back the Saints due to their 7-3 ATS mark during the preseason, while the Raiders are 1-7 ATS as home underdogs during exhibition play.
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