How To Bet Monday Night Football's Double-Header

Jay Pryce

Sunday, September 10, 2017 5:53 PM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 10, 2017 5:53 PM UTC

This year’s annual “Monday Night Football” doubleheader features the Saints and Vikings and Chargers and Broncos. Our best bets and previews here. 

Saints vs. Vikings (-3) Odds & Prediction

The Vikings are 3-6 SU and 4-5 ATS at home under head coach Mike Zimmer when squaring off against an opponent that put up more than 24 points per game the season before. The Saints averaged 29.3 last year, second most to the Atlanta Falcons (34.1). New Orleans, in fact, under quarterback Drew Brees, has not averaged fewer than 24 points per game in a season since 2007 (23.7). For what it’s worth, Minny is 13-3 SU and 14-2 ATS at home against teams averaging less than 24 points per game the season prior in this span.

The issue here is the Vikings’ deliberate offense. Lacking versatility and playmakers, it can’t keep up with most high-scoring teams. In the nine games referenced above, the unit averages 14.1 points per game. But most of these teams come in with better than average defenses, too. The Saints do not. Two of these three wins for the Vikings occurred in a trio of games where the opposing defense allowed more than 24 points the prior season, too. Only the 49ers (30.0) yielded more than New Orleans’ 28.4 per game in 2016. The difference here is Minny’s offense has an easier time controlling possession and the clock, which keeps dangerous units off the field. This is Zimmer’s modus operandi. Expect it to work out versus the Saints. Buy the half point down to -2.5 and back the Vikings against the spread.

Free NFL Pick: Vikings -2.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Chargers vs. Broncos (-3) Odds & Prediction

It’s no secret poor offense has plagued the Broncos for two seasons a row. After putting up 30-plus points per game in Peyton Manning’s prime, Denver averaged 22.2 in 2015 and 20.8 in 2016. New offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, former head coach for the Chargers (2013-2016), is looking to improve the unit. The offense is loaded with playmakers (Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Isaiah McKenzie and Jamaal Charles), but missing a seasoned NFL passer with Trevor Siemian winning the job over second-year pro Paxton Lynch. Still, expect McCoy to go to the air a lot. The Chargers threw on 60.8 percent of snaps under his leadership, 12th most in the league.

On paper, McCoy’s play calling, coupled with Philip Rivers’ passing attack, looks like it could sail over a 44 total. However, Denver’s defense is still elite and it is all too familiar with how the Chargers will line up. “From a scheme standpoint, that’s what we practice against,” Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods told reporters in preparation for the Monday night opener. The Chargers offense under Ken Whisenhunt is nearly identical to the Broncos, outside of more talent under center.

Familiarity for each defense should aid in stopping big plays. Moreover, Whisenhunt will likely feed the ball to running back Melvin Gordon as much as possible to attack Denver’s D-line. Many analysts consider the Broncos’ run defense its week spot, and the unit is paper-thin up front. Time will tick off the clock as San Diego attempts to establish the run.

The ‘under’ is 15-6-1 in Denver’s last 22 games versus opponents combining for more than 47 points per game. San Diego played to an average score of 52 points in 2016. Defense has an edge tonight. Lean ‘under’ 44 points. 

Free NFL Pick: Under 44Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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