Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
New Orleans -3 over Tennessee
1:00 PM EST. The new-look Saints have a new franchise quarterback in Derek Carr, who comes over from Vegas in what was the biggest QB shakeup of the offseason. Yes, we acknowledge that the pieces that began that move began last season when Carr was unceremoniously cut from the Raiders before the end of the season, but there might not have been a better landing spot for the veteran pivot, who takes over the 16th best passing offense in the NFL last season. Another new face joining him on that 19th-ranked offense from last year is running back Jamaal Williams, who might be the best “guy” in the NFL to have on your team. If you’ve seen or heard Williams in interviews, he has all the vibes one would want in their locker room. Just ask the Lions, who Williams played for and led the league in rushing touchdowns in 2023.
It feels like the Titans are at a crossroads that leaves them between a rock and a hard place when it comes to ascending up the NFL ladder. First, they are led by a veteran pivot, whose best days are behind him in Ryan Tannehill, who they have tried to draft a replacement for in the last two NFL drafts. Last season it was Malik Willis, and this year it was Will Levis, who they took at #33 overall. Neither of the young pivots is expected to challenge Tannehill this season, but you know what they say about the best-laid plans.
That brings us to the elephant in the room, which is running back Derrick Henry, who, while still a force, is going to be chasing his incredible 2021 season until he no longer laces up his cleats. Henry has averaged 1,420 yards as a starter in Tennessee, but he is no longer expected to carry the entire load, as third-round pick Tyjae Spears, who played his college ball at Tulane, is on the depth chart to provide a change of pace for the Titans. Despite the young blood coming up in Tennessee, it is not expected that the game plan will change much, as stated by Saints head coach Dennis Allen, "I don't think there's any question that this team runs a lot of their offense through the running game, particularly Derrick Henry. Obviously, with Tyjae Spears being there now, they've got a couple of different runners that they can utilize. They have home-run hitters running the ball.” Coach, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves, and it sounds like you’ve got this under control.
With so much change in New Orleans, specifically at the league’s most important position, we can understand the hesitancy to lay better than a field goal with New Orleans, but that is precisely the point. Rarely is anything that is worth doing easy, and that includes not biting on the “hook” on a “key number” like three. In what LOOKS like a 50/50 proposition, that hook on a field goal is going to look mighty tempting; however, we must warn that it would be prudent to proceed with caution in that regard. Recommendation: New Orleans -3½
New Orleans -3 +107 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.14)