The game with the highest total on the Week 1 NFL odds menu may be the most likely game to go over the total.
There should be plenty of fireworks when the Washington Redskins and the New Orleans Saints meet at the Superdome this Sunday. New Orleans was favored by 8.5 points early Friday, according to the consensus spread at OddsShark.com, but the total of 50.5 is the wager many Vegas fans are flocking to.
"The arrival of RG3 and the fact New Orleans continues to have a frightening offense has pushed OVER betting even higher this week," said Jack Randall, a handicapping analyst at OddsShark.com. "So the current handicapping points OVER and the head-to-head battle historically has also trended OVER the total."
Indeed, these teams have met seven times since 1992 with OVER bettors profiting six times. Only the 16-10 Redskins win in 2006 went UNDER the Vegas number, according to the NFL database at OddsShark.com.
But one contrarian trend has the Redskins 7-2 favoring the UNDER in their past nine season openers.
No other Week 1 total is currently higher than 47 on the NFL odds menu.
Mired in a headline-grabbing offseason scandal, the New Orleans Saints will take the field Sunday without a few familiar faces on the sideline. Head coach Sean Payton has been suspended for the entire season, and defensive leader LB Jonathan Vilma will also miss most (or all) of the season due to suspension.
Offensively, however, this should be the same lethal unit, led by elite quarterback Drew Brees. New Orleans went 13-3 straight up and 12-4 against the spread last season, finishing the regular season with eight straight wins both SU and ATS.
The Washington Redskins were an afterthought last year, finishing 5-11 straight up and 6-9-1 ATS in the brutal NFC East. But they made some noise this offseason by trading up in the draft to be in position to draft sensational Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.
Like Cam Newton, RG3 can beat you with his arms and legs; and Washington is hoping for immediate success similar to what Newton enjoyed last year.
So with one of the most explosive offenses in football in New Orleans going up against a player that promises to be a dynamic game-breaker (facing a defense weakened by suspensions), will this game light up the scoreboard as advertised?
As tempting as it is to take Washington and the points, New Orleans is a tried and true winner both straight up and ATS, especially at home.
After being media fodder for the last few months, the Saints may be ready to make some headlines of their own on the football field. Drew Brees should be able to put up his points on offense, and if Griffin III makes a few rookie mistakes in this hostile environment, the Saints should walk away with the cover.
Saints-Redskins Pick: New Orleans -8.5 (courtesy of PickShark.com).