On its surface, this game appears to be another underwhelming matchup between two uninteresting teams in a prime-time spot. The New Orleans Saints travel to the desert to take on the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football in a game that may decide the direction both of these teams are headed this season. Both enter the game with a 2-4 record. The Cardinals get superstar receiver DeAndre Hopkins back in the lineup after serving his six-game suspension. On a positive note, the DeAndre Hopkins addition makes this game instantly more appealing than the games we have suffered through the last two weeks on Thursday night.
The Cardinals have moved to 3-point favorites after the Saints announced multiple starters will be out due to injury on a short week. The Saints have been one of the most banged up teams this season and heading on the road without Marshon Lattimore, Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, Andrus Peat, and Adam Trautman will make this a tough spot. Injuries are never ideal but what they do help with is some value spots in the player prop market which we will get into below.
The Saints’ starting tight end position has been a battle between Juwan Johnson and Adam Trautman. With Trautman out tonight due to injury, Johnson is in a fantastic spot here to surpass his yardage prop. He’s a guy I have monitored for years and I think if he can get consistent run with the starting offense, he can be a difference maker in the league. Andy Dalton also gets another start under center and I am completely fine with that.
Dalton won’t do anything special but in his three games as starter this season, Johnson has surpassed 26.5 receiving in two of them. With Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry out, the tight end position becomes that much more important to this Saints offense and I do think we will see Dalton target Johnson six-plus times tonight. Tight end props are bets I like to target when the opposing defense is below average in defending the position. The Cardinals are not only below average, they are the worst. Through six games, this Cardinals’ defense has given up a league leading 504 yards to opposing tight ends. An 84 yards per game average is noteworthy, especially when we are getting Johnson at 26.5. When taking into account the Saints’ injury concerns and the Cardinals’ inability to defend the position, it leads us to one thing: Juwan Johnson over 26.5 receiving yards.
Juwan Johnson over 26.5 receiving yards (-116) 1u Bet365
I am staying on the Saints side of things and pivoting to kicker Wil Lutz, who I like to round into form despite a slow start to the season. Last week, Lutz went 4/4 on field goal attempts and 2/2 on extra point tries. I think Lutz is in position to benefit from Dalton and the current state of the Saints offense. Lutz will have the benefit an indoor stadium and an offense who may be able to move the ball but be unable to finish drives without their top pass catching options available.
Kicker props have been kind to us this season and I know they may not be the prettiest, but neither are these Thursday games. This is one of the most valuable spots in this game and, like the Johnson prop, I think this game script could be the perfect storm for Lutz to surpass this number.
Will Lutz Over 1.5 made field goals (-105) 1u BetMGM