Monday, October 12, 2020, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, 8:15 p.m. ET
Chargers at Saints Betting Preview: Chargers (+8/-115), Saints (-8/-105)
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert has been a quick study, and the rookie is now officially the Chargers’ starting quarterback. The No. 6 overall pick from Oregon has fared well in place of injured Tyrod Taylor (ribs/lung) over the past three games, and coach Anthony Lynn formally promoted him to the starting gig on Thursday. Herbert has passed for 931 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions and has displayed a strong throwing arm to go with impressive poise.
There was going to be no way to push Herbert back to reserve status after he went toe-to-toe with Tom Brady and completed 20 of 25 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns during a 38-31 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4. Teaming up with star receiver Keenan Allen (32 receptions, 327 yards) will be more crucial after leading rusher Austin Ekeler (248 yards) was lost for at least a month with a hamstring injury. Running back Joshua Kelley (174 yards) will take over the starting role, but he is averaging 3.3 yards per carry and has lost two fumbles.
Star defensive end Joey Bosa is putting pressure on quarterbacks with three sacks. He sat out Thursday’s practice to rest triceps and knee injuries. The offensive line is ailing as five-time Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner (groin) could miss his third straight game and tackle Bryan Bulaga (back) could sit out for the second consecutive week.
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees said he is amazed that it has been 15 years since he wore a Chargers uniform as he prepares to plays his former franchise for the final time. The 41-year-old Brees considered retirement after last season, so it is unlikely he will be playing when the clubs next meet in 2024. Brees, who played with the Chargers from 2001-05, is still going strong, having passed for 1,006 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions this season.
The Brees-led offense is averaging 30.8 points despite largely operating without star receiver Michael Thomas, who caught an NFL-record 149 passes last season. Thomas sustained an ankle injury in Week 1 and has missed the past three games. He could sit out again but was a limited practice participant on Thursday. Running back Alvin Kamara is thriving with 236 yards and four touchdowns on the ground while also catching 30 passes for 321 yards and three scores.
Defensive end Trey Hendrickson has a team-best three sacks for a defense that has often struggled while allowing 30.8 points per game. Cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins (shoulder) and Justin Hardee (hamstring) missed Thursday’s practice while a third corner, Marshon Lattimore (hamstring), was limited.
Chargers at Saints Betting Pick for Week 5
The Saints are just 2-2, with the triumphs including a 35-29 road decision over the Detroit Lions last Sunday. The offensive is highly productive while the defense has many leaks.
Herbert has fared well, but this will mark his first time on the Monday night stage. How he manages the moment will determine whether the Chargers can hang with the Saints.
Chargers at Saints Betting Pick:
Saints 37, Chargers 27
Chargers at Saints Best Bet for Week 5
New Orleans has scored 30 or more points in three of four games, but its defense has allowed 29 or more points in three of four games. The Chargers scored 31 in last week’s loss to the Buccaneers, so this one definitely looks like a high-scoring affair.
Chargers at Saints Best Bet: OVER 50.5 total points (-110)
–Field Level Media