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MNF props predictions: Saints’ Kamara should pile up rushing yards

Bet on New Orleans’ versatile playmaker to become the latest RB to have a strong game vs. Ravens

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara breaks free on a long run against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 8. Kamara is projected for 63.5 rushing yards against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara breaks free on a long run against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 8. Kamara is projected for 63.5 rushing yards against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)Read moreSean Gardner / Getty Images

Oddsmakers expect a relatively high-scoring Monday Night Football game in New Orleans, where the Ravens vs. Saints total is hovering in the mid-40s.

However, the Monday Night Football props market tells somewhat of a different story.

Both quarterbacks — Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson and New Orleans’ Andy Dalton — are projected to throw for fewer than 235 yards at BetMGM. Also, only one wide receiver has a yardage prop higher than 42 yards, and no running backs have a yardage total north of 64.

What do we forecast for this battle in the Big Easy? A bit more offense than the Ravens vs. Saints props market suggests. Here is our four pack of Monday Night Football props predictions.

Odds updated as of 12:05 p.m. ET on Nov. 7.

Ravens vs. Saints prop: Alvin Kamara total rushing yards

  1. Odds: 63.5 yards, Over -110/Under -120 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Over

Kamara has the highest rushing total on the Week 9 Monday Night Football odds board, a couple ticks more than Baltimore’s Jackson.

It may seem a bit lofty, given that the Saints’ multipurpose tailback has eclipsed 62 rushing yards in just two of the six games he’s played (he had 103 and 99 in back-to-back games against the Seahawks in Week 5 and Bengals in Week 6. Also, Baltimore fields the NFL’s third-best rush defense, yielding 97.5 yards per game on the ground.

So why bet the Over? For one thing, Kamara is 5 total rushing yards away from having topped this prop number in four of his last five games (he had 62 in last week’s shutout of the Raiders and 61 in Week 3 at Carolina).

Also, New Orleans is banged up at wide receiver, with Michael Thomas (toe) done for the season and Jarvis Landry (back) questionable. That should mean more touches for Kamara, in both the running and passing games.

As for the Ravens’ stout run defense, it’s solid but not exactly spectacular. Sure, the Ravens held the Buccaneers to 44 rushing yards last week, but Tampa has the worst rushing offense in the NFL.

In its five previous games, Baltimore surrendered 70 or more rushing yards to four running backs (New England’s Rhamondre Stevenson, Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon, Cleveland’s Nick Chubb and the New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley) and one quarterback (Buffalo’s Josh Allen).

Expect Kamara to at least match what that quintet did against the Ravens. Bet Over 63.5 rushing yards at BetMGM.

Ravens vs. Saints prop: Devin Duvernay total receptions

  1. Odds: 3.5 receptions, Over -125/Under -105 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Over

We wouldn’t touch this prop — unless it was to play the Under — if not for one key fact: Jackson has virtually nobody else to throw to Monday night.

As we noted in our Ravens vs. Saints betting preview, Baltimore is down three of its top five receivers (both in terms of receptions and receiving yards). Among those on the sidelines: tight end Mark Andrews, Jackson’s security blanket who has nearly twice as many catches (42) as the team’s second-leading receiver (Duvernay, who has 24).

So even though Duvernay has hauled in more than three balls in only half of his eight games — and caught more than four just once — we expect him to see the majority of Jackson’s targets Monday.

Now, you could argue that the Saints’ defense is well aware that Duvernay might be the only legitimate wideout on the field for the Ravens and will defend him accordingly. Probably. But New Orleans will be playing with a backup cornerback on one side of the field, as starter Marshon Lattimore (abdominal injury) won’t suit up.

Lattimore, who is a four-time Pro Bowler, is a huge reason why the Saints rank fifth in the league in total completions allowed. Without him on the field the last three weeks, though, nine different receivers/running backs have caught at least four passes.

» READ MORE: Eagles are biggest favorite in early lines for NFL’s Week 10

Ravens vs. Saints prop: Justin Tucker made field goals

  1. Odds: 1.5 field goals, Over -145/Under +110 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Over

You better believe we’re going back to Old Reliable.

Last week, we only went 2-for-4 with our Ravens vs. Bucs props selections, but one of the winners was Tucker Over 1.5 field goals.

Sure, he made us sweat. He had a 61-yard attempt blocked right before halftime and didn’t split the uprights for a second time until barely two minutes remained in the game. But the best kicker in NFL history got us there, and we expect him to do so again in the climate-controlled Superdome.

Why so confident? Oh, the simple fact that Tucker has made at least two field goals in five straight games, booting a total of 13 during this stretch.

No need to overthink this one. As long as Tucker gets at least two attempts from reasonable distance, this prop is a near-lock to cash.

Ravens vs. Saints prop: Total points scored in the first quarter

  1. Odds: 9.5 points, Over -110/Under -110 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Over

Let’s start with the basics: Baltimore has trailed 10-3 after the first quarter in each of its last two games (both of which the Ravens rallied to win). Those 20 points surrendered by the Ravens’ defense really stick out when you realize that same defense had yielded a toal of three points in the first quarter in the team’s first six contests.

Meanwhile, the Saints have seen double-digit points scored in three of their last four games, the lone exception being last week when they led the Raiders 7-0 after 15 minutes. That was just the second time this season, though, that New Orleans’ defense held an opponent off the scoreboard after one stanza.

In fact, the Saints allowed 34 first-quarter points in five games prior to facing Las Vegas. That explains why New Orleans ranks tied for 25th in first-quarter points allowed.

While we don’t envision this being a high-flying, four-quarters shootout, we do believe both offenses will move the ball early on — especially with the top cornerbacks for each squad hurting. (While Lattimore has been ruled out, Baltimore’s Marcus Peters is questionable.)

Play Over 9.5 first-quarter points at BetMGM.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

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