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NFL Picks + NFL Odds: Monday Night Football | Saints vs. Chargers
Joshua Kelley Under 49.5 Rushing Yards: -112 (DraftKings, as of 11:30 a.m.)
Normally I would say we close out Week 5 of the NFL, but with the rare Tuesday Night game tomorrow this isn’t the finale. We still have a big time Monday Night Football game to breakdown between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New Orleans Saints. Vegas has the Saints as a touchdown favorite at home in this one and both teams really could use this win. The Chargers made it official that Justin Herbert will be their guy going forward, as he became tough to take off the field after being thrown into the fire.
In the prop world we have a ton of options to choose from, but I am going to the Chargers with one of their running backs in Joshua Kelley. We know that Austin Ekeler is going to be sidelined for some time, so it is now on Kelley and Justin Jackson to lead their backfield. From early-season data, it looks like Kelley will get first crack, but I think this will be a time share with Kelley getting slightly more, especially on the ground. The rushing yards prop sits at 49.5 yards for Kelley, and although he is the lead back, I am going under in this spot.
The Saints have a strong front which currently is third in the league in rushing yards allowed per attempt. They also are a favorite, so the Chargers could easily be abandoning the run late in this game if they are playing from behind. In the last game Kelley did absolutely nothing against Tampa’s strong front rushing for 7 yards on nine carries, and that was a game where Ekeler only had two carries before being injured. Of the 23 rushes the Chargers had last week, Herbert took five and Jackson took six, which could impact the volume Kelley sees in this spot.
I expect a similar breakdown of carries here, and against a strong front, I think Kelley will need double-digit rushes to push over this prop. This prop is lined -112 on either side, which I am comfortable backing, as I believe the under 49.5 should be favorite in this spot. With all the unknowns and the tough matchup, I will short this running game and hope the Saints get out in front and force the Chargers to pass.