Monday Night Football odds: Saints vs. Texans picks, top predictions from expert who's 22-11 on New Orleans games

Laremy Tunsil makes his debut as the Texans' new left tackle when Houston faces the New Orleans Saints in the first game of a Monday Night Football doubleheader. Kickoff from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans is at 7:10 p.m. ET. Tunsil, who was acquired via trade along with receiver Kenny Stills from the Miami Dolphins nine days ago, fills a void for the Texans, who have not had a quality left tackle for the last two seasons. Over that time, Houston allowed 116 sacks, the most in the NFL and 12 more than the next closest team. New Orleans is a 6.5-point favorite in the latest Saints vs. Texans odds, down from an open of seven, while the over-under for total points scored has steadily declined from an open of 54 and now stands at 52. Before you make any Saints vs. Texans picks and NFL predictions, you have to see what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein has to say.

A former lead writer for Covers and The Linemakers, Hartstein combines a vast network of Vegas sources with an analytical approach he honed while working for Pro Football Focus. In the past four years, he's gone 200-169 on NFL picks, including 61-47 last season. In addition, Hartstein is 22-11 in his last 33 picks involving the Saints. Anyone who has followed him is way up. Now, he's dialed in on Saints vs. Texans in the first half of a Monday Night Football doubleheader.

Hartstein knows that Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport is in line for a breakthrough season. The 14th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Davenport had four sacks in his first seven games last season before suffering a significant toe injury. Now healthy, he gives the Saints a high-ceiling edge rusher opposite Cameron Jordan. Davenport and Jordan make for a formidable pass-rushing duo, even against an improved Texans offensive line. 

Hartstein also knows that the Saints are tough at the Superdome. Over their last 18 home games, which includes the postseason, they are 15-3 straight-up and have outscored teams by an average of 8.5 points. New Orleans was also 10-8 against the spread last season.

Even so, New Orleans isn't guaranteed to cover the Saints vs. Texans spread on Monday Night Football.

Houston has one of the top duos in quarterback Deshaun Watson and receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Last season, Watson completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns against just nine interceptions despite being constantly under pressure and sacked a league-high 62 times. With Tunsil protecting his blind side, Watson can put up even better numbers in his third NFL season.

Meanwhile, Hopkins can make the argument that he's the best receiver in the league. Over the last two seasons, he has caught 211 passes (second best in the NFL) for 2,950 yards (second) and 24 touchdowns (tied for first).

We can tell you that Hartstein is leaning over, but he's found a critical x-factor that makes one side of the spread hit hard on Monday. He's sharing what it is, and which side to back, only at SportsLine.

So who wins Texans vs. Saints on Monday Night Football? And which critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Texans vs. Saints spread to jump on, all from the expert who is 22-11 in his last 33 picks involving New Orleans.

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