Saints vs. Chargers odds: 2018 NFL preseason Week 3 picks from expert who's 14-7 on New Orleans games

Drew Brees will make his 2018 debut Saturday when the Saints visit the Chargers at 8 p.m. ET in each team's third preseason game. Reports indicate the 39-year-old Brees hasn't lost anything in terms of velocity or accuracy, and now he'll try to build chemistry with new weapons like receiver Cameron Meredith. The Chargers' first-team offense looked sharp in last week's 24-14 win over Seattle. Both New Orleans and L.A. enter 1-1. Sportsbooks list the game as a pick'em, with the over-under for total points scored set at 42.5, down one from the opener.

Before you lock in any Saints vs. Chargers picks, listen to SportsLine expert Larry Hartstein. The veteran analyst has his finger on the Saints' pulse: Over his last 21 picks involving New Orleans, Hartstein has nailed 14 -- a 67 percent cash rate. Now, he has analyzed every angle for Saints-Chargers and released a strong pointspread pick, which he's sharing over at SportsLine. 

Hartstein knows Brees plays behind a stout O-line and has enviable weapons at his disposal, including wideout Michael Thomas and running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. The Saints, who went 11-5 last year and believe they're on the verge of a championship, have covered 14 of their last 19 road games. 

But if Brees doesn't play much, the advantage has to go to the Chargers, who are getting solid play from starting QB Philip Rivers and backup Geno Smith (20-of-31 for 303 yards, 2 TDs, INT in preseason). L.A. could have the NFL's top pass rush, with Melvin Ingram already flashing mid-season form. The Chargers finished 9-7 after an 0-4 start last season and expectations are sky high.

We can tell you Hartstein is leaning under, but he has isolated an X-factor that he says determines the outcome. He's only sharing it over at SportsLine. 

Who wins Saints-Chargers? And what critical X-factor determines the outcome? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on Saturday, all from a seasoned expert who's 14-7 on Saints' games.

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