The NFL’s Best Team Covering the Spread Away from Home

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It’s not a secret to say the New Orleans Saints currently feature one of the best offenses in the NFL. Anchored by a future Hall of Famer in Drew Brees, a star wideout in Michael Thomas and a versatile, prolific running back in Alvin Kamara, New Orleans have consistently been one of the top offensive forces in the NFL. Such was the case once again in 2019.

However, one area where the Saints have surprised pundits and experts lies in their ability to consistently score points on the road and remain alive in shootouts when playing outside of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. In fact, the Saints have consistently defied the odds and ranked as not only one of the best NFL picks against the spread but statistically speaking the best away team to cover the spread. 

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Sean Payton’s team went 7-1-0 against the spread (ATS) playing away from home in 2019, making them a strong play for sustained offense and highlighting their ability to remain alive in close contests regardless of what the odds were indicating. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, though. The Saints ranked as the fifth-best offense in the league, scoring 28.1 points per game on route to a 13-3 record. That was tied for first in the NFC last season.

Their offense was expected to stutter a bit on the road, but such wasn’t the case — the Saints averaged 28.9 points per road fixture in the league, good for fourth-best in the entire NFL. In other words, they scored more points away than at home. That is quite difficult to accomplish if your home stadium is a dome.

This tendency of covering point spreads away from home is nothing new for the Saints. They went 6-2-0 in 2018, 4-4-0 in 2017, 6-1-1 in 2016 and 4-4-0 in 2015. They have never been worse than 50 percent in any of their last five seasons, giving them a 67.5 percent rate of success in this category over that five-year span.

The Saints will feature the same core pieces in their offense in 2020, so it’s safe to expect them to be a consensus pick either home or away for next season. 

 

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