saints seahawks props
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG DUDEK

Not only do the Seattle Seahawks have to find a way to bounce back from an overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, but they will have to do so once again without Russell Wilson against a New Orleans Saints team entering off a bye. Despite Wilson’s absence, this Week 7 NFC matchup has no shortage of difference-making offensive players.

Let’s take a look at this NFL Week 7 Monday Night Football matchup with our best Saints vs. Seahawks player props picks.

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Saints vs. Seahawks Player Props

Jameis Winston Under 201.5 Passing Yards

This is surely a dangerously low number in today’s NFL, but Jameis Winston and the Saints are having a tremendous passing problem this season and we don’t believe the bye week is going to fix it. Through five games, New Orleans has the second fewest passing yards per game, both overall (169.4) and on the road (153.0), ahead of only Chicago.

They also attempt the fewest passes per game in the league, averaging just 24 attempts per game overall and 23.5 attempts per game away from home. You might think that a team being that selective with its passing game would be completing a high percentage of its passes, but you would be wrong. The Saints have the league’s fourth lowest completion percentage overall (60.8%), one that dips to 57.5% on the road, the league’s second worst mark.

As such, Winston only just had his first game with 30 pass attempts for the first time in Week 5 before the team’s bye and has yet to top 17 completions this season. He has topped this prop’s yardage total just twice thus far and did so against the league’s worst and 11th worst pass defenses.

Seattle is certainly no elite pass stopping group, but they showed progress last Sunday night when they held Ben Roethlisberger to just 221 yards through the air in regulation, a number that would land them 10th in the NFL this season amongst team averages.

The Seahawks have also seen opponents pass the ball against them at the ninth lowest rate in the league, throwing it just 56.1% of the time, which aligns with what New Orleans wants to do offensively at this point.

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Being on the road with a quarterback who has been largely boom or bust throughout his career, expect Payton to engineer a game plan that centers around Alvin Kamara, keeping Winston out of potential trouble.Off a bye, we believe Sean Payton will be preaching a clean game here for his Saints. They surely saw how Geno Smith’s two critical giveaways cost Seattle the win in each of their last two outings.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you, consider the injury situation at wideout for New Orleans. Michael Thomas is still out. Deonte Harris, the team’s leading receiver and recipient of the team’s only two touchdown catches over 50 yards this season, will also miss this one. Tre’quan Smith could return, but he has not played a snap this season and has zero rapport with Winston at this juncture.

There just isn’t the passing options outside the numbers to carve into this pick’s total enough, especially given the troubles this team has had moving the ball through the air all season.

Alvin Kamara Over 30.5 Receiving Yards

While we don’t think Winston is set for a big game through the air, we are confident that a hefty portion of what he accomplishes with his arm is destined to go through Kamara. With all of the injuries at wide receiver for the Saints, and with the absence of Taysom Hill, you have to expect Kamara will be the main focus of this offense tonight.

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Kamara is a true three-down back, with 75 more rushes and 291 more yards on the ground than any other New Orleans running back through five games. He also leads the team in targets (22) and receptions (15) and is third on the team in receiving yards, adding three touchdowns in the passing game, which is also tied for the most on the team.

Kamara has only surpassed this prop’s yardage total once this season, but that was in the team’s last game. He was targeted eight times, a season-high, and caught a season-best five balls for 51 yards.

That included one touchdown reception and his longest catch of 2021 (20 yards). With the team scoring its most points since Week 1, why would Kamara see any less work here, entering fresh out of the bye?

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Seattle should be the perfect opponent for Kamara to victimize in the passing game. The Seahawks have allowed six running backs to top this receiving yardage total already this season with none being quite the threat Kamara is in the passing game.

In fact, five different backs have already caught at least six passes against Seattle this year. Kamara has never averaged less than 6.6 yards per catch in his career and is earning 7.5 yards per reception thus far in 2021. So, if he catches even five balls in this one, he should sail over the total needed, despite the paltry numbers we expect through the air from his quarterback.

Juwan Johnson Anytime Touchdown Scorer

As mentioned, the Saints are a bit thin on receiving options for Jameis Winston in this one, but someone has to put up points for this team that is favored by four points on the road. Juwan Johnson returns quality value here and could certainly be that guy to cross the goal line.

Johnson exploded onto the scene in Week 1, scoring twice, but has cooled a bit since, catching just one touchdown over his last four games. However, with this passing offense struggling as it has, that doesn’t necessarily make him personally irrelevant. After all, his three receiving scores still leaves him tied for the most on the team and he leads all New Orleans tight ends in targets, receptions, and yards.

All three of Johnson’s touchdowns were scored in the red zone. With Seattle sure to send lots of bodies Alvin Kamara’s way when New Orleans is threatening, Johnson makes a very viable receiving option, especially given the team’s banged up wide receiver group.

Making Johnson an even more desirable pick here is the fact that Seattle has not allowed a receiving touchdown by a running back all season and has suddenly clamped down on wide receivers around the end zone.

The Hawks have not allowed a score by a wide receiver in either of their last two games, despite facing the talent-laden Rams and Steelers. However, tight ends have been consistently scoring against Seattle. A tight end has reached the end zone in four straight games against the Seahawks and we think Johnson could make the fifth.

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