The Las Vegas Raiders Week 8 matchup with the New Orleans Saints is extremely intriguing. Both teams have underperformed based on expectations entering the season. The Raiders are 2-4 and near the bottom of the AFC West. Whereas, the Saints are 2-5, yet somehow only a game out of first place in the NFC South.

Despite the poor overall record, things are actually looking up for the Raiders. They have won two straight after starting 0-4. They should have beaten the Arizona Cardinals if not for an insane, 16-point comeback by Kyler Murray. Las Vegas also easily could have beaten the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium a few weeks ago. They built a 17-0 lead, only to watch Patrick Mahomes lead his team back for a 30-29 victory. But there is little doubt that the Raiders are very talented.

The Saints, on the other hand, are going in the opposite direction. They have lost five of their last six games and probably should have lost their season opener to the Atlanta Falcons also. New Orleans has been crushed by injuries, particularly on offense. The status of Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry are big question marks heading into this game.

So, let’s get to our Raiders Week 8 predictions for their game against the Saints.

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4. Saints QB Andy Dalton has big day vs. Raiders secondary

Saints head coach Dennis Allen announced this week that they are sticking with Andy Dalton as their quarterback. He called it an “offensive decision,” according to Saints reporter Nick Underhill. That is basically saying that Jameis Winston has been replaced as the starting quarterback. He is healthy enough to start, but they are going with Dalton anyway.

Last week, Dalton threw back to back interceptions returned for touchdowns. So, the decision is a bit of a surprise. However, one of those wasn’t really on him. He finished throwing for 361 yards and four touchdowns.

I expect him to take advantage of a Raiders secondary that is among the worst in the league and have another big game.

Chris Olave is having an outstanding rookie season. Alvin Kamara has got back to being an integral part of the passing game. Both Thomas and Landry are questionable to play. But even if they are out, it’s nothing new as we haven’t seen either of them in over a month.

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The Raiders are dead last in takeaways this year. They have a total of four takeaways in their six games. So, they have not shown to be a defense that can take advantage of mistakes the way the Arizona Cardinals defense did last week.

3. Raiders RB Josh Jacobs continues his tear

A lot of people were down on Josh Jacobs entering the season. There was talk that the Raiders might be shopping their tailback prior to the season kicking off. But all Jacobs has done is prove the haters wrong.

Jacobs is third in the NFL with 633 yards and tied for second with six rushing touchdowns. He had a massive three-touchdown game last week against the Houston Texans. Now I get it, the Saints defense is not the Texans defense. Houston is giving up 164 yards per game on the ground, worst in the NFL. But the once-stout Saints rush defense has been subpar this year.

They are allowing 123.4 rush yards per game, 23rd in the NFL. Teams have run the ball well on New Orleans and the Raiders are running it as well as anyone lately. The Raiders declined Jacobs’ 5th year option, meaning he will be a free agent this offseason. He has every incentive to keep balling out.

2. Raiders defense struggles to stop Alvin Kamara

Saints Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara struggled the first couple games to get going. But over the last three weeks, Kamara has got it going. He has rushed for 251 yards. But, it’s been his presence in the passing game that has him looking like the Kamara of old.

Over that same three-game span, the former All-Pro tailback has caught 19 passes for 172 yards. That’s not by accident either. Those happen to be the games started by Dalton in place of Winston. The Raiders have struggled to stop running backs out of the backfield this year. That should continue this game, with Kamara putting up 130+ yards from scrimmage.

1. Saints-Raiders play most exciting game of the week

Neither defense instills much confidence in their fan base these days. However, they both have offenses that can move the ball and score a lot of points. Look for this game to sail past the over of 49.5 points, per FanDuel in what should be the most exciting game of the week.