The New Orleans Saints are fresh from back-to-back losses and are looking to return to their winning ways. They enter Week 8 as underdogs against a team riding high after winning in Week 7. The Saints host the Las Vegas Raiders at the Caesars Superdome in Week 8 of the 2022 NFL season. Here are our New Orleans Saints Week 8 predictions as they take on the Raiders.

The Saints are looking for a win after losing five of their past six games. Despite totaling 494 yards in a 42-34 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans’ effort was undone by QB Andy Dalton’s three interceptions, two of which were returned for scores.

Meanwhile, the Raiders returned from their bye week with a 38-20 victory over the Houston Texans. However, it remains to be seen whether they can build on that success.

With all these in mind, here are our four bold predictions for the New Orleans Saints in their Week 8 game against the Raiders.

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4. Chris Olave goes 90+ yards

When rookie WR Chris Olave has been active, he has been a mega-producer. He is also possibly the finest rookie wide receiver in the NFL this season. In his total games played, he has a target share of 27.4 percent and 42.6 percent of the team’s air yards. In those weeks, he has had a 77.9 PFF receiving rating and a figure of 2.38 yards per route ran.

This season, those would rank 15th and 11th among wide receivers, respectively. Olave even leads the NFL in long targets, but he’ll go up against a pass defense that ranks 26th in DVOA versus deep throwing. Despite that, we believe Olave is up for a big game here, especially with Michael Thomas still likely out. Put Olave up for 90+ yards and one touchdown.

3. Andy Dalton

According to coach Dennis Allen, QB Jameis Winston is in good health. However, he has designated veteran Andy Dalton as the team’s starter. Yes, that’s despite those three INTs in their last game.

Allen also said that they will continue to be behind Dalton provided they continue to play well and move the ball offensively. No matter who begins for New Orleans, though, they don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. Leaning on the ground game will help this club a lot while also taking care of the football. And then if they do want to go airborne, the aforementioned Olave is their best bet.

Having said that, Dalton does appear to be the Saints’ starting quarterback for Week 8. Interestingly, he’s playing better than most people realize. He ranks second in PFF passing grade, sixteenth in yards per attempt, seventeenth in adjusted completion rate, and thirteenth in big-time throw rate so far this season. Despite his three picks, he also blasted for 361 yards and four touchdowns last week. We cannot really fault coach Allen for picking Dalton right now. He’s not perfect, but he’s solid enough. He should go over 230+ yards here plus one touchdown.

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2. The Alvin Kamara effect

Saints star RB Alvin Kamara has played at least 69 percent of the weekly snaps since his return in Week 5. He has also averaged 24 touches and 141 total yards. In the previous three games, he’s ranked 26th in yards after contact per attempt, seventh in ten-yard runs, and 25th in PFF’s elusive rating. It sure seems like the injuries are thankfully behind him.

The good news is that he’s had four red zone looks in two of his past three games, so his usage appears to be increasing. The Raiders have been a difficult club to run against, though. They rank in the top 10 in rushing yards allowed per game. They are also ranked seventh in adjusted line yards allowed and tenth in open field yards allowed.

Needless to say, this will be a challenge even for Kamara. Still, he can also inflict damage via the air if the Saints don’t wait until the fourth quarter to get him engaged in the passing game. Remember that Kamara has the third most target share (20.2 percent) and the sixth highest yards per route ran. We have no problems seeing Kamara go over 100+ yards from scrimmage in this game.

1. Pumped-up Saints falter at home

You’ve probably heard about Alvin Kamara’s emotional locker room address following the Cardinals defeat. Essentially, it was about the squad not playing their brand of football and emphasizing the importance of accountability all around.

We’ll see how well the message was received this week. The Saints feel they can still turn things around. The defense will be up for a challenge in this one, though, as they face Derek Carr and a red-hot Josh Jacobs on the ground.

Speaking of the Raiders, they have fallen short of expectations this season. However, things look to be slowly improving. They’ve won two of their previous three games, both by scoring 32 points or more. In fact, Las Vegas has averaged 33 points in its previous three games, which is equal to the best average in that span with New Orleans.

The significant difference here is that the Saints have also given up an NFL-worst 34.7 points per game in their previous three contests. They are regularly giving the ball to their opponents and have the most turnovers in the league (16).

Despite having the fewest takeaways in the NFL, the Raiders will have chances to get the ball back from the Saints numerous times here. In that sense, it almost doesn’t matter whether Andy Dalton or Jameis Winston is at quarterback for the Saints. No matter who’s under center, the Raiders will get this on the road.