The biggest upset in Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season might not come until Monday night when the New Orleans Saints host the Houston Texans. After making a few key moves at the end of the preseason, the defending AFC South champs have a real chance to steal a victory at the Superdome.

The Saints are laying seven points at home, according to the latest betting line at OddsShark. The game total of 52.5 is the highest on the Week 1 schedule.

New Orleans has higher expectations than just about anyone in the NFC this season. They’ve got the best odds in the conference to win the Super Bowl after a missed call kept them out of this past February’s title game. The Saints have won two straight NFC South championships behind one of the league’s top offenses.

Houston hasn’t shared quite that much success, but the Texans have actually been among the most consistent teams in football. Bill O’Brien’s team has finished above .500 in four of the last five years with three first-place finishes over the last four seasons. 

With Deshaun Watson entering his third season, Houston should be just as good, if not better, than they were a year ago. That makes the Texans a great bet in primetime since the point spread is simply too high at a touchdown.

Why can’t Watson be this year’s version of 2018 Patrick Mahomes or 2017 Carson Wentz and compete for the MVP award? The quarterback certainly has the pedigree, having won a national championship in college, and he’s known nothing but individual success in two NFL seasons. 

Few quarterbacks have been more efficient than Watson in his 23 starts. Posting a 14-8 record, Watson has a career 103.1 passer rating. He threw for 4,165 yards, 26 touchdowns and only nine interceptions in 2018, despite playing behind perhaps the AFC’s worst offensive line. Watson was sacked a league-high 62 times for 384 yards.

The Texans’ offensive line isn’t exactly elite, but it’s absolutely improved with the addition of left tackle Laremy Tunsil. First-round draft pick Tytus Howard and second-round pick Max Scharping are also part of a revamped line. If the unit is even close to average, it could go a long way in giving Houston one of the league’s most explosive offenses.

Only five defenses gave up a higher opponents' passer rating than the Saints in 2018. DeAndre Hopkins ended last season with 421 receiving yards in his last three games. 

The Saints are going to score their share of points Monday. New Orleans was dominant at home for much of last season, scoring at least four 40 points in half of their regular-season games in the Big Easy.

New Orleans, however, wasn’t exactly unstoppable down the stretch of the season and into the playoffs. The Saints only scored 46 total points in their two postseason games, both of which came at home. New Orleans ended the year with just one victory by more than six points in their final seven games.

Houston is 5-1 in their last six road games.

Drew Brees threw for 203 yards or fewer in four of his last five regular-season starts. While he’s probably going to still be among the NFL’s best quarterbacks, he might not be the best signal caller on the field Monday.

J.J. Watt is still on Houston’s defense to make one or two potential game-changing plays. That’s all the Texans might need if Watson has a big night in the season opener.

Prediction Against The Spread: Houston over New Orleans, 33-30