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One number to know heading into WFT's Week 5 meeting with Saints originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Before every one of Washington's matchups for the 2021 season, Pete Hailey will present one number to know for that particular battle.
Here's what's on his mind, and what should be on your mind, for when the squad comes home to face off with the Saints.
This weekend's matchup between Washington and New Orleans is supposed to be a close one. NBC's sportsbook partner PointsBet, for example, has the Saints favored by only 2.5 points, so they expect the two NFC squads to have a tight battle at FedEx Field.
However, this week's number to know highlights a trend that suggests the Week 5 meeting won't exactly come down to the end.
That same trend just so happens to be encouraging for the Burgundy and Gold, too.
In the Saints' first four appearances of the season, the average difference between the final spread ahead of the game and that game's margin of victory has been 22.9 points.
Now, that nugget may come across as a bit murky, so let's explain it.
In Week 1, Sean Payton's group was a 3.5-point underdog to the Packers and then won by 35. So, the difference between the spread and the margin of victory was 38.5 points.
In Week 2, New Orleans was installed as a three-point favorite over the Panthers and then lost by 19. That amounts to a difference of 22.
Moving on to Week 3, Jameis Winston, Alvin Kamara and Co. were 3-point dogs to the Patriots before winning by 15. The difference there was 18.
And last week, the Saints were seven-point favorites versus the Giants but lost to New York by six. That difference was 13.
So, contests involving New Orleans tend to completely (and literally) defy the odds, seeing as the non-favored side is 4-0 outright and has notched three comfortable victories in those four tilts.
Now, a month of football is far from a large sample size. Also, Ron Rivera and Payton are awfully familiar with each other thanks to Rivera's long tenure in Carolina, so there should be a good understanding between those two of what the other wants to accomplish. It's certainly very possible that the fourth quarter will decide this showdown.
That said, the Saints have proven to be a difficult team to figure out in 2021. Should that continue this Sunday, Washington and their fans may be quite fond of the result.
Just for your information: If you apply the bolded number from above to the spread for this one, Washington's going to win by about three touchdowns. Wouldn't that be sweet?