After a season where they won 11 games, the Saints are faced with a tougher challenge in 2014. Last season their division was very weak outside of the Panthers, however even after losing the division, the Saints still won a playoff game. Will they improve their NFL Odds in 2014?
Super Bowl (+1400)
The Saints are one of eight teams from Bovada Sportsbook that have NFL Betting Odds to win the Super Bowl of 14:1 or higher. There is a steep drop-off after that according to the sportsbooks, as the next highest team after the Saints, Bears and Colts at Bovada is the Eagles at +2500. The Saints of course came into Philadelphia last season in the playoffs and barely beat the Eagles to advance, however they lost to the Seahawks in the divisional round. This season the Saints’ need to improve upon two things if they want to get back into the Super Bowl conversation. They need to run the ball better, and they need to stop the run much better. Running the ball might still be an issue for this team. Even though they really don’t have that many rushing attempts, they still lost a couple of starting offensive linemen this summer, and after trading Darren Sproles, they don’t have much in the backfield.
Of all the teams priced similarly to the Saints, New Orleans seems to be the only one that is overvalued. They did virtually nothing this offseason to help their rushing defense, and as long as those tough NFC teams can run the ball on them and keep the ball out of the hands of Drew Brees, the Saints aren’t going to have a long run of playoff success this season. Even though they should run away with their division (we’ll get to that in a second) I’m not sold on their overall playoff potential. As long as they are in the lower third of the league in rushing defense, the Saints will not have any NFC or Super Bowl value in the NFL Odds from Bovada.
NFC South (+100)
Last season the Panthers had a huge year in Cam Newton’s third season. They won 12 games, and beat out the Saints for the division. This might have led to the Saints being more of a playoff threat. And even though I’m not very high on them this season, if they are able to win the division and guarantee at least one home game to start the playoffs, their chances go up tremendously. Since the year 2010, the Saints are an incredible 24-9 ATS when playing at home either in the regular season or in the playoffs. The Panthers will likely be down this season and not even come close to their 12 wins a season ago, and while the Bucs and Falcons will likely be better than their horrific 2013 seasons, they still aren’t good enough to break the Saints. Another ten wins will likely secure this division this season, and at even money, the Saints aren’t a bad as NFL betting pick value this summer. I would wait a little to see some of the Saints’ starters in the preseason, however in the NFC South, the Saints seem like a solid play.