The New Orleans Saints go into the 2015-2016 season with plenty of unanswered questions. So what can NFL bettors reasonable expect? Here are 3 Bold Bets for the New Orleans Saints.
New Orleans Saints Doubtful
Odds makers opened with a 9 season win total projection for the Saints, but that number has come down since we previewed their 2015-2016 NFL schedule and offered up our choice NFL picks. That's a telling sign.
In any event, the NFL odds makers project an 8.5 season win total for the New Orleans Saints now with the OVER favored at -135 and the UNDER trading at +105. While the OVER is favored, the mood in NFL betting circles isn't exactly positive.
Saints are coming off a forgettable 7-9-0 season. On the bright side, they very nearly won the division with the subpar record, only for the Panthers to beat them to the punch with a 7-8-1 mark. In any event, things couldn't remain as they were and the Saints have embarked on some wholesale changes that they hope will make them more competitive.
If there's one thing they have going for them, it's a favorable schedule that ranks 28th with a 0.469 winning record.
What will the 2015-2016 season hold for Drew Brees and the Saints therefore is a pressing question we attempt to tackle with our 3 Bold Predictions.
1. Saints To Make Playoffs Or Not?
If there's one market that is most revealing as far as what NFL bettors should expect from the Saints, it's the season special market: to make the playoffs or not. Saints are a highly fancied -163 NFL pick to miss the playoffs while they are the +120 NFL pick to make the playoffs. Clearly, the odds are against the Saints despite their rather lofty season win totals of 8.5 projected at Bodog.
The NFC South was the worst division last year and few expect it to be much better this season. It's really a tossup between the three teams: Panthers, Falcons and Saints. Buccaneers are deep into rebuild mode so it's hard to imagine how they factor.
Missing the NFL playoffs is the favored outcome here, but it's obvious that making the playoffs is the value NFL pick. Anything can happen in the NFC South, right. It's not entirely out of the question to expect Sean Payton and Drew Brees to lead the Saints back to glory either. That said, we're going with the favored NFL pick for the Saints to miss the playoffs at -163, a happenstance that will turn the organisation on its head and bring in a whole reorganisation for the Big Easy.
2. Drew Brees to Lead Passing Yards +600
Drew Brees is the third favorite behind Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers to win the Passing Yards race across sportsbook platforms, or thereabouts. At Bet365, Drew Brees is trading at a tempting +600 NFL odds to top the charts for a second straight season.
Last year, despite the Saints' abysmal account, Drew Brees tied Ben Roethlisberger atop the table at 4,952 yards with an average of 310 yards per game. Obviously, this market is a residual of that impressive stat.
Brees' quality is undeniable, but it remains to be seen whether with the departure of Jimmy Graham (trade to the Seattle Seahawks), he has the sort of targets he needs to keep his numbers up. We expect with some of the new offensive pieces, there'll be an adjustment period. As such, we expect Brees to come down in this market, fall out of favor so to speak.
3. Saints Don't Crack 8.5 Season Win Totals
The Saints open the season with four playoff teams in the first seven weeks of the schedule, three of which are road trips. They open on the road in Arizona, take on NFC South champions Carolina in week 3 on the road and travel to Indianapolis in week 7. Interspersed in between is a home date with Dallas Cowboys (the best road team last season) and the high-flying Philadelphia Eagles in week 5 NFL betting. Yikes.
For the 28th ranked NFL Schedule, that's hardly a walk in the park. It's not the easiest of starts at all. Things do let up down the stretch a bit, but the start to the season is going to be pivotal. If the Saints stumble dramatically in these first seven weeks, they'll be left with just 9 weeks in which to recover and attempt to crack the 8.5 season win total. The more we think on it, the more challenging it appears to be. Hence, we're predicting the Saints go UNDER 8.5 at +105 on our NFL picks.