Should Ingram Suspension Change Saints Futures Bets?

SBR Staff

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 1:49 PM UTC

Wednesday, May. 9, 2018 1:49 PM UTC

The New Orleans Saints got some bad news when leading rusher Mark Ingram was suspended the first four games of 2018. What does that mean for their futures odds?

So, here’s a good rule of thumb: If you are angling for a raise/contract extension in whatever field you work in, perhaps don’t get caught using drugs. That’s allegedly what happened with New Orleans Saints running back and former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram as he has been suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Ingram will be eligible to participate in all offseason practices and preseason games but will miss games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants. He will be eligible to return to the Saints' active roster Oct. 1.

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Terrible timing on two fronts for Ingram. For one, he is in the final year of his contract and scheduled to earn a base salary of $4 million. This suspension not only will cost him around $1 million in salary, it surely will make the Saints gun shy in extending Ingram. Second, it makes one wonder if last year was a PED-induced fluke. Ingram set career highs with 230 carries, 1,124 yards (fifth in NFL) and 12 rushing touchdowns (second) along with 58 catches for 416 yards. He was named to the Pro Bowl. Last year was just the third time Ingram played all 16 games of the regular season, with injuries hampering him the other four.

What does this mean to the Saints? They are currently Intertops co-favorites to repeat as the NFC South champions at +200 with the Atlanta Falcons. New Orleans also is given a win total of 9.

If any team could deal with an injury to its No. 1 running back, it’s New Orleans. That’s because the Saints have a 1A in reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara. The third-round pick out of Tennessee was a revelation after not being used much the first few weeks of 2017. He finished with 120 carries for 728 yards (NFL-leading 6.1 ypg) along with eight touchdowns to go with 81 catches for 826 yard and five scores. Ingram and Kamara made NFL history in 2017 by becoming the first backfield teammates to each surpass 1,500 yards from scrimmage.

Is Kamara suited to be a workhorse, though? Ingram had three games last year with at least 20 carries. Kamara’s high was 12 as the team relied on him more as a receiving back. Kamara’s high at Tennessee was 18 carries. The Saints did draft Louisiana Tech's Boston Scott in the sixth round of this year’s draft.

The Saints are currently 7-point home favorites at Intertops for Week 1 against the Bucs. New Orleans split with Tampa Bay last year, winning 30-10 at home in Week 9 and losing 31-24 in Tampa in Week 17. Ingram totaled 112 yards rushing on 29 carries in the two games with five catches for 21 yards. He didn’t score.

New Orleans didn’t play Cleveland or the NY Giants in 2017. The Saints split with the Falcons. Ingram had 93 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries combined in the two games while catching seven passes for 65 yards.

Ingram would debut on Monday, Oct. 8 vs. Washington before the Saints then have a Week 6 bye. The team should be in reasonably good shape without him … as long as Kamara stays healthy.

Intertops Sportsbook: Trust the first!
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