New Orleans Saints NFL Betting Preview: Clock Ticking on Drew Brees
Posted on: August 29, 2020, 04:57h.
Last updated on: August 31, 2020, 02:49h.
As a tandem, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton have accomplished so much. And so little.
In 19 seasons together with the Patriots, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick combined to win six Super Bowls. With Brady’s departure from New England, Brees and Payton are now the NFL’s longest quarterback-coach marriage. Together, they’ve achieved greatness. However, as they enter Year 15 together, they are still chasing a second Super Bowl victory.
“That’s why I came back,” the 41-year-old Brees told reporters at the start of training camp.
Once again, the Saints are on the shortlist of championship favorites. The sportsbooks are almost in alignment, with New Orleans at +1,000 to win the Super Bowl at Westgate SuperBook and +1,200 elsewhere.
Over/Under: 10.5 Wins
The Saints have won three consecutive NFC South championships. Even with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signing quarterback Tom Brady, the Saints are the favorite to win it again. There’s relative consistency among the sportsbooks, with the Saints ranging from -115 at FanDuel to -130 at PointsBook and DraftKings.
New Orleans, however, isn’t playing to hang division title banners from the roof of the Superdome. Instead, it’s trying to hoist the Lombardi Trophy for the first time since 2009. Compared to 2019, interest in the Saints is lagging. Last year, New Orleans opened at +700 at William Hill, making it one of the tri-favorites. This year, New Orleans is +1,200 at William Hill, tied for the fourth-shortest odds, but well behind Kansas City, which is the favorite at +550.
The consistent New Orleans postseason disappointments are keeping the public away this year,” an analyst at William Hill told Casino.org. “And the wave of Tampa Bay action throughout the off-season contributed, as well.”
While there is some variation on the actual bets, the consensus over/under win total is 10.5. It’s -106 on the over and -115 on the under at DraftKings, and +100 on the over and -120 on the under at BetMGM.
Saints Going All-In
No team in the NFL can beat New Orleans’ 37-11 record over the last three regular seasons. However, the postseason has been a house of horrors. There was the Minneapolis Miracle in the divisional round in 2017, the blown pass-interference call against the Rams in the NFC Championship Game in 2018, and an overtime loss at home to the Vikings in the wild-card round in 2019.
While Brees is the NFL’s career leader in completions, yards, and touchdowns, and has led the league in completion percentage the past three seasons, he can’t do it forever. Thus, the Saints pushed their chips to the middle of the table by signing safety Malcolm Jenkins and receiver Emmanuel Sanders in free agency.
If the 33-year-old Sanders pans out, the offense could be nearly unstoppable. Receiver Michael Thomas led the league with 125 receptions in 2018 and obliterated the NFL record with 149 receptions in 2019. Jared Cook is a big-play tight end, running back Alvin Kamara is a do-it-all star, and quarterback Taysom Hill is the ultimate gadget player.
Brees, who incredibly hasn’t won MVP honors in his career, is +1,700 to win it this year at DraftKings and FanDuel. At DraftKings, Thomas’ over/under is 1,375.5 receiving yards; he had 1,405 in 2018 and 1,725 in 2019.
Defensively, the Saints have been a fringe top 10 unit over the past three seasons. That group is fueled by Cam Jordan, who finished third with 15.5 sacks last season. He’s on the outskirts of the Defensive Player of the Year board at +4,000 at DraftKings.
In 13 seasons, Payton has eight seasons of 10-plus wins. However, he hasn’t won Coach of the Year since his first season in 2006. He is +2,000 at PointsBet and DraftKings.
Editor’s Note: This is the 17th of 32 NFL team previews and the first of four on the NFC South.
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