New Orleans Saints Betting Preview 2018
Bet on the New Orleans Saints
After three disappointing seasons at 7-9, the Saints finally reemerged as a legitimate contender largely due to rookie sensation Alvin Kamara. The reigning offensive rookie of the year was a threat as both a runner and receiver, compiling over 1500 yards. Between Kamara and Mark Ingram, much of the pressure was taken off of an aging Drew Brees.
Not only did a rookie spark the offense, but Marshon Lattimore won the defensive rookie of the year. While the Saints didn’t have a dominant defense last year, they didn’t look like the worst unit in the league. They actually managed to finish tenth in points allowed as they gave up 128 fewer points last year than in 2016. One amazing play knocked them out in the divisional round.
Key Offseason Changes
The Saints continued to build the defense in the offseason. To bolster the secondary, the Saints raided a division rival by signing Patrick Robinson. The corner, who has had an up and down career, is coming off his best year and cashed in on a four-year deal at the age of 30. Another veteran, Demario Davis, also joined New Orleans to help push them over the top. Davis is another player who struggled to meet his potential but is coming off a great season. He’ll more than likely take over the middle linebacker spot.
My favorite signing was on the offensive side of the ball and flew under the radar. Former Bears’ wide receiver Cameron Meredith signed with New Orleans after missing all of last season with an injury. In 2016, Meredith broke out with 66 catches in 14 games. I was surprised that Chicago didn’t match the offer sheet considering he was a restricted free agent. Willie Snead was allowed to sign with the Ravens, and Meredith will easily increase his production.
Possibly the Saints’ best move was releasing tight end, Coby Fleener. His athletic ability kept him around the league much longer than he deserved. Ben Watson was brought back in after spending a couple of years in Baltimore, and even at 37, he offers more than Fleener who has been one of the most disappointing players in the past ten years.
Although there have been several good things this offseason, the draft was not on the same level. I hate to declare a draft a failure the year of the draft, but this one might go down as one of the worst of 2018. They traded up to 14th overall to take Marcus Davenport who looks like a raw talent, but it was a massive stretch to move up and give up draft capital. They also selected Rick Leonard in the fourth round when Leonard was considered by many teams to be undraftable.
Betting on the Saints
I sincerely doubt that the Saints will get back-to-back rookies of the year. Statistically, it was unlikely for it to happen last year, and realistically, this draft class won’t be as good. However, this is still a great team. This is another team that will need to make a push while they still have an all-time great under center.
Win the NFC SOUTH
SAFE BET – This division should come down to the Falcons and Saints, but it is hard to say which will win the division. It’s easy to like the Saints because of their historically dynamic offense, but their defense is finally catching up. Bookmaker has them at +154.
Win the NFC Championship
SAFE BET – The Saints need to make a run before Drew Brees retires. They have everything in place to be great this year. This could be the make or break season, and I like their chances. GTBets has them at +1100.
Win the Super Bowl
GIVE IT A SHOT – This team is better than the team that won the Super Bowl in 2009. Whoever makes it through the NFC has to be the favorite in the Super Bowl. GTBets has them at +2200.
OVER 9.5 – Bookmaker has the Saints at 9.5 wins, and I like the over for -115. This team gets 12 wins easily if everyone stays healthy. They will be missing Mark Ingram for the first four games because of a suspension, but I don’t think that will hurt them too much.
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