Hello Saints fans!
My goal as a contributor is to bring you insight and analysis on what to expect from the Saints from a gambling perspective in 2018.
To give you some background on what I do, and why you should listen is probably the first thing you are wondering. “Why in the world do I care what this guy from Boston has to say about the Saints?” would probably be a common first question. First off, I’m not your prototypical arrogant Patriots fan. I take pride in being an objective 3rd party observer who is looking for a value-based way to predict winners against the spread.
With all that said, I have developed a statistical formula in 2015 that calculates what the spread should be on a weekly basis and I use that to make selections. My calculation has been profitable every year so far:
2018 New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints completely transformed themselves during the 2017 season. In this impressive campaign, they showcased toughness, defensive tenacity, and balanced efficiency on offense. These were not the “same old soft Saints” that would struggle outdoors and bow down to physical teams.
Breaking Down the Numbers:
The first statistic that I always look at when breaking down NFL football is passer rating differential (Average Offense QB Rating minus Average Defensive Passer Rating). This stat is a fantastic measuring stick for efficiency on both sides of the ball.
At 22.40, the Saints ranked in the top 5 in that category proving to be one of the elite teams in the league.
Drew Brees was the same Hall of Fame caliber QB that we’ve been accustomed to see in 2017. His numbers were stellar across the board:
Brees has had a tendency in the past to throw too many balls up for grabs, especially with pressure in his face. I think this is really where his inadequate size can be a factor. However, he took excellent care of the ball last year posting just 8 INT’s. In fact, that was his lowest interception total since 2004, and his fewest in a season as a Saint.
Brees also had a lot of help on offense. I think the running game was a surprising bright spot in 2017. Kamara and Ingram punished opposing defenses bringing both power in tough yardage situations and finesse in the passing game against mismatched linebackers. I was thoroughly impressed by the absolute pounding that they gave the Bills on the road in the snow. I foolishly bet the Bills as home dogs and this game was over in the 1st quarter once the Saints offensive line set the tone. The box score from this game looked like a 90’s Cowboys game, and these typically don’t exist in the modern NFL.
After this game, I knew the team was not the stereotypical dome team.
But what the Saints did on defense in 2017 was even more impressive in my eyes. The defensive talent acquired through the 2017 draft was remarkable and carried this unit. Here’s a snapshot of how much they improved in a number of essential defensive categories:
When you have an offense as explosive as the Saints, a top 10 defense should put you in contention for the Super Bowl. I could go on and on about how impressive their numbers on both sides of the ball were in 2017, but what we really want to know is can they repeat them in 2018?
How they rebound from one of the most heartbreaking playoff losses in history is probably the most important factor coming into the season.
I wanted to go back and review the performances of similar teams that had bad playoff losses in recent history and weather or not they could bounce back. I tried to find talented teams that were in position to win significant playoff games but came up short in dramatic fashion. These were the first five that came to memory:
Falcons Super Bowl defeat to Patriots (2016)
Seahawks Super Bowl defeat to Patriots (2014)
Packers NFC Championship loss to Seahawks (2014)
49ers Super Bowl defeat to Ravens (2012)
Saints Divisional loss to 49ers (2011)
I looked at their passer rating differential and how their season ended during their successful campaign and compared that to how they performed after their horrific losses:
These results are not encouraging if you’re a Saints fan. With the exception of the 2015 Seahawks, all of these teams fell drastically from their elite level status from the prior season. I purposely included the Saints to see if the 49ers loss carried over to the next season. The team is certainly different than in 2012, but Sean Payton and Drew Brees are just as important now as they were then. It definitely made an impact on the following season.
2018 Gambling Outlook for the New Orleans Saints
With all that being said, I think New Orleans has outstanding value at 18-1 Super Bowl future odds. I think as a younger team, they can learn from the loss and use it as motivation to get better in the offseason. I put them in the same class as the Vikings (12-1 odds) and Eagles ( 8-1 odds) as the elite teams in the NFC. The Packers, 49ers, and Rams all are listed with better Super Bowl odds than the Saints which I think is laughable. I also like the over for win totals at 9.5. If the defense can match what they brought to the table last year, this should be a top 5 team in the NFL again and compete for a Super Bowl.
Nicholas Shorestein, CEO & Founder
All picks are recommendations and are not guarantees. Therefore, we are not liable or responsible for any bets that you make. Please gamble legally and responsibly. If you wish to opt out of this email, please notify me directly. You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. We are not affiliated with the NFL in anyway. This is NOT a Gambling website. We do not accept bets. All opinions on this site are original and for entertainment purposes. Thank you.
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