Vegas doesn’t like Saints’ moves

Odds of winning Super Bowl decreased for New Orleans

            Despite all the reassurances coming out of local media in the past two weeks about the Saints’ flurry of off-season moves, Vegas odds makers have decreased New Orleans’ chances to win this year’s Super Bowl.

            Online sports booking agency Bovada had the Saints as 22:1 odds on favorites to win Super Bowl 50 before free agency began, but dropped New Orleans to 40:1 this week, according to Dave Cariello of

            The drop moved the Saints’ predicted finish for the coming season from the top half of the league’s teams to the bottom half. 

“Ouch. That's quite a fall from grace,” Cariello writes.

            I’m not surprised by the loss of faith outside of New Orleans. Several prognosticators picked the Saints to reach the Super Bowl this past year. Instead, they stumbled to a 7-9 season. Last year’s Saints were hurt by the loss of veteran leaders and playmakers, including running back Darren Sproles, wide receiver Lance Moore and safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper. The Saints fooled the pros once, but they won’t do it again. No one wants to pick a 7-9 team that has gone on to dump more talent this year, including tight end Jimmy Graham, guard Ben Grubbs, running back Pierre Thomas and linebacker Curtis Lofton. 

            Die Hards will say the team is poised to have an awesome draft and is still competitive – there’s no need to panic.

            I can’t help the concern I have though. Obviously the team can pick up free agents at almost any time and a trade could surprise us at any moment, but options on quality free agents are fading and the team’s budget is strapped. Finding a draft pick that can come into the league and make an impact, much less start, in their first year in the NFL is incredibly rare. Needless to say, the Saints have more roster holes than draft picks to plug them. 

            I wonder what options the Saints will have for a receiver? Some recent picks showed promise (Joe Morgan, Kenny Stills), but have been shipped out of town. Others have pedigree (Nick Toon), but can’t find consistency. And with the loss of Graham, will our tight end position be the same pass catching threat the Saints have come to expect (and depend on) over the past two or three seasons?

           On the defensive side of the ball, the Saints may have amassed one of the best backfields in the league – that is if they can stay healthy. Moving closer to the ball, the Saints have to get playmakers on defense. Primary needs include pass rushers and run stuffers; high priced commodities indeed.

           Hopefully my concerns are unwarranted. Maybe the Saints are contenders this year. And if not, hopefully, next year. But when the professionals who make their livings off of picking winners and losers start stacking the odds against your team, it’s not very settling.

           This year more revelry may take place outside rather than inside of the Superdome. If so, New Orleans will have to borrow a common postgame refrain heard in The Grove at Ole Miss, “We may not win every game, but we’ve never lost a party.” 




Categories: The Pennant Chase