If you’re in the camp of bettors who believe New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton will tab Jameis Winston as the team’s starting quarterback for the 2021 season, DraftKings has an attractive price on that prop.
The QB spot in New Orleans, of course, opened when Drew Brees announced his retirement in March. The Saints signed Winston as a free agent in 2020, presumably to back up Brees, but when Brees missed four games with chest injuries last season, Taysom Hill got the nod.
In fact, Winston threw just 11 passes over four sporadic appearances in his first year with the Saints, completing seven of them for a total of 75 yards.
A day after Brees’ announcement, though, the Saints signed Winston to a one-year deal worth as much as $12.5 million, an indication the team is still serious about the former No. 1 overall draft pick, and most observers believe Winston is New Orleans’ best bet.
DraftKings is offering a prop on whether Winston will take the Saints first snap in the 2021 season, dealing ‘yes’ as the -140 favorite, with ‘no’ the +110 underdog.
Shopping around the betting market, laying the -140 looks like excellent value. FanDuel opened Winston at a much more expensive -280 to be the Week 1 starter, with Hill coming back at +220, and rookie Ian Book listed at +1600. Winston has been priced as prohibitively as -360 at other bet shops, per reports.
The Race Is On
Reporting from the first day of Saints training camp, NOLA.com’s Luke Johnson wrote, “Though Hill worked with the first team, and though all of Winston’s full-team practice repetitions came with the second unit, coach Sean Payton said after practice that the roles would rotate so the team can get a look at how both fit within the starting offense.” Winston, Johnson added, “clearly had the better day throwing the football.”
It’s not hard to envision a quick hook for Winston – Payton won’t tolerate a 30-interception season like the one Winston produced as the Bucs’ starting QB in 2019 – but at -140, he’s a solid play to start the season under center.
The Saints open the 2021 season at home against the Packers. With uncertainty around Aaron Rodgers’ status with Green Bay cleared up, the Packers are now short favorites in the Week 1 matchup.