The New Orleans Saints picked up a massive win on Sunday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, the win did not come without some bad news.
QB Jameis Winston was injured during a horse-collar tackle by Buccaneers LB Devin White in the second quarter. Winston landed awkwardly, and slowly limped off the field with help from trainers and medical staff. After examining the injury on the sidelines, he was carted to the locker room. It was later revealed that Winston suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and sustained MCL damage. He is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Winston’s absence has an effect on how oddsmakers view the Saints and should be taken into account for sports bettors headed to a retail casino this week to place a wager. Louisiana Sharp spoke with DraftKings Director of Race & Sports Operations Johnny Avello to get a more thorough understanding of how the Winston injury affects the Saints’ sports betting odds moving forward.
Minimal Odds Change For Short Term
The Saints play their first game without Winston on Sunday afternoon against the Falcons (FOX, 1 p.m. ET).
Head coach Sean Payton has not said whether Trevor Siemian or Taysom Hill will run the offense. Hill would be the most likely candidate if he was healthy. He went 3-1 as a replacement starter for Drew Brees last season and is familiar with Payton’s offense. However, Hill has been sidelined with a concussion since Week 5. Siemian filled in for Winston on Sunday, completing 16 of 29 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown.
Avello said the odds for Sunday’s contest changed but not drastically. New Orleans opened as 6-point favorites, but have since moved to 5.5-point favorites. This shows that DraftKings oddsmakers still have faith in the Saints against the 3-4 Falcons even without Winston.
Avello compared the line change in the Saints-Falcons game to the line change in the Titans-Rams game. Tennessee RB Derrick Henry to injury, and he is a massive part of its offense. Avello said Henry is viewed as more of an impact player when it comes to betting odds, saying that he is worth at least a couple of points. Since the news of Henry’s injury broke, the Titans have moved from 4.5-point underdogs to 7.5-point underdogs against the 7-1 Rams.
The Saints and Titans meet in two weeks on Nov. 14 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. It will be interesting to see what the line is for that contest with Winston and Henry both out.
Futures Odds Also Largely Unaffected
When it comes to futures bets, Avello again compared the Saints’ situation to the Titans’. Because New Orleans plays in a tough NFC South division, the Saints’ division title odds were relatively unaffected. Despite losing to the Saints on Sunday, the Buccaneers are still -400 to win the division. The Saints are +300. Avello said even with Winston healthy, the Buccaneers would be the favorites in the NFC South.
Things are a little bit different for the Titans. In terms of winning the AFC South title, Avelo stated that the Titans are still in good shape. Through eight games the Titans are 6-2, and they lead the division by three games over the Colts. Tennessee has already defeated Indianapolis twice this season. Jacksonville and Houston are a combined 2-13, so they don’t figure to be in the running for a division crown. Because of that, Henry’s injury does not drastically change the Titans’ odds at winning their division, and they are -2000 to in that market.
This shows that there are a multitude of factors that oddsmakers consider when shifting odds in the futures market after a key injury.
It is worth noting that the Saints were +4000 to win the Super Bowl going into their Week 8 matchup against the Buccaneers. Their odds have improved to +3500, but 10 teams are still ahead of them in that market. New Orleans is +1600 to win the NFC.