Oddsmaking Veterans Weigh In On Saints Ahead Of 2021 NFL Season

There’s been a move on the New Orleans Saints’ season win total at SuperBook USA, as juice on ‘under’ 9.5 wins was adjusted from a -120 opener to -140.

With the Las Vegas betting shop on the high end of the market with the Saints, whose longtime quarterback Drew Brees retired this offseason, money on the ‘under’ was to be expected.

“It’s been all UN all the time with them,” Rex Beyers, an oddsmakers at the SuperBook, told Louisiana Sharp in a text message.

Beyers said a limit bet on under 9.5 (-140) came a few days, “but we are satisfied that our price is fine for now.”

Perusing odds boards around the country, bettors see the Saints offered at 9 wins at a variety of sportsbooks, including DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel.

“I’m probably higher on the Saints than most,” Ed Salmons, vice president of risk management at the SuperBook, told Louisiana Sharp this week. “If you’re looking to bet the Saints ‘under’, we probably have the best number.”

Johnny Avello, director of race and sportsbook operations at DraftKings, is lukewarm on New Orleans ahead of the season, dubious that either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill will be effective at quarterback.

“I don’t think either one of those guys, to be honest with you, is the answer,” Avello said. “Hill’s a versatile guy, he can run. Winston throws the ball well, but he also throws the ball well to the other team. He’s got a lot of picks.”

Winston tossed 30 interceptions as the starting QB for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019.

Still, even with Brees no longer under center, the Saints seem to have the betting market’s respect. At DraftKings, their +2500 odds to win the Super Bowl are ninth shortest on the board, and their +1200 price to win the NFC has them in the mix for the conference title. While BetMGM prices New Orleans as a slight underdog to make the playoffs (‘No’ is -140), DraftKings has the ‘yes’ side of that prop at -115.

“In my opinion, Drew Brees was a detriment to the team because he can’t throw the ball more than 10 yards,” Salmons added. “Now the question is can they get the quarterback play to open the field up without having mistakes.”

New Orleans Saints odds
(as of Oct. 12, 2021)
DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGM
To Win Super Bowl LVI+3000+4000+4000
To Win NFC+1400+1700+2200
To Win NFC South+400+490+450
Season Win TotalN/A9.5 (over +110, under -130)9.5 (over +110, under -130)
To Make PlayoffsYes -120, No +100Yes -102, No -120Yes -160, No +130

“Are they going to make the playoffs? I don’t know. I would say no more than yes,” Avello continued. “But they’re capable of getting nine wins and 10 with a good year.”

Saints Game Lines

New Orleans’ season opens at home against the Green Bay Packers, putting bookmakers in a tricky spot. No one is sure whether Aaron Rodgers will be on the field for the Pack.

The point spread on this game varies around the marketplace, with BetMGM dealing Saints -3, FanDuel at -2.5, and DraftKings offering -1 (-120).

“They’ll move us around,” Avello said of his customers. “In games like this, if they lay the points, you go right from one to two. If they take the points, you go from one to one the other side.”

Salmons, whose book is among the Saints -3 crowd, says the number represents a hedge by the betting market.

With the uncertainty around Rodgers, “it’s an in-between line,” Salmons said, and one sure to change once Rodgers’ status becomes clear. If he plays, Salmons estimates, we’ll see Green Bay moved from a 2.5- to 3-point favorite; if he doesn’t, the Saints will lay points in the 5.5 to 6 range.

The Saints’ Week 3 game at New England already saw an early move at the SuperBook, which took a max $2,000 bet on the Patriots and adjusted the point spread from Saints -1 to pick ‘em.

A Public Darling No Longer

With a future Hall of Famer like Brees, the Saints were long a team that drew bettors’ interest. The public is less enthused about New Orleans behind Winston, Hill, or potentially rookie Ian Book.

“There are certain teams that get future book bets,” Salmons said. “The Saints usually always get bets to win something – NFC, division, Super Bowl. But this year, I don’t think we’ve seen anything with the Saints. The public wants nothing to do them.”

The lack of support from recreational bettors, of course, is nothing for Saints fan to fret about.

About the Author

Marcus DiNitto

Marcus DiNitto is the editor of Maryland Sharp and Louisiana Sharp and a nationally recognized journalist specializing in sports betting and sports business. He has been managing editor at SportsBusiness Daily, USA Sports Gaming, Sporting News, and The Linemakers. Marcus earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.