Ahead of the 2022 NFL season, Post Action Betting will release a preview of the game for all 32 teams in the National Football League, covering the schedule, predictions, total wins over/under picks and prop bets for each team. Today we will be covering the New Orleans Saints.
New Orleans Saints (+4000 to win Super Bowl, BetMGM)
Record 2021: 9-8 (2nd in NFC South)
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The Saints’ early-season headliners are a new head coach and (presumably) healthy quarterback.
After tearing his ACL in Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jameis Winston returns to lead the Saints at quarterback. Meanwhile, Dennis Allen, who served as the Raiders’ head coach from 2012-14, takes charge of the Big Easy following the departure of Sean Payton in February. Allen is widely known for his defensive prowess and once worked with the Saints as a defensive coordinator.
Over the past two seasons, Allen’s defenses have ranked in the top 10 for yards per game and opposing points. In his first season as head coach, Allen hopes to see the Saints’ offense rise to the level of his defense. Last season, the Saints ranked 23rd in offensive DVOA and third in defensive DVOA, according to footballoutsiders.com.
Saints offseason moves: draft, trades, free agent signings, injury report
- Hiring of defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as head coach
- Re-signed QB Jameis Winston and signed QB Andy Dalton
- Draft Ohio State WR Chris Olave (#11), Northern Iowa OT Trevor Penning (#19), Tennessee CB Alontae Taylor (#49), Appalachian State LB D’Marco Jackson (#161), Air Force DT Jordan Jackson (#194)
- Signed safeties Justin Evans, Marcus Maye and Daniel Sorenson, DE’s Taco Charlton and Kentavius Street, DT Jaleel Johnson, TE JP Holtz
Calendar Saints 2022
Week 1: at the Atlanta Falcons
Week 2: against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 3: Carolina Panthers
Week 4: against the Minnesota Vikings
Week 5: against the Seattle Seahawks
Week 6: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 7: at the Arizona Cardinals
Week 8: against the Las Vegas Raiders
Week 9: against the Baltimore Ravens
Week 10: Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 11: against the Los Angeles Rams
Week 12: San Francisco 49ers
Week 13: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 14: GOODBYE
Week 15: against the Atlanta Falcons
Week 16: at Cleveland Browns
Week 17: Philadelphia Eagles
Week 18: against the Carolina Panthers
NFL Betting Lines: Saints Win Total O/U
8.5 Victories (FanDuel)
Interestingly, bettors have the under juice here, but I believe there is cause for optimism with the Saints.
First, they get a bonus home game in Allen’s first season after going 3-5 at home last year. A fully healthy Winston should help improve that record for New Orleans, which gets three home games against teams I projected to finish last in their respective divisions.
Additionally, in addition to getting Winston back, the Saints will also see the return of top receiver Michael Thomas, who missed the entire 2021 season with an ankle injury. These two players should help boost the Saints’ attack.
It should also be noted that even without Winston and Thomas, New Orleans finished 5-2 in the division last year. Given that I think the Panthers and Falcons are significantly worse this season, expect Allen to have at least four division wins.
If true, the Saints need only go 5-6 in their remaining games to cash in the most. Six of those 11 non-division games are at home, so I’m optimistic New Orleans can take advantage of them.
If there’s a concern with the Saints, it’s that they’re playing 10 games against teams that ranked 16th or better last year in defensive DVOA last season. Any slight failure of their offense to improve on last year’s production could see New Orleans struggle in these games.
Even so, I believe there is value in getting the Saints to 8.5 wins with more money. I’m happy to try my luck with them at +105.
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Victories of the Saints O/U 8.5: the choice
Over 8.5 wins (+105)
Best expert bets, futures, props
Saints to make the playoffs – “Yes” (+118) – FanDuel
It’s always scary to trust a new head coach so much, but I believe New Orleans is ready for a playoff run.
This year, they play nine games against teams that ranked below them in DVOA total last season, according to footballoutsiders.com. While circumstances will almost certainly change from year to year, the changes in their 2022-23 opponents lead me to believe that New Orleans wins 11 games, assuming they stay relatively healthy.
Plus, my colleague Sean Koerner projects the Saints have the 11th easiest schedule in the league. Again, a lot of improvement needs to be made year over year to make the playoffs, but that’s definitely another encouraging sign.
Finally, I don’t think the mountain is that big to climb for this offense. Remember, just two seasons ago New Orleans ranked fourth in the league in offensive DVOA and still has plenty of key players – Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Tre’Quan Smith to name a few. .
Assuming Winston can avoid mistakes like he did last year, expect positive regression on this side of the ball and the Saints’ underrated defense leading them into the playoffs.