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Saints’ Odds to Win NFC Championship Are Better Than 3-1; Is There Value Elsewhere?

Saints coach Sean Payton
Sean Payton has kept his Saints squad rolling amid devastating injuries to star players. Photo by vamostigres (wikimedia commons) [CC License]
  • Entering Week 7, the Saints’ odds to reach Super Bowl 54 were the best in the NFC at +300
  • An injury-riddled New Orleans team then crushed the Bears, 36-25, on the road, improving to +275 in the NFC Title futures
  • With arguably their two best players (Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara) returning soon, is there value betting on the Saints? 

The New Orleans Saints (6-1) were favored to win the NFC entering Week 7, and after their 36-25 win over the Chicago Bears (3-3) in Week 7, Bovada currently has their odds to win the conference even shorter at +275, which is right in line with their average NFL conference odds.

2019-20 NFC Championship Odds

Team Odds from Bovada*
New Orleans Saints +275
Green Bay Packers +475
San Francisco 49ers +500
Dallas Cowboys +850
Minnesota Vikings +900
Seattle Seahawks +1200

*Odds taken October 21.

New Orleans’ electrifying and versatile running back Alvin Kamara missed the Chicago game due to injury. One of the best pass-catching RBs in the league, Kamara sits fourth among running backs with 276 yards on 33 receptions in 2019. Although he ranks 17th in the rushing category to date, you must take into account that he has missed one game due to injury.

Kamara’s just behind the ageless Frank Gore of the Buffalo Bills with 86 totes of the pigskin for 373 yards. With 649 yards from scrimmage, Kamara is easily on his way to eclipsing 1,200 total yards by regular-season’s end.

Drew Brees, of course, is one of the most decorated passers in NFL history. He stands alone as the league’s all-time leader in yards through the air with 74,845. Drew also leads the calvary with 6,621 pass completions. Outrageous.

From Bridgewater to Brees

Saints’ backup QB Teddy Bridgewater has certainly kept New Orleans afloat with Brees on the bench. Bridgewater is now 5-0 as the starter. Teddy has gotten the job done with 1,370 passing yards, nine touchdowns to just two interceptions, and a formidable 98.9 passer rating.

That being said, Brees my very well be under center against the Arizona Cardinals for New Orlean’s Week 8 matchup. Drew suffered a right thumb injury in Week 2. Since Brees is a right-handed QB, the injury became a significant setback. On September 18th, Brees underwent surgery to repair his torn ulnar collateral ligament.

Even though Bridgewater has played very good football in Brees’ relief, the Saints will now be getting back the NFL’s all-time leading passer, 12-time Pro Bowler, Super Bowl 44 champion and not to mention MVP.

Brees not only set the NFL bar for most passing yards in the history of the league, he did it with a TD strike.

The way the Saints have played since Brees went down (Week 2), and the fact they still didn’t miss a beat when Kamara was out against the Bears in Week 7, I believe they have shown they can overcome almost any injury in a march back to the NFC Championship game.

Is +275 Too Short of a Price?

Considering New Orleans has the best statistical wide receiver in the game with Michael Thomas in the fold, I don’t believe +275 is too short of a price to pay. Thomas is way out in front with 62 receptions on the season. He’s hauled-in 11 more catches than Los Angeles Rams’ Cooper Kupp (51). Add 763 yards onto this stat as well as 12.3 yards per reception, and you have the number-one target in football.

Ranked in the middle of the pack in total defense (15th in the league), the Saints are much better on that side of the pigskin than advertised. Factoring in their determination to upend the horrendous pass-interference call versus the Rams that kept them from playing in Super Bowl 53, I truly believe that the Saints are a good bet to win the NFC this year.

I do think that the Green Bay Packers (6-1) coming off of QB Aaron Rodgers’ six-TD performance against the Oakland Raiders are  definitely in the NFC Championship mix, yet my edge still favors the Saints.

When it comes to the San Francisco 49ers (6-0), the lone unbeaten team in the NFC, the experience factor has me sticking with the Saints.

My Pick: New Orleans Saints (+275)

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