METAIRIE, La. – The Saints are an even stronger playoff contender than they were prior to the NFL draft, at least according to odds posted by the oddsmakers at BetOnline.AG.
The website’s odds on regular-season wins for each NFL team have been updated since the original numbers were posted April 20. Since then factors such as the draft, free-agency acquisitions and losses, injuries and the money bet have triggered adjustments to the odds.
New Orleans’ number is now at 9.5, the highest number in the NFC South and 0.6 higher than its number in April. That makes the Saints one of the strongest teams in the NFC as well as one of the most improved in the last four months.
Only four NFC teams – the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles (10.5), the Vikings (10), the Rams (10) and the Packers (10) – have a higher win number that New Orleans.
Two AFC teams – the defending conference champion Patriots (11.5) and the Steelers (10.5) – have a higher number than the Saints. The Chargers, who host the Saints in a preseason game Aug. 25, matched the Saints’ 9.5 number.
New Orleans, which went 11-5 while winning the NFC South last season, has a higher win total and improvement compared to its division rivals. The Falcons’ number is 9 (down 0.4), the Panthers’ is 8.5 (up 0.2) and the Buccaneers’ is 6.5 (down 0.4).
The only NFC teams to improve their number more than the Saints are the Cardinals, who the Saints host in a preseason game Friday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (up 0.9 to 6), and the Redskins (up 1.2 to 7).
The rest of the teams to experience a bigger increase than New Orleans are from the AFC – the Colts (+0.6 to 7), the Dolphins (+0.7 to 6.5), the Patriots (+0.7), the Chiefs (+0.9 to 8.5), the Browns (+1.2 to 5.5) and the Bengals (+1.7 to 6.5).
For all the latest odds and to track them until the season openers, click on this link: