NFL Win Totals: Can the Saints Exceed Expectations in 2024?

Aidan McGrath
Aidan McGrath@ffaidanmcgrath
NFL Win Totals: Can the Saints Exceed Expectations in 2024?

The New Orleans Saints have managed to find some success in the post-Drew Brees era -- but not a lot. While they managed to have winning seasons in two of their last three campaigns, the Saints have a combined 25-26 record in that span with no playoff berths to show for it.

Even after the 2022 departure of longtime head coach Sean Payton -- now of the Denver Broncos -- the team has yet to commit to the full rebuild that they seem to need. They've been mired in mediocrity and could use a fresh start, but we probably aren't seeing one this year.

Still, this is a team with some strong players in a soft division. They were a tie-breaker short of making the playoffs in 2023 and will be returning most of the veteran players who helped them get to that spot.

It's hard to have high expectations for a team that hasn't impressed in almost half a decade, but the team did bring in a new offensive coordinator in hopes of creating a new spark.

Will that be enough to help them crest their low 7.5-win line on FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL Win Totals Betting Odds market?

All NFL odds via FanDuel Sportsbook, and they may change after the article is published.

New Orleans Saints 2024 Win Total Odds

Saints Over/Under 7.5 Wins

  • Over: -130
  • Under: +106

Odds to Make the Playoffs: +180
Odds to Win the NFC South: +350 (3rd)
Odds to Win the NFC Championship: +3800 (13th)
Super Bowl Odds: +9000 (25th)

Key Offseason Coaching Changes:

  • Hired Klint Kubiak as Offensive Coordinator

Why New Orleans Could Win Over 7.5 Games

  • Kubiak Could Revitalize the Offense
  • They Could Field a Top Defense
  • The NFC South is Winnable

The Saints' 2023 offense was not fun to watch, but they found a way to put points on the board. In fact, in the seven games they played after their Week 11 bye, the Saints averaged 26.9 points per game, which would have ranked sixth-best in the NFL.

Of course, their scoring in that period of time was aided by a relatively soft schedule and a stat-padding 48-pointer in Week 18, but the point is that the offense wasn't quite as bleak as things seemed. And with new OC Klint Kubiak running the offense, things have the potential to get better for them in 2024.

The biggest key to the 2023 Saints' winning season was their strong defense. With a strong secondary, they allowed the eighth-fewest points (327) in the league despite a pass rush that generated pressure on just 18.7% of drop backs (fifth-worst).

They should be returning most of the key players who kept things locked down for them on that side of the ball and also added former Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry in the second round of this year's draft. And by signing free agent pass-rusher Chase Young, they could see improvements in that department as well.

A functional offense with a strong defense could realistically be enough to take down the NFC South this year. The Atlanta Falcons are the favorite to win the division with -115 odds, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+290) and Saints (+350) might not be as far behind them as we currently believe.

At the very least, it's not difficult to see them splitting their series with the Bucs and Falcons, and given the state of the Carolina Panthers, that could present the Saints with two more additional wins. That situation would leave them just four wins short of their 7.5-win line, something they could reasonably expect to do with one of the easiest schedules in the NFL.

Why New Orleans Could Win Under 7.5 Games

  • Derek Carr Is Not a Difference Maker
  • The Offensive Depth Chart is Thin
  • The Offensive Line Could Be a Problem

After 10 seasons, it feels like we've seen all that quarterback Derek Carr has to offer. He has a 72-87 career record as a starter with a single season of 30 or more touchdowns. He's a safe quarterback, but he hasn't been a major game-changer since entering the league as his teams have made the playoffs just twice in his 10 years. He has not especially been known to elevate the talent around him.

The Saints kind of need him to do just that this year, too. While Chris Olave is an ascending star, he's also the only noteworthy playmaker on the offense. We're hoping speedster Rashid Shaheed can take the next step, but the team doesn't even have an established WR3 behind those two. They're still relying on gadget plays from a soon-to-be-34-year-old Taysom Hill to keep defenses on their toes, and they'll be relying Alvin Kamara -- who looked past his prime last year -- to operate as their RB1 ahead of Jamaal Williams, who had an abysmal 30% success rate as a rusher in 2023.

Even if Carr has a good season for himself and the skill position players stay healthy and productive all year, the offense has another failure point: the offensive line.

Last year the Saints' line ranked 26th-best in pass blocking and 25th-best in run blocking, per Pro Football Focus. That unit lost tackles James Hurst and Andrus Peat to retirement and free agency, respectively. Their other stud tackle, Ryan Ramczyk, has missed substantial time in two of his last three seasons with chronic knee issues and is now taking longer than expected to recover from another offseason knee procedure.

If the Saints' offensive line crumbles, the rest of the offense could crater alongside them. Carr was PFF's 24th-ranked quarterback under pressure in 2023. If the line also can't hold up well enough to get the ground game running, we could see the Saints struggle to put any points on the board this year.

The lack of depth across the Saints' entire offense exacerbates the issue. If Olave gets hurt again, they don't have a reliable pass-catcher. If Kamara continues trending in the wrong direction, they might not find any production on the ground. If their already middling line loses any starters, the whole thing could collapse.

The Saints look like an average-at-best offense if everything goes right. It could get messy if they encounter any hiccups along the road.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.