This morning, NFL Insider Ian Rapoport reported that New Orleans Saints star WR Michael Thomas was expected to miss the start of the 2021 season after undergoing surgery to repair ligaments in his ankle last month. The news is a huge blow to the Saints offense, as Thomas is one of the best WRs in the league when healthy.
From a gambling perspective, betting on the Saints to miss the playoffs this upcoming season has some value. Here's a look at their current postseason odds at DraftKings Sportsbook:
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After hearing the news, I sprinkled some money on the Saints not to make the playoffs for a myriad of reasons. Let's start with their WR core. The timetable suggests Thomas may not return until October. New Orleans' WR group was already suspect, and with Thomas out, this is what their pass catchers currently look like: Tre'QuanSmith, Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris, and Juwan Johnson. Ouch.
Yes, I know the Saints will go out and grab some free agents, but they are also short on cash, so it'll be tough to find someone that will move the needle.
Next up is the team's QB situation. We still don't know if the Saints are going to start Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston to begin the season. John Madden used to say, "If you've got two quarterbacks, you have none." It takes time to build up chemistry and rapport with your offensive skill players, which is just another hurdle to overcome for this perennial playoff team.
There's also a potential suspension looming for the team's best cornerback Marshon Lattimore. He was charged with a fourth-degree felony for allegedly receiving a stolen firearm earlier this year. If Lattimore also misses time, things can get ugly fast for New Orleans.
Overall, this is a team that lost HOF QB Drew Brees and key cogs in Sheldon Rankins, Emmanuel Sanders, Janoris Jenkins, Thomas Morstead, Jared Cook, and Trey Hendrickson. David Onyemata is also suspended for six games. Now add in Thomas and potentially Lattimore missing time, and they are in trouble.
Not to mention they'll have to face the Super Bowl Champions Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs twice this upcoming season. You know TB12, who currently rules the world, will try to stick it to the Saints when they are down.
If you are looking for an NFL futures bet to throw some pizza money on, bet "No" on the New Orleans Saints to make the playoffs.