What The Return Of Drew Brees Means For The Saints

The future Hall of Famer is slated to return after sitting out five weeks due to a thumb injury

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  • The New Orleans Saints (6-1) welcome the Arizona Cardinals (3-3-1) to the Big Easy in Week 8. 

  • BetQL’s NFL Model labels the Saints -10.5, New Orleans’ -540 moneyline and over the 49 point total as the best bets in this matchup.

  • After undergoing surgery on his throwing-hand thumb five weeks ago, Drew Brees is preparing to return this week and should heavily target Michael Thomas, especially since Alvin Kamara (ankle) and Jared Cook (ankle) are questionable and likely won’t be at full strength if they play.

  • Arizona’s defense ranks 25th in passing yards allowed (263.3), 27th in opposing completions per game (24.4), 30th in opponent completion percentage (69.8), T-30th in opposing passing touchdowns per game (2.4) and 28th in scoring defense (27.4 points per game).

The Legend Returns 

Although Drew Brees hasn’t yet been named the New Orleans Saints’ starting quarterback against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8, it’s expected that he will make his return. 

On Wednesday, the future Hall of Famer returned to practice and, although he was limited, was able to throw the football five weeks after undergoing thumb surgery on his throwing hand. The Saints (6-1) have gone 5-0 with Brees’ backup Teddy Bridgewater under center and also have a Week 9 bye, but it seems like the veteran will be ready to go against the Cardinals (3-3-1). 

"Look, this game coming up this week for Arizona and for us is a unit. It's just as important as a game three weeks from now or five weeks from now," head coach Sean Payton told reporters about this matchup. ”That's something I think a lot of people from the outside say, 'Well, let's rest him one more week, then we have a bye week.' Look, if he's ready to play, he's ready to play. This game's an important game, just as the first game after the bye is important. So our approach will be just that."

BetQL’s NFL Model heavily favors the Saints in this matchup and labels New Orleans’ offense with an “A” grade while the Cardinals’ “D-“ defense should have plenty of trouble containing Brees and company. 

Find out how many stars that our algorithm assigned to New Orleans across all bet types!

The Brees-Thomas Connection 

Through seven games, Michael Thomas has 62 receptions for 763 yards and three touchdowns.  Although he developed a connection with Bridgewater and received 13 targets in each of the last two games (10 catches for 89 yards and then 10 catches for 123 yards, respectively), Thomas will be heavily utilized with Brees under center, especially since Alvin Kamara (ankle) and Jared Cook (ankle) have missed practice all week and are questionable to play. 

The historic connection between Brees and Thomas will be on full display, especially due to the juicy matchup...

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Arizona’s "Defense"

Due to the frenetic pace of the Cardinals offense under Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona’s defense has found itself on the field quite a bit this season. As a result, they rank 25th in passing yards allowed (263.3), 27th in opposing completions per game (24.4), 30th in opponent completion percentage (69.8), T-30th in opposing passing touchdowns per game (2.4) and 28th in scoring defense (27.4 points per game). 

As a result, Brees should have no issue getting into a groove in his first game back. Bet on the Saints to take care of business and to continue their ascent as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

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