Saints' 2016 Win Total Prediction
Will the Saints at least match their win total from a year ago, or will they potentially exceed that number in 2016?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the over/under has been set at 7 for the number of wins that the Saints will produce this upcoming season. That said, the over and under carry different odds. While the over 7 carries -105 odds, the under 7 is -125.
A Look Back
The Saints finished 2015 with a 7-9 record, going 4-4 at home, 3-5 on the road and 3-3 within the division. For those looking for a reason to be optimistic about the Saints’ potential in 2016, look no further than their 3-1 finish over the final four weeks of the season. Drew Brees also showed no signs of slowing down after throwing for 4,870 yards with 32 touchdowns and a 101.0 QB rating.
A Look Ahead
A year after trading Jimmy Graham to the Seahawks in exchange for center Max Unger and a first-round pick, the Saints signed former Colt Coby Fleener in free agency. They also brought in linebacker James Laurinaitis after the veteran spent the entirety of his career in St. Louis. In the draft, the Saints selected defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins to play alongside John Jenkins and top pass-rusher Cameron Jordan, as well as receiver Michael Thomas, who joins Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead atop the wideout depth chart.
2016 Season Prediction
Thanks to the additions of Fleener and Thomas, as well as the return of Brees, Cooks, Snead and Mark Ingram, the Saints have more than enough offensively to be competitive this season. But will their defense show marked improvement after they ranked dead last in Football Outsider’s defensive efficiency rating? That’s the question.
The good news is, the defense can’t get any worse than it was a year ago. The bad news is that the unit already took a hit this offseason when promising second-year player Hau’oli Kikaha suffered a significant knee injury after overcoming two torn ACLs in college. But at least there’s still plenty of talent to work with for new defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
Laurinaitis’ best days are behind him but his football IQ is through the roof and he should play with a renewed sense of energy after never enduring a winning season while he was with the Rams. Stephone Anthony is a rising player at outside linebacker and the secondary is intriguing thanks to Jairus Byrd, Kenny Vaccaro, PJ Williams, Delvin Breaux and second-rounder Vonn Bell.
The Saints finished with a 7-9 record a year ago with a horrendous defense that was torched weekly. Assuming the offense is just as dangerous as it was in 2015 and the defense improves slightly, then New Orleans should at least go 8-8 in 2016.
2016 NFL SEASON WIN TOTAL: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS OVER 7