2017 Saints Season Preview & NFL Futures Lines
Looking for 2017 New Orleans Saints predictions? We’ve got your back. The New Orleans Saints are in a weird state of limbo where they’re not quite good enough to compete, but not bad enough to enter a true rebuild. The franchise has had so many dark times that it’s understandable there’s a hesitancy to step away from the head coach-quarterback duo of Sean Payton and Drew Brees, who led the Saints to the only Super Bowl victory in franchise history.
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2018 New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Odds +4000
Saints 2017 NFC Championship Odds Saints +1800
Saints 2017 NFC South Odds +260
Saints Season Win Totals Lines – 8.5
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2017 New Orleans Saints Predictions: Roster Changes
With Brees set to turn 39 years old before this season ends, there was certainly a concerted effort by Saints general manager Mickey Loomis to reload for one more run at a title, and that process was highlighted by the addition of Adrian Peterson.
The 32-year-old running back leaves Minnesota’s leaky offensive line behind him and will now run behind a solid blocking unit in New Orleans.
The move may be the shiniest of the bunch, but the reality is incumbent Mark Ingram figures to out-snap the aging Peterson, and third-round draft choice Alvin Kamara will see some time as well.
But the addition of Peterson is the most obvious win-now move of the offseason for the Saints.
The area that required the most attention from the Saints’ front office this offseason – as has been the case for the better part of a decade – was the team’s porous defense.
Loomis went the free agent route to address his team’s needs at linebacker, adding A.J. Klein from the rival Panthers and plucking Manti Te’o out of the bargain bin.
He also used a third-round draft pick on Alex Anzalone to further shore up the position.
Loomis also spent some high draft picks to help bolster the secondary. He picked Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore after the former Buckeye fell to the No. 11 spot, then added free safety Marcus Williams out of Utah to help bolster the league’s worst ranked pass defense.
The other major offseason move came when the Saints shipped Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots, then used the first-round draft choice they acquired in that deal to select offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk – a sign there are some in the Saints’ front office still keeping an eye on the future.
2017 New Orleans Saints Predictions: Offense
With Cooks gone, the team added Ted Ginn Jr., who’ll fill in that role of the deep threat in the passing game.
Brees will surely be looking to Michael Thomas and Willie Snead more often this year, and it’ll be interesting to see if Coby Fleener is able to bounce back after a major letdown season in his first year in New Orleans.
With Peterson in the fold at running back, there are some questions as to whether he’ll be the main guy in the backfield or if he’ll simply step into Tim Hightower’s role.
The latter seems more likely with Ingram coming off a 1,000 yard season.
2017 New Orleans Saints Predictions: Defense
Loomis was able to help build up the Saints’ secondary and linebacking corps in the offseason, but there’s still a lack of a pass rush on this team, which could pose problems.
The unit should be better after all the attention that was paid to it, but how much better is yet to be seen.
2017 New Orleans Saints Handicapping: (Strengths/Weaknesses)
For as long as Payton and Brees are still around, the Saints’ greatest strength will remain the passing game, even as the running game does steadily improve.
With that said, the defense remains very much a work in progress, and if this team plans on outscoring opponents week in and week out, there won’t be as much success as they’d hope for.
2017 New Orleans Saints Prediction (Final Record): 6-10
The Saints’ record has been like clockwork over the past three seasons – each year they went 7-9.
This season, there’s probably some thinking around the team that if the defense can come together quickly, they can get into the playoffs, but the more likely outcome is that with all the teams in the NFC South getting better, New Orleans is more likely to finish with six or fewer wins than with 10 or more. And that’s a shame because it could signal the end of the Payton-Brees era.
From a betting perspective, there’s better value to be found elsewhere on the futures board than backing the Saints.
More 2017 NFC South Season Previews & NFL Predictions
- 2017 Carolina Panthers Predictions
- 2017 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Season Predictions
- 2017 Atlanta Falcons Predictions
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