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NFL Preseason Betting: Saints Continue To Progress With Payton Back Calling Plays

Posted by Stan Simmons on 8/21/2013 10:22:12 PM

The New Orleans Saints have a score to settle with the NFL this online sports betting season. It’s all about redemption. The Saints are coming off a disappointing year in which they were handicapped by suspensions to several key pieces, but no loss was greater than that of head coach Sean Payton for an entire season. Payton is back on the Saints’ sidelines and calling plays once again, and next up is a date with the Houston Texans with the regular season right around the corner. 

Keep An Eye On: The Saints Passing Attack

The return of Payton is expected to help a New Orleans’ offense that already performed at an elite level a year ago, and on paper this looks like a group that should once again lead the NFL in passing yards. The reuniting of Payton and Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees means that the Saints should once again top the 5,000-yard mark, but it will take some work this preseason as the two look to get back on the same track with some new pieces added to the mix. Brees has given high praise to his young receivers in camp, including comparing Kenny Stills to a bigger version of Lance Moore and saying that Nick Toon reminds him of Vincent Jackson. Any chance of New Orleans making a return to the playoffs this season will depend on Brees and the passing game putting up elite numbers, and they will face a tough online sportsbook test this week against a very good Texans’ pass defense.

What The Progress Of: Brian Cushing (Texans); Glenn Foster (Saints)

That Houston defense includes one of the best linebacker cores in the NFL, and all eyes have been on Brian Cushing as he makes his return from a season-ending knee injury that cost him all of last year. Cushing looked good in last week’s win over the Miami Dolphins, nearly sacking Ryan Tannehill and logging a tackle during his 10 snaps of action. Cushing isn’t the only defensive player to keep an eye on though as for all of the talk about the Saints’ offense , 23-year old defensive end Glenn Foster looked pretty good on a defense that appears to have made significant progress under first-year defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. The rookie finished with two of the seven sacks the New Orleans defense registered in the win over the Oakland Raiders last week, and could find his way in to the pass-rush rotation if he continues to perform at such a high level for a defense that set records for its futility a year ago.

Outlook:

There is a lot for sports betting football fans in New Orleans to be excited about with this team, especially considering the return of Payton on offense and the arrival of Ryan on defense. The Saints have a lot of work to do, and they won’t let up one bit facing a quality challenge from a Houston team that is still more focused on getting to the regular season with what they have rather than risking injury to develop now.

Odds: Saints + 2.5
Pick: Saints + 2.5


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