Saints have a surprisingly low projected 2021 win total

Every year, one of the most compelling preseason prop bets comes from the basic question of how many games will a given team win?

The folks at PointsBet have unveiled projected win totals, for all teams, based on three weeks of free agency and as we sit roughly three weeks from the draft. We’ll take a look at those totals on a division-by-division basis, starting with the division that gave us the defending NFL champion: The NFC South.

The Buccaneers, who didn’t win the division in 2020, lead the way with 11.5 wins in 17 games.

The Saints, the defending NFC South champions, stand at nine wins, which seems low. The Saints have had four straight seasons of at least 11 wins per year. It seems unlikely, to say the least, that they’ll go 10-7 or worse.

Yes, they don’t have Drew Brees. But they still have Sean Payton. And they still have a roster full of talented players, led by the likes of running back Alvin Kamara (pictured), receiver Michael Thomas, and defensive end Cam Jordan. Also, the Saints (and the rest of the division) play all teams of the NFC East (the weakest division in the NFC) and AFC East (the second-weakest division in the AFC). With the Panthers and Falcons (which make up four of the Saints’ games) still rebuilding and the ability to at least split with the Bucs, the Saints should be good for double-digit wins again.

The Panthers have been pegged at 7.5 wins, with the Falcons at 7. Both seem a little high, but they play each other twice (which means one win for each or two for one) and they play the 2020 third- and fourth-place teams, respectively, from the NFC North, NFC West, and AFC South.

I don’t bet. Of any of these four totals, the one on which I’d definitely wager is the Saints winning more than nine games.