Top Sportsbook



2005 New Orleans Saints NFL Handicapping Review


By Tom Wilkinson


Few pro football teams had demonstrated such inconsistency as the New Orleans Saints did in the previous few seasons leading up to 2004. This team was considered a sports handicapping question mark entering the 2004 campaign and many online sports betting blogs had little mention of the Saints in either a positive or negative light.

The Saints had an excellent opportunity to get off on the right foot to start the year as they hosted Seattle and San Francisco back-to-back in games one and two. New Orleans split the games straight up but lost both of them against the sports betting odds before getting an upset OT win at St. Louis as a 6.5-point dog the following week.

New Orleans entered their fourth game at Arizona standing at 2-1 and favored by three points. The Cardinals were 0-3 and have never had much of a home field edge. Many sports betting players thought that the Saints were a decent candidate for their list of football picks but, in typical fashion, the Saints burned the trust of sports betting players, losing 10-34. The loss began a blistering ring of attacks against New Orleans coach Jim Haslett both in the New Orleans media and at online sports betting blogs. The loss at St. Louis began a three game losing streak both straight up and against the sports betting odds for New Orleans and after the last loss of that streak on the ESPN Sunday Night game at home versus Minnesota, the Saints were written off by many in the sports handicapping community.

Now that they were given up on, the Saints had some exceedingly good value as 3-point dogs at Oakland. As bad as New Orleans was playing, the Raiders were doing even worse and had no business laying points to anyone. All of the key forces that make for excellent sports handicapping value were in place for the Saints. They were a decent team that wasn’t winning, Oakland was a bad team that many in the sports betting public still perceived as good, and the wrong team was the chalk. Prudent sports betting players and bargain hunters included the Saints on their list of football picks and cashed in with a 31-26 win. This win would propel online sports betting players to win seven of the Saints final ten games against the sports betting line. The ultimate sports handicapping lesson from the 2004 New Orleans Saints is that a decent team that gets off to a poor start can often have a lot of value against the sports betting odds in the second half of the season when the general sports betting public ignores them and writes them off.









Use of this information in violation of any federal, state or local laws is prohibited.  © 2003 Legal Sports Betting - All Rights Reserved



Top Poker Room