Things aren’t quite going to plan for the New Orleans Saints. Backup quarterback and heir-apparent Taysom Hill floundered in his first game without training wheels, falling short to the Philadelphia Eagles in a 24-21 defeat. The passer Hill is filling in for, Drew Brees, is no sure thing to return for Week 15’s pivotal matchup with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
And the oddsmakers at BetMGM have taken notice. The Saints are home underdogs for the first time this season, and the first time since their Sept. 29, 2019 game with the Dallas Cowboys last year; Teddy Bridgewater helped the Saints squeak out a 12-10 victory after going into the night with the Cowboys favored by 2.5 points.
Additionally, the over/under suggests a barn-burner: it’s set at 51.5, suggesting a final score close to Chiefs 28, Saints 24. New Orleans hasn’t allowed that many points since Week 4’s road win over the Detroit Lions (who lost 35-29), but that just goes to show how strongly Mahomes and his supporting cast are regarded.
The Saints really, really need to win this game, which feels like I’m underselling how critical it is that they get back in the win column. They’re still mathematically alive in the chase for the NFC first seed, but the Green Bay Packers own a tiebreaker with New Orleans and are favored by 9 points over the Carolina Panthers this week.
And that’s the least of our worries. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 5.5 point favorites to beat the Atlanta Falcons this week, which would put their record at 9-5. A Saints loss to K.C. would put them at 10-4, helping Tampa Bay get that much closer to stealing an NFC South title. The only way the Bucs pull that off is if the Saints continue spiraling and lose out these last three weeks, but their upset loss to the Eagles could end up looking like the first domino to fall.
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