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Bayou Believers: Derek Carr addition boosts Saints’ odds

Derek Carr has played in exactly one playoff game through the first nine years of his NFL career, but his decision to sign with New Orleans immediately boosted the Saints to NFC South favorites on Monday.

Carr, who will turn 32 later this month, reportedly chose the Saints after a brief free agent tour following his release by the Las Vegas Raiders last month.

DraftKings told Field Level Media that after the news broke of Carr’s decision on Monday, the Saints moved from +5000 to +4000 to win the Super Bowl next season. Their odds to win the NFC title shortened from +2200 to +1500, while the Saints are also the +140 favorite to win the NFC South, down from +210 to start the day. PointsBet reported that New Orleans’ Super Bowl odds shifted from +5500 on Monday to +3500 in the wake of the Carr news.

Meanwhile, BetMGM said the Saints went from +200 co-favorites with Carolina to win the division to the +130 favorites, with the Panthers’ odds lengthening to +250. Their Super Bowl and conference odds weren’t directly impacted because the sportsbook said New Orleans had been the favorite to land Carr.

The Saints are coming off a 7-10 season, which left them only a game out of first place in the woeful NFC South. New Orleans did so with journeyman Andy Dalton starting most of the season. Jameis Winston started the first three games of the season, but was relegated to the bench after recovering from back and ankle injuries. Tampa Bay won the division at 8-9, but quarterback Tom Brady retired after the Bucs were bounced in the first round of the playoffs.

Atlanta and Carolina also finished 7-10 last season. The Falcons are expected to turn the reigns of the offense over to second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder, while the Panthers are in the market for a quarterback with Sam Darnold a free agent and Matt Corral coming off a rookie season lost to a foot injury.

There could be some interesting jockeying ahead of next month’s NFL draft, with Atlanta currently holding the No. 8 pick just in front of Carolina at No. 9 and New Orleans at No. 10. Tampa Bay’s first selection is at No. 19 overall. Carr’s arrival immediately gives New Orleans the most stable quarterback situation in the division. With the Saints, he will also be reunited with Dennis Allen, who was the Raiders’ coach when he was drafted in 2014. Carr spent two days visiting with New Orleans before his release by Las Vegas, but refused to waive his no-trade clause so he could evaluate his options in free agency, also visiting with Carolina and the New York Jets.

Ultimately, he came back to the Saints as his best option, and Carr is expected to sign a multi-year contract. Carr is coming off a 2022 season in which he threw for 3,522 yards with 24 touchdowns against 14 interceptions in 15 games. The Raiders finished the season 12th in total yards and points scored. By comparison, the Saints finished 19th and 22nd, respectively, with their quarterbacks combining to throw for 3,969 yards with 24 TD passes and 14 picks. –Field Level Media


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