In the preseason, the New Orleans Saints were among the favorites to win the Super Bowl, but after the first seven weeks of the regular season, the Saints were just 4-3 and had suffered losses to the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals. Pundits suggested that they were suffering from a Super Bowl hangover and that they wouldn’t recover.
Fast forward to the postseason and the Super Bowl odds found at BetUs show that the Saints are once again among the favorites.
So what changed?
Well, the Saints may have suffered from a Super Bowl hangover, which is normal, but they have sobered up. After only four wins in their first seven games, they won seven of their remaining nine with one of those losses coming to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a meaningless Week 17 game.
As it stands now, the only team that is higher than them on the totem pole in the NFC – according to the odds makers – is the Atlanta Falcons, who have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. It just so happens that the Saints were the only team to defeat the Falcons at the Georgia Dome this season.
But before you go betting the Saints to repeat as champions, keep in mind that this team comes into the playoffs limping. Running backs Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas are injured, safety Malcolm Jenkins hurt his knee in Week 17 and his status is unknown, wide receiver Marques Colston had arthroscopic knee surgery last week and may or may not play, and tight ends Jeremy Shockey and Jimmy Graham are both banged up and may not play.
The Saints still have Drew Brees and that might be all they need in the Wild Card weekend against the Seattle Seahawks, but with a slew of injuries, they may not last long. This isn’t the same Saints team that won it all last season.
This article originally appeared on the Sports Agent Blog.