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High-flying Saints could have Brees back vs Cardinals

The New Orleans Saints have won five straight games and now they might be getting Drew Brees back as well. The superstar QB returned to practice this week after missing more than a month following thumb surgery. If he does come back, he’ll face an Arizona defense that recorded eight sacks last week against the Giants.

Matchup Information
  • Arizona Cardinals vs New Orleans Saints (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: October 27, 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Coverage: CBS
  • Opening Odds: New Orleans -8.5 | O/U 48.5 (Line History)

Opening Odds Analysis

With Brees’ uncertain status, most sportsbooks have not released a point spread for this contest. BetOnline and 5Dimes are among the few who have, opening the Saints at -8.5. If Brees is confirmed to return to action, I expect this line to shoot up to double digits.

Arizona News & Notes

Don’t look now, but the Cardinals might actually become a factor in the NFC playoff race. First in the West looks out of the question with the 49ers off to a 6-0 start, but at 3-3-1 and on a three-game winning streak, the Cards are just 1.5 games behind the Seahawks and Vikings for a wild-card spot.

Offense was expected to be Arizona’s strength following the hiring of coach Kliff Kingsbury and the drafting of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray, but the Cards defense also deserves some credit for the turnaround in the desert.

Led by four sacks and a forced fumble from Chandler Jones, Arizona sacked Daniel Jones eight times last week in a 27-21 win over the Giants. New York generated just 263 total yards, and one of the Giants’ touchdowns came on a blocked punt. The outright win was the Cards’ second as an underdog this season on the road, where they’re 3-0 ATS on the year.

New Orleans News & Notes

It’s not often you see a team looking to make a quarterback change when it’s on a five-game winning streak. When the potential replacement is future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, however, it’s easy to understand.

Brees is returning to practice this week after missing more than a month following surgery on a torn ligament in his thumb, and it’s possible that he’ll be under center on Sunday — although Saints head coach Sean Payton is keeping his cards close to his chest for now.

Even if Brees does return, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be a huge improvement on what Teddy Bridgewater has provided New Orleans over the past five games. The former Viking threw a pair of touchdowns in last week’s 36-25 victory at Chicago, bumping his touchdown-to-interception ratio up to 9-2 as the New Orleans starter.

Even without Alvin Kamara in the lineup, the Saints put up 424 yards on a tough Chicago D, including 151 on the ground. Defensively, New Orleans held Chicago to four first downs until the fourth quarter, when the Bears scored a couple of late touchdowns to make the final score more respectable.

Betting Pick: Cardinals +8.5

Whether Brees plays or not, this looks like a classic letdown spot for the Saints coming off a big win at Chicago.

Shark Bites
  • The Cardinals are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games on the road.
  • The Saints are 18-3 SU in their last 21 games at home.
  • The Cardinals are 0-4 SU in their last 4 games on the road vs the Saints (avg. losing margin: 19.75).