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For New Orleans Saints fans, and the bettors all around the country that have the Saints on their various futures bets, Monday night’s dismal showing over the final 35 minutes is going to be dissected all week.

Is this just a blip on the radar, against what might be a much improved Las Vegas Raiders team that opened up their new building in a new city on Monday Night Football?

Or could that 34-24 loss, which saw the Raiders rack up almost 400 yards of offense, be the harbinger of things to come over the rest of the season?

New Orleans is still currently the betting favorite to win the NFC, at around +500 odds at William Hill Sports, although some books have the Seattle Seahawks ahead by slight margins. The Saints (+1100 odds) are also the third pick to win Super Bowl LV, behind the two AFC teams that look to be varying orders of magnitude better than the rest of the league: Baltimore (+500 to win the Super Bowl) and Kansas City (+500 to win the Super Bowl).

ESPN had this recent story about the passing game so far under Drew Brees, which is averaging just 4.82 yards per pass. The Saints are going to be tested a few more times in the first half of the 2020 NFL season, starting this week with a home game against the 2-0 Green Bay Packers (Sunday, 7:20 p.m. CDT, NBC and Fubo.tv). The Saints are currently favored by 3.5 points, with the over/under currently set at 52.5 points, so it looks like the books are predicting another Sunday Night offensive attack from both teams.

The Packers have scored 43 and 42 points and over 1,000 yards (522 and 488) in their two wins, and will head to New Orleans looking to keep that momentum going for another week. A win for Green Bay could also shift the NFC title futures towards the Packers.

New Orleans could easily be 1-2 after the weekend, and I would not be stunned to see them 4-4 or 5-3 after eight weeks. The Saints could be 6-2, though, as well.

But you have to remember: all this has to be taken with a grain, or maybe a few, grains of salt. It is two games into the new season, and the Raiders were almost certainly up for the contest in their new home. The good thing for the Saints right now is, their schedule (once again, after two games) looks to be somewhat easier than it might have before the season.

The last eight games of the season see New Orleans take on a banged up 49ers team, then a four-game stretch with the Falcons, Broncos, Falcons, and Eagles. Atlanta is back to doing what it does best (blow huge leads), Denver has been decimated by injuries already, and, somehow, even with no fans in the stadium, Philadelphia QB Carson Wentz managed to get booed in the Eagles’ home opening blowout loss to the Rams.

New Orleans then ends the season with the Chiefs, Vikings, and Panthers, the last of which might be ready for the season to be over long before that contest.

So while it might look less than rosy now, and even after eight weeks, the Saints should be on track to do some damage in the playoffs.

But will it be enough to bring the Brees and the franchise their second Super Bowl title?

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