New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds & Pick
The New Orleans Saints take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a big NFC South battle on Sunday Night Football. Both teams are on a little bit of a roll. The Buccaneers weren't all that exciting on MNF, perhaps, but overcame an uneven performance to beat the Giants on the road, 25-23. It was their third win in a row, and they now host the Saints, who carry some good momentum into this matchup. On Sunday, the Saints won their fourth game in a row with an overtime win on the road against the Bears, 26-23. Who can get a leg up in the NFFC South division race this week?
Lack of Overall Reliability
Overall, both teams are doing well, battling it out on even terms to win the division, as they have each dropped just two contests as we head into week nine. So there is only so much you can really say. At the same time, from a betting context, neither team has been all that solid. Despite two good W-L records, the Saints and the Bucs have only covered a combined 6 out of 15 spreads. Case in point was last week where both teams won but couldn't cover the spreads. We see two teams that are good, but don't always get a lot of separation from their opponents.
We’re deep enough into the season where we start to see rematches among divisional teams. The Bucs and the Saints played in week one, Tom Brady’s debut with Tampa. New Orleans won at home, 34-23, overcoming an early Tampa lead and pulling away late, while cruising to the finish line for the easy win. A pair of Brady picks, one of which was returned for a TD, were key to the Saints’ success in what was an inauspicious debut for the erstwhile one. But with six wins in their next seven games, the Bucs have shown that maybe they can get it done in this matchup, which they get at home this time.
The Injury and Personnel Factor
Both teams are dealing with injuries to major pieces of artillery, and it could decide this game. For the Saints, getting Michael Thomas back would be huge for an offense that just isn't the same without him. Not having Emmanuel Sanders in there has also hurt, and he is probable for this week. A more-intact offense could push Tampa's defense to its limits and was a big part of their win in week one. Without Chris Godwin, Tom Brady is a bit handcuffed in the aerial corps. He could be coming back, but this might be the game where we see Antonio Brown's surface. Word is he is in great shape and could be poised to make a contribution.
Can the Buccaneers “D” Stop the Saints?
The first game wasn’t really the fault of the Tampa “D,” as they held the Saints to 271 yards of total yardage. We’ve since seen a Tampa defense really excelling in the area of the run-stop. And with a middle that boasts of guys like resurgent Jason Pierre-Paul, rising youngster Devin White, Lavonte David, and Shaquil Barrett, their front-seven might be the best in the conference. Their secondary hasn’t been bad, while making a lot of big splash plays. After holding Brees to 160 yards in their first meeting, maybe this side of the ball can have a big say on this game.
Issues for the Saints
It feels strange to be in any way pessimistic about a Saints team that has beaten this Bucs team three times in a row, including once already this season. But it’s hard to not notice, even in the midst of a 4-game winning streak, that the offense is a little deflated. Alvin Kamara is still a big-time weapon, but the stuff around him hasn’t been clicking that well. And while Thomas might be back, you wonder if that hammy allows him to be near full-power. Will Sanders be near 100%? Will they be able to run against this Tampa defense?
But Not So Fast…
Tampa might have issues of their own in this matchup. With a running-game that has suddenly grown a bit dormant, will Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones, II. be able to get off against a Saints’ defensive front that has been really rigid of late? If not, they will be left with an aerial offense whose top receiver Chris Godwin is questionable, with long-inactive Antonio Brown offering most of the hope. And the Saints have been getting to the
New Orleans at Tampa Bay Prediction 11/8/20
It's a tough pick to make with so much contrasting data, along with two teams that have a lot in common—division rivals whose fortunes rest with 40+-year old quarterbacks. Which team can have more aerial success with the status of key guys so up in the air? Without really knowing Godwin or Thomas' status, as well as how fast Antonio Brown can hit the ground running, we're a little in the dark. I just see more scenarios shaking out favorably for the Bucs and that between their more-bankable defense and possible help being on the way aerially, they can notch the win and cover at home. I'm taking Tampa.