Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints Odds & Picks
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers secured their first postseason victory since their 2002 Super Bowl campaign with a 31-23 win over Washington last week. For QB Tom Brady, the uniform may have changed, but it was still the same result as the former Patriots star threw for 381 yards with two touchdowns. The Buccaneers appear to be peaking at the perfect time on the heels of 5 straight victories, but a familiar foe stands in their way on Sunday with a trip to the NFC Championship on the line.
The New Orleans Saints won the NFC South this season with a 12-4 record and made things look relatively easy in their 21-9 victory over Chicago last week. Perhaps most importantly, the Saints beat the Buccaneers in both regular-season meetings by outcomes of 34-23 in week one and a 38-3 blowout effort in Week 9. There is a popular saying that it is extremely hard to beat a team three times in the same season, and perhaps we will find out if that notion is true on Sunday when the Saints host the Buccaneers inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome as 3 point favorites.
Buccaneers +3 in favor of the betting public
Despite losing two games to the Saints during the regular season, including a most recent 38-3 blowout, the betting public is still siding with the Buccaneers +3 against the spread. Personally, I believe this factor speaks volumes towards the nature of this Sunday's game. Tampa Bay has been loaded with talent throughout the season, but for guys like Brady, TE Rob Gronkowski, RB Leonard Fournette, and WR Antonio Brown, this is their first time in a Tampa Bay uniform. It took some time for this team to grow and mature as a collective unit. For that reason, I think we can safely assume that Tampa Bay is a far different football team than the team the Saints met more than two months ago. For that reason alone, I believe we have to reevaluate the match-up and avoid the desire to look back at the prior two meetings.
- Get more details: Tampa Bay at New Orleans Playoff Match-up Stats
Buccaneers vs. Saints Betting Analysis
Before we get too deep into making a prediction on the betting side, I would first like to point out that the under 52 has some serious value. Both the Buccaneers and Saints have a ton of offensive reputational perceptions, but their defenses are vastly underrated. The Buccaneers have one of the top rush defenses in the league, and the Saints are not far behind with an equally dangerous pass rush. As a result, I'm just not convinced we are going to see the shootout that some fans expect from the offensive stars in this game. The Saints have hit the "under" in 7 of their last ten games, and I think that trend is definitely in play again this Sunday.
When it comes down to predicting the team that will move on to play in the NFC Championship, the Saints should definitely have the confidence after beating Tampa twice in the regular season. I'm just worried the Saints are not exactly firing on all cylinders at the moment. The offense struggled immensely against Chicago despite the Bears' inability to get anything going offensively. WR Michael Thomas did not have the overwhelmingly dominant presence that we have grown to expect in his 1st game back from the IR. RB Alvin Kamara has put the offense on his back in recent weeks, but I'm not sure if we can expect the same baseline against this Tampa run defense. Meanwhile, Brady and the Bucs appear to be firing on all cylinders. WR Antonio Brown is starting to look like his prior self. RB Leonard Fournette unexpectedly carried the workload last week and looked really good. Meanwhile, Mike Evans has had additional time to get closer to 100% with his knee injury. Ultimately, it all comes down to how these teams are playing, and I believe the Buccaneers are playing the better football. If they can get the help from the defense as I expect, I think Tampa will put out the victory.
Buccaneers vs. Saints Betting Trends
- The Bucs are 4-2 ATS in the last six games.
- The Bucs are 5-0 SU in the last five games.
- The Bucs are 6-0 SU in the last six road games.
- The Bucs are 0-5 ATS and 0-5 SU in the last five meetings against the Saints.
- The Saints are 8-1-1 ATS in the last ten games.
- The Saints have hit the "under" in 7 of the last ten games.
- The Saints have hit the "over" in 4 of the last five games at home against the Bucs.
- The Saints are also 7-1 ATS in their last eight games against NFC opponents.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints Prediction 1/17/21
Call me crazy, but I think Tampa Bay is playing their best football of the season. Add a little Brady magic, and I like the underdogs here. Take the Buccaneers +3 and also consider the under 52