Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints
By Jason Green
The Bucs had their 5-Game winning streak snapped in their last Game and sitting one Game back of the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC South and on the outside looking in for the Wild Card this Game is, pretty much, a must win. Tampa Bay beat the Saints 16-11 a couple of weeks back, but can they keep the high scoring Saints and Drew Brees, who threw 3 picks in the Game, down in the Big Easy? The Bucs rank in the middle of the pack on most big stats, but their D will be the key factor in this Game facing a Saints’ team that is at home and scored 48 points in their last Game.
The Saints are out of the playoffs and even with Drew Brees leading the league in passing yards he was snubbed for the Pro Bowl. They can just play spoiler, but you know they would love to that against NFC South rival Tampa Bay. New Orleans is the 2nd highest scoring team in the league and their offense has to carry them, as they rank 3rd to last in the NFL giving up 28 ppg.
The Bucs have covered in 4 of their last 5 Games against the Saints and in 9 of their last 13 Games facing them in New Orleans.
In the Bucs last Game they were on the road and lost to the Dallas Cowboys 26-20 where they covered as a 7-point underdog.
The Saints got into a shootout in their last Game beating the Arizona Cardinals 48-41 covering the spread as a 3-pt road underdog.
The Bucs stayed in the Game with Dallas losing by 6 points even though they were out-GAined 449 yards to 276 yards, committed 4 turnovers, and failed to run the ball. Jameis Winston passed for 247 yards with 2 TD, but he was also picked off twice and RB Doug Martin only rushed for 42 yards averaging 2.6 yards per carry. Facing the Saints Winston and company cannot turn the ball over and if they do they will be in good shape like the first time they faced them season. New Orleans only ranks 2nd to last in the league in pass defense and 13th in run defense.
Drew Brees had a typical Brees Game in the win over the Cardinals passing for 389 yards and 4 TD with 0 INT and what was not typical is that the run Game helped him out with 130 yards on the ground. Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower combined to rush for 115 yards in the Arizona win and if they can help Brees out the Saints are much tougher to beat. Tampa Bay’s defense ranks 20th in the league against the pass and 24th against the run.
Tampa Bay is 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a losing record, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road Games, and they have an Under record of 4-0-1 in their last 5 Games.
New Orleans is 9-3-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, 8-3 ATS in their last 11 Games overall, and they have an Over record of 9-3-1 in their last 13 home Games.
Bettorsworld Pick – We’ll side with the better team, who’s been hot down the stretch and we get an underdog price to boot. Bucs +3