New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The New Orleans Saints look to avenge a loss from three weeks ago as they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a NFC South NFL matchup. The Saints are -7.5 favorites over the Buccaneers with an over/under point total set at 51.5.
The New Orleans Saints are licking their wounds this week as they went into St. Louis last Sunday as huge favorites against the Rams and were blown out of the building. The Saints are averaging over 32 points per game and while Drew Brees didn’t have a great game Sunday but for the year he has completed over 70 percent of his passes for 2,746 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions but he has been sacked 19 times. Mark Ingram missed last game and he’s questionable for this one if he isn’t good to go it will be plenty of Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles. Brees has been leaning on Sproles and tight end Jimmy Graham in the passing game but with the Saints trailing last week he went back to his wide receivers Lance Moore and Marquis Colston but he had limited success going to Robert Meacham. Defensively New Orleans was gashed on the ground by Steven Jackson and they will get another heavy dose of the running game here and will need a big game from Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Jonathan Vilma but with the Saints three leading tacklers all being part of the secondary, Roman Harper, Malcolm Jenkins, and Jabari Greer, it just shows that other teams are getting through the first two lines of defense most of the time.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in second place in the NFC South but with things heating up every game is huge at this point as after just barely missing the playoffs last season the Bucs are dead set on getting there this year. Tampa Bay is fresh off of their bye week but they have lost two of their last three but have beaten the Saints the last two times they have played them. Josh Freeman has been evolving but he still has more interceptions, 10, than touchdowns, seven, and though he has been sacked just nine times maybe he would be better served taking the sack sometimes as opposed to turning it over. Le Garrette Blount is the key to Bucs offense and he missed last game and is questionable for this game. With Earnest Graham gone for the year Tampa Bay has few options in the backfield but we should see more of Kregg Lumpkin regardless of Blount’s status. Mike Williams and Kellen Winslow lead Tampa Bay in receptions and Preston Parker is improving and emerging as a threat and Arrelious Benn has all of the tools to become a great one. The Buccaneers defense is one of the harder hitting units in the NFL with an injury list to match and Sean Jones and Geno Hayes are the leading tacklers of a unit that has seven fumble recoveries but seems to take bad untimely penalties in the secondary.
New Orleans is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven home games, 19-7 against the spread in their last 26 games following a straight up loss, and 106 against the spread in their last seven games against NFC teams. Tampa Bay is 11-0 against the spread in their last 11 road games against a team with a winning home record, 5-1 against the spread in their last six games against the NFC South, and 4-1-1 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover. Tampa Bay has covered in seven of their last eight games in New Orleans.
Tampa Bay is a team built for playing against teams in their own division and it shows by their dominance in games against division rivals. While the Bucs are bruised and the Saints are mentally bruised, look for a hard hitting game and a close one where it doesn’t take long to realize this is just way too many points.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7.5 New Orleans Saints