NFL Sunday Night Football: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints Preview, Odds, and Prediction
We have a HUGE NFC South battle on Sunday night with the 6-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking on the 5-2 New Orleans Saints. It's a marquee matchup between 2 of the best QB's to ever do it as Tom Brady and Drew Brees are set to go head-to-head. Who will prevail in this crucial matchup? Let's find out below.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-210) vs. New Orleans Saints (+175)... Spread: Bucs (-4)
After a shaky start to the season, the Bucs were starting to click on offense until last week where they barely beat the New York Giants 25-23. Before last Thursday's lackluster performance, the Bucs were coming off 2 dominating performances over the Las Vegas Raiders and the Green Bay Packers. But, the main storyline in this game will be the debut of WR Antonio Brown in a Bucs uniform. The Bucs passing attack now includes WR's Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and TE Rob Gronkowski. This is a scary offense, but it will be interesting to see how the targets get distributed and if egos will play a factor for the Bucs as the season rolls on. Also, Godwin is returning from injury in this game after sitting out, so we will see how much impact he will have against the Saints with the addition of Brown now. It will be up to Brady and his noodle arm to feed the ball to his weapons on the outside and outmatch this Saints team that is hot right now and getting healthier as key players are returning to the lineup.
For the Saints, are we finally going to see WR Michael Thomas in the lineup? The answer is yes and no one is happier than QB Drew Brees right now. Also, Brees will be getting more weapons back this week as WR's Emmanuel Sanders and Marquez Callaway are both returning to the lineup. For the first time in a while, the Saints offense will have all their weapons at their disposal and we will see what this offense is really made out of. RB Alvin Kamara has had to shoulder the load for this offense and he will be relieved to have some assistance now. The Saints are coming off a tight 26-23 overtime win over the Chicago Bears in week 8 where Kamara once again was their most productive player. He had 163 yards from scrimmage against the Bears, but failed to find the endzone. Brees had a solid game too as he had 280 passing yards with 2 TD's and 0 INT's. Limiting the turnovers is essential for Brees in this game against the Bucs because of their stacked offense and ability to finish in the endzone. We know that Brees' production tends to get worse when he's on the road and not in the dome, but last week was a good sign as he put up good numbers on a very tough Bears defense in Chicago. With that being said, I have more confidence in him now going into Tampa Bay and pull off a mini upset (from a betting perspective). With WR Michael Thomas back in the lineup and the Bucs inconsistent play all season on both sides of the ball, I like the Saints to cover the +4 spread on Sunday night. I wouldn't even be surprised if the Saints won this game either, so let's smash the Saints at +4.
Prediction: Saints Cover Spread +4 (-110)