Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints Prediction ATS
Date/Time: Sunday, October 31, 4:25 PM EST
Where: Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans
Point Spread: TB -5 / NO +5
Over/Under Total: 50
The defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will roll into the Big Easy on Halloween to take on the Saints. BETANYSPORTS (You can bet on games at -105 odds there! It’ll save you TONS of money!) is making the Bucs 5 point road favorites and setting the game total at 50. It’s hard to lay 5 points with a road favorite in the NFL, but let’s trust Tom Brady and the Bucs to stay hot and cover the number this week. Here is the handicap.
Tampa’s Offense Is On Fire
The NFL in 2021 is all about offense, and the team scoring the most points so far this year is Bruce Arians’ Bucs. They have topped 30 points on four occasions and are averaging 33 points per game. They are middle of the pack in both passing and rushing yards per attempt, but they are 4th in the league at converting 3rd downs, and Brady is on track to set the record for most touchdown passes in a season. Brady should have Antonio Brown back and may have Gronk back, but even without them, there is no shortage of weapons to catch TB12’s passes. Leonard Fournette is really playing the best ball of his career, averaging 4.4 yards per carry and a lock to get a tough yard when the game is on the line. Brady’s offensive line is protecting him well, allowing only nine sacks through 7 games, so Brady will have time to throw this week. With Fournette moving the chains and Brady having time to throw, the Bucs offense should stay hot in New Orleans.
The Saints defense ranks 3rd in points allowed at 17 per game and looked great against Geno Smith and the Seahawks.
However, they gave up 485 yards and 27 points to the Giants and 373 yards and 22 points to the Washington Football team in the previous weeks. New Orleans has only 13 sacks this year, and other than Marshon Lattimore, the secondary can be had. New Orleans likes to play, man, but it’s hard to imagine how they can match up with all of the Bucs’ weapons – especially if Gronk is on the field. Other than Aaron Rogers and the Packers, who didn’t show up in week 1, the Saints have not faced a top 20 quarterback. Their defense may not be as good as their stats indicate, and we’ll find out this Sunday. I’m expecting the Bucs offense to reach the endzone multiple times this week and basically have their way with the Saints.
New Orleans Can’t Keep Up
Jameis Winston has been a colossal disappointment this year for the Sean Payton and the Saints. New Orleans is 31st in the league in passing yards, only ahead of the Bears. Winston is so focused on not turning the ball over that he is afraid to throw the ball downfield. The whole offense revolves around Alvin Kamara, who is certainly a magician with the ball averaging 110 scrimmage yards per game and scoring five touchdowns. Payton has and will continue to scheme up ways to get Kamara the ball, which will undoubtedly produce some big plays and maybe scores. Part of the problem is the receiving corps, which is one of the worst in the league. So someone else on the Saints needs to step up, but who might that be. Their leading receiver (other than Kamara) is Marquez Calloway with 16 catches. The Buccaneers have six players with 16 catches. Taysom Hill is actually the second-best playmaker on the Saints, and he is basically a fullback. He missed last week with a concussion and is questionable this week. Payton is a great offensive mind, but if his offense is capable of making big plays, why didn’t they make one against Seattle last week.
The big nightmare for Payton is on the other sideline – Todd Bowles and Bruce Arians. These guys coached Jameis in Tampa, so they know every weakness he has – and there are a lot. Look for Bowles to limit Kamara as much as possible and dial-up some exotic blitzes for Winston. Tampa’s D-line is the best around – so good most teams don’t even try to run the ball into them. Their secondary is their weakness, and their rush hasn’t been as good as it was last year, but the secondary can match up with the Saint receivers, and Jameis just needs the thought of pressure to start getting nervous and tossing the ball around. Winston has only thrown three interceptions on the season, but I’m expecting 1 or 2 more this week. This is really a terrible match-up for the Saint offense that wants to run and won’t be able to. It could be a long day for Payton and Winston on Sunday.
More Picks: Jacksonville at Seattle Point Spread Winner
No Letdown for Tampa
This could be a letdown spot for Tampa, coming off four consecutive wins, including last week’s drubbing of the Bears. But these teams met three times last season, with the Saints winning the two regular-season games by a total of 46 points. Neither game was close, so Tampa knows it won’t be easy. The playoff game wasn’t close either, with Tampa winning 30-20. The Bucs know if they put the Saints away this week, they will almost lock up the NFC South, while a loss would give the Saints the advantage as both teams will have two losses. Tampa proved last week that they will keep their foot on the gas when winning, and if they jump out to a lead and Winston has to lead the Saints back, it could get ugly.
Lay the Points With the Bucs
There is too much of a talent discrepancy at the quarterback and wide receiver positions for the Saints to keep this game close. The Bucs will score at will, and the Saints will struggle to get to 20. Lay the 5 with the defending champs. Bet your Week 8 NFL picks for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $300 at MyBookie Sportsbook! (Must use bonus code PREDICT100).
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