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Saints home to Buccaneers in NFL betting action

Tampa Bay Buccaneers New Orleans Saints
4-11 December 29, 2013, 04:25 | Mercedes-Benz Superdome 10-5

Not too long ago the New Orleans Saints looked like serious contenders for the NFC championship.

Now, heading into the final week of the regular season, New Orleans needs a win just to sneak into the postseason.

The Saints will try to secure a return trip to the playoffs when they host divisional rival Tampa Bay Sunday.

New Orleans looked like a shoo-in for the playoffs just a few weeks ago. But suddenly the Saints have lost three of their last four games, relinquishing the lead in the NFC South to Carolina.

The Buccaneers have also fallen off in recent weeks, following a 4-1 run with consecutive losses.

As of early this week New Orleans, which has won the last four games in this series, was favored by 13 points over the Bucs over at 5Dimes. New Orleans is just 3-13 ATS in Week 17 matchups over the past 16 seasons.

The Saints currently sport a record of 10-5, and have posted a corresponding betting slate of 7-7-1 ATS. The Buccaneers are 4-11 and 6-9 ATS. Betting totals have seen the Saints post a 5-10 over under record this season, while the Buccaneers have gone 7-8 against the number.

View Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints Odds and Stats.

The Buccaneers were listed as 12.5-point underdogs at sportsbooks such as TopBet, with the total listed at 47.

This game matches up the No. 5 (Saints) and the No. 24 (Buccaneers) teams in the league, according to our current NFL Power Rankings at OddsShark. A 25-15 result in favor of the Saints is predicted by handicapping models.

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Tampa Bay lost its last outing, a 23-13 result against the Rams on December 22. The Buccaneers failed to cover in that game as a 3.5-point underdog, while the 36 combined points took the game UNDER the total. In their last game, the Buccaneers were Week 16 losers coming out on the wrong end of 23-13 score against St. Louis. In their last game, the Saints were Week 16 losers coming out on the wrong end of 17-13 score against Carolina.

How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up New Orleans's No. 13-ranked offense (24.8 PPG) against a Buccaneers defense that ranks No. 14 at 23.13 PPG. The Saints passing attack has averaged 303.2 yards per game, more than the Buccaneers give up through the air (229.07 YPG on average).

In comparing defenses, the Buccaneers own the league's No. 20-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 122.57 yards per game when on the road. New Orleans, on the other hand, rates No. 22 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

A few Buccaneers at Saints trends to consider:
Tampa Bay is 7-13-1 ATS in its last 21 games
Tampa Bay is 5-16 SU in its last 21 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay's last 5 games
Tampa Bay is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
New Orleans is 1-4-1 ATS in its last 6 games
New Orleans is 10-5 SU in its last 15 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New Orleans's last 5 games
New Orleans is 6-0-1 ATS in its last 7 games at home

Next up:
Tampa Bay home to , Wednesday, December 31st
New Orleans home to , Wednesday, December 31st