Tom Brady's Buccaneers favored to cover in our Saints vs Buccaneers odds

Saints vs Buccaneers Picks & Odds: Tampa Bay Aiming for .500 Mark Again

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6 SU, 3-7-1 ATS) blew a golden opportunity to increase their lead in the NFC South last week and will try to avoid slipping in the division against the New Orleans Saints (4-8, 4-8) as small home favorites in the Week 13 Monday Night Football matchup. The Buccaneers fell to the Cleveland Browns 23-17 in overtime as 3-point road favorites last Sunday while the Saints were blanked 13-0 by the San Francisco 49ers as 8.5-point road underdogs.

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For every step Tampa Bay takes forward, it seems like the team cannot help taking at least a step back. Coming off a 21-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks as 2.5-point favorites in London and then enjoying their bye week, the Buccaneers dropped below the .500 mark with the loss to the Browns. Yet they still own a half-game lead over the second-place Atlanta Falcons in the division.

The Falcons lost to the Washington Commanders 19-13 last week but host the Pittsburgh Steelers next and have gone 4-2 at home so far. Tampa Bay is just 3-3 at Raymond James Stadium and did not look good offensively again at Cleveland. But New Orleans did not even score a point at San Francisco, which is one reason why the total is down three points to 39.5 in early betting action. The line on the Bucs has also fallen three points to -3.5, basically leaving bettors to decide whether they believe this team can win by more than a field goal.

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New Orleans Offense Must Find Way to Run Better at Tampa Bay

The Saints were shut out for the first time since 2001 last week, and it will not get much easier for them this Monday when they visit the Buccaneers. They simply cannot afford to have running back Alvin Kamara fumble twice like he did against the 49ers, and quarterback Andy Dalton (four carries for 21 yards) definitely cannot be their leading rusher.

Kamara, fellow running back Mark Ingram and quarterback/tight end Taysom Hill combined to run the ball 17 times for 36 yards, and that must improve at Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have struggled to stop the run this season, giving up 123.2 yards per game on the ground. And they just gave up 189 to the Browns on 34 carries (5.6 average).

Buccaneers Face Nemesis in Another Nationally Televised Game

Around this time last year, Tampa Bay was cruising and looked like one of the top Super Bowl contenders in the NFC as the defending champions with one of the NFL MVP favorites in Tom Brady. Then New Orleans came to town and won 9-0 in the Week 15 Sunday Night Football game, pulling off a massive upset as an 11.5-point road underdog. The Saints beat the Buccaneers for the seventh consecutive time during the regular season and the fourth in a row with Brady under center.

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Tampa Bay ended that series skid with a 20-10 road victory in Week 2 as a 2.5-point favorite, but that meeting was also close until the fourth quarter and saw wide receiver Mike Evans ejected after an altercation with New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Evans was suspended one game for his actions, so it is definitely safe to say there is bad blood here.

Saints: Keys To Victory

New Orleans has held Tampa Bay to 20 points or less in three of the past four regular-season meetings. In two of those games, the Buccaneers scored three points or less, which should give the Saints some confidence heading into this one. Even in last week’s loss at San Francisco, the 49ers scored only one touchdown, and New Orleans had more than its fair share of opportunities to get on the scoreboard. A similar performance in this spot vs a struggling offensive team might be enough to at least cover.

Buccaneers: Keys To Victory

Tampa Bay has scored 19 points or more in four of its five wins this year, while going 1-4 SU and 0-4-1 ATS when scoring less. The offense has been a major disappointment for the Buccaneers and must find a way to come alive against an opponent that has given them trouble. Keep in mind, the Saints gave up 20 points or more in their previous four road games before playing the 49ers – losing three of them – so hitting that number is the key.

NFL Computer Pick: Buccaneers -3.5

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Shark Bites
  • New Orleans is 7-1 SU in the last 8 regular-season meetings.
  • Tampa Bay is 1-5-1 ATS and 3-4 SU in its last 7 home games.
  • The UNDER is 3-1 in the past 4 meetings.