Bucs vs. Saints Prediction
The Saints are red-hot but are the Bucs a decent underdog play for bettors in Week 9?
Who: Bucs (2-5) at Saints (5-2)
When: 1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, November 5
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Who Oddsmakers Like: New Orleans. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Saints are 7-point home favorites versus the Bucs, who opened as 7-point underdogs. As for the total, the number hit the board at 50 but was bet up to 52.5 at the majority of online sportsbooks.
Who the Public Likes: New Orleans. And why not? The Saints have won five consecutive games and are one of the hottest teams in the league. As of right now, 65% of bettors are backing New Orleans this afternoon.
Who the Trends Like: The under. In the last five meetings between these two teams, the combined score has fallen under the betting total four times.
Who We Like: Tampa Bay. Call me crazy but I'm not buying into the narrative that the Saints defense is suddenly good. Are they playing well? Unquestionably. They're creating turnovers and generating sacks, two things that if done consistently can add up to a lot of victories. But they've also benefited from playing the inconsistent Panthers, the Jekyll and Hyde Dolphins, the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers, and a Bears team that is attempting to play modern football without the forward pass. The Saints are the team to beat in the NFC South, but excuse my skepticism when it comes to hopping on the, their-defense-is-now-suddenly-fixed bandwagon.
Now, the Bucs are a mess. Jameis Winston continues to be hampered by a shoulder injury and even though he practiced all week, here's hoping that if he can't move the offense that Dirk Koetter has a quick hook on his young QB (he didn't a week ago when the Bucs generated a measly field goal against the Panthers). Plus, Tampa Bay's defense generates zero pressure and has had problems defending the pass (No. 30 in the NFL, 274.7 yards per game).
Still, this is a divisional game and the Saints are due for their this-is-the-NFL-so-weird-shit-happens moment. I'll take the points.
NFL WEEK 9 PREDICTIONS: TAMPA BAY BUCS +7