Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5; 1-5-1 ATS; 4-3 O/U) vs. New Orleans Saints (5-2; 5-2 ATS: 4-3 O/U)
NFL: Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 1:00pm EST
Line: New Orleans -7
The red-hot New Orleans Saints will host the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFC South showdown Sunday afternoon from the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The Buccaneers are coming off a 17-3 home loss to the Panthers, and the Saints defeated the Bears by a 20-12 score last week. The Buccaneers won the first meeting last season by a 16-11 score, and the Saints answered with a 31-24 home win in the second meeting.
Buccaneers Offense Sputters in Loss to Panthers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could not execute on offense in their rough 17-3 home loss to the Carolina Panthers last week. Jameis Winston was not on his game, completing 21 of 38 passes for 210 yards with zero touchdowns against two interceptions, however, his sprained shoulder could have impacted his play. The 23-year old quarterback is having a decent season but could be better, collecting 1853 passing yards with a 10:6 TD to INT ratio. Doug Martin had a solid afternoon on the ground, rushing for 71 yards on 18 carries. The six-year veteran has been solid since returning from his suspension, notching 247 rushing yards in four games. Bucs’ leading receiver Mike Evans made five catches for 60 yards in the loss. The 24-year old wide receiver is having a strong season, accumulating 519 receiving yards with four touchdowns. The Buccaneers offense has been solid for the most part this season but has had a few duds.
The Tampa Bay defense played well in the loss to the Panthers, holding them to 254 total yards which included only 154 passing yards. The Buccaneers pass defense was solid last week, however overall they have struggled against the pass this season and will face a big test this week against Drew Brees. They have now dropped four straight and sit in last place in the NFC South.
Saints Continue to Roll in Fifth Straight Win
The New Orleans Saints continued their winnings ways by defeating the Bears 20-12 last week. Drew Brees was solid, connecting on 23 of 28 passes for 299 yards with no touchdowns. The 38-year old quarterback is having a terrific season, accumulating 1951 passing yards with an 11:4 TD to INT ratio. Brees posted a 1:3 TD to INT ratio in two games against the Bucs last season. Saints leading receiver Michael Thomas continued his strong play in the win last week, bringing in seven catches on eight targets for 77 yards. The 24-year old wide receiver has recorded at least 77 receiving yards in five of seven games this season for a total of 480 yards. Mark Ingram also played well last week, notching 75 rushing yards and averaged 4.2 yards per carry. The 27-year old running back has been dangerous in three straight weeks and has now tallied 464 rushing yards on the year. The Saints passing game continued its elite production again last week against a very strong Bears secondary, and are showing no signs of slowing down.
The Saints defense was outstanding last week, limiting the Bears to 307 yards which included 150 passing yards. Their defense is showing improvement and has played well in two straight weeks. New Orleans is one of the hottest teams in the NFL, winning five consecutive games to catapult them into first place in the NFC South.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are:
- 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a double-digit home loss.
- 22-8-1 ATS in their last 31 November games.
- 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games after scoring fewer than 15 points in their previous game.
The New Orleans Saints are:
- 5-12-1 ATS in their last 18 November games.
I am taking the points with the Buccaneers in this contest. This is a must-win game for the Buccaneers and I expect them to play with desperation. Tampa Bay does own the number two ranked passing game with an average of 295 passing yards per game, and the Saints will give up yards in the air. The Saints defense has not faced a tough test in the last two weeks against Brett Hundley and Mitch Trubisky, however, it will be different this week against a deep Bucs receiving corps. Furthermore, the Tampa Bay pass defense was solid last week, holding Newton to only 154 passing yards. In addition, Brees only tossed one touchdown against three interceptions in two games against the Buccaneers last season, giving me more confidence in Tampa Bay.
Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The matchup features two passing games that are very potent and neither team is very strong defensively. This has the makings off a shootout with the Buccaneers second ranked passing game up against the Saints fourth ranked passing game. I expect Brees to have a big game against the Bucs weak pass defense, and the over is 11-2 in the Saints last 13 games against a team with a losing record. I also anticipate a solid game from Winston who has tallied over 300 passing yards in four out of his last six games, plus the over is 4-0 in the Buccaneers last four road games.