The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off one of the most shocking wins of the NFL season so far. They went on the road to the Los Angeles Rams as a nine-point underdog and crushed them 55-40. This week presents another tough road test when they travel to face the New Orleans Saints. While Drew Brees remains sidelined with an injury, the Saints have now topped two 3-1 teams in back-to-back weeks with Teddy Bridgewater under center. Can they win and cover in this spot?
- Opening Line: New Orleans -6.5
- Current Line: New Orleans -3.5
- Over/Under: 47
- Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Start Time: 1:00 PM ET
- Last Meeting: Saints 28 at Buccaneers 14 (12/9/18)
For all of the talk about how things were expected to fall apart in New Orleans following the injury to Brees, it’s incredible that the exact opposite has happened over the last two games. Bridgewater went 23-of-30 for 193 yards in last week’s 12-10 win over the Cowboys. He will try to complete at least 70-percent of his pass attempts for the third straight game this Sunday. Meanwhile, running back Alvin Kamara remains one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL. Kamara has averaged 127.0 scrimmage yards per game against the Buccaneers in his career. There is a good chance the Saints lean heavily on their star running back once again this upcoming weekend.
Meanwhile, nobody expected Tampa Bay to set a single-game, franchise scoring record with 55 points against the Rams of all teams last weekend. Winston went for 385 yards and four touchdowns with just one interception. If he can continue to produce numbers like that, the Buccaneers will be able to compete with anybody in the NFC. However, Winston could be in a tough spot this weekend against a New Orleans defense that has held its last two opponents to an average of 18.5 points per game. The Saints’ defensive line has the potential to wreak havoc up front, which will make it difficult on Winston as well as Tampa Bay’s running backs. The Buccaneers have allowed an average of 29.3 points per game so far this season. If the offense stumbles on the road, the defense will have a difficult time keeping Tampa Bay in this one.
- Tampa Bay is 7-3 ATS in last 10 games overall
- Buccaneers have won 2 of last 3 vs. Saints
- Tampa Bay is 4-9 SU in last 13 vs. NFC South opponents.
- New Orleans has covered in 13 straight October games
- Saints are 3-1 ATS this season
As impressive as last week’s win over the Rams was, there is a good chance we see the Buccaneers come crashing back down to Earth in Week 5. Winning and looking that good on the road in back-to-back weeks in the NFL is very challenging.
New Orleans is coming off its most efficient performance of the season. While it might not have looked pretty, picking up back-to-back wins over the Seahawks on the road and then the previously undefeated Cowboys at home is a good indication of what this team is capable of regardless of whether it’s Brees or Bridgewater at quarterback.
To be honest, I don’t know who wins this game as the Bucs are one of the most unpredictable teams in the NFL right now. It’s hard to believe that with a win, they’re in first place in the NFC South. What I do expect here is a lower-scoring game as the Saints’ defense should dictate the pace and lead to a low-scoring affair.
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