Week nine ends with Sunday Night Football today and one of the most anticipated games of the entire NFL season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet the New Orleans Saints with the top spot in the NFC South on the line (8.20pm ET; TV: Live on NBC).
After last week’s Sunday Night Football matchup pitted two teams in the league’s worst division head-to-head, this week will see two teams in one of the league’s best divisions going at it. So read on to discover our Saints vs Bucs predictions and big-game preview with final betting picks’ selections.
In any other year, the Buccaneers facing the Saints would be little more than a game between two divisional opponents. As we have learned in so many ways, 2020 is no ordinary year. This second meeting between the Saints and Buccaneers has been circled on a lot of calendars and is deserving of the Sunday night national TV spot. That is because we are seeing a rare meeting of two of the best of all time, a meeting that we’ll now get to see twice a year. Five words: Tom Brady vs Drew Brees.
Any football fan should be ecstatic at the prospect of these two all-time greats getting to face each other twice a year. Their first meeting did not disappoint. In what amounted to a battle of the two oldest quarterbacks to face each other, the Saints prevailed with an 11-point victory.
A lot has changed since that first meeting. For starters, New Orleans lost their top wide receiver, Michael Thomas, and the Buccaneers potentially gained theirs in Antonio Brown. Just how much Brown will be able to contribute will be limited as today will be his first NFL game in over a year. Brown has Brady’s eye and he’s even been rooming with his quarterback. The connection between the two has huge potential and just gives Brady one more weapon to continue breaking defenses apart.
The Bucs already had Mike Evans but then added Rob Gronkowski, who has lately been starting to pick up his production, Leonard Fournette and now, Antonio Brown. This team has taken a win-now mentality and their offense is certainly built for that very outcome.
There is no denying just how impressive the Buccaneers offense has been this year. They rank fourth in the NFL, averaging just under 31 points per game and that was before adding someone like Brown.
The Saints offense is no slouch either. While there has been a question around just how good Brees’ arm strength is these days, New Orleans has managed to average just over 29 points per game. That has been without Thomas, who is questionable to play. Thomas and Brown, in their prime, were absolute game breakers meaning that without them, it’s been even more of an accomplishment given what these teams have done thus far.
Part of this, at least in New Orleans, can be credited to the performance of running back, Alvin Kamara, who has emerged as one of the league’s top all-purpose yards guys. New Orleans has relied on Kamara in Thomas’ absence. He will certainly be looking for a better outing though than the first meeting between these two teams when Kamara carried the ball 13 times for just 16 yards.
Our Preview’s Saints vs Bucs Predictions & Betting Picks Advice
That’s the storyline here as the Saints and Buccaneers compete for the top spot in the NFC South. These two legends have nothing left to prove and yet, they continue to prove things week-in and week-out anyway. Brees and Brady are two of the absolute best and even now, as both are in their 40s, they still find ways to entertain and do so by putting up huge points on the board. So we come to our Saints vs Bucs predictions against the American friendly sportsbooks:
- Sowe’ll start there, with the total points likely to be collected. It opened at 56pts but has since dropped to 50.5pts, which is odd given the offensive juggernauts of both these teams. It feels like a real no brainer to take the over on this total as New Orleans and Tampa Bay should score and score big. Go over 50.5pts @ -110 with Bovada, BetOnline and Intertops.
- As for the spread, the Buccaneers are currently sitting at 4-pointfavorites at home. It’s not a bad spread to bet on especially given Brady’s track record in these kind of situations. It’s incredibly rare for Brady to lose to the same team twice in one year and with the Saints taking the opener between these two, it feels safe to pick the Bucs in this one. Especially with Brown taking the field for his new team and new quarterback for the first Take the Buccaneers -4pts on the spread @ best odds of -114 with BetOnline. It is -115 with Bovada, Bookmaker and Intertops.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.