Saints v Buccaneers Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 09/12/18

  • 8th December 2018
Saints v Bucaneers Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

Ben Rolfe (@benrolfe15) previews New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers and provides us with his best bets for Sunday’s NFC South rivalry game by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

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New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 09/12/18
  • Time: 18:00
  • Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay
  • Channel: NFL Gamepass

It seems a long time ago that the Buccaneers defeated the Saints in Week 1 of the season! Since that game the Buccaneers have gone 4-7 and the Saints have lost just once, last week on Thursday Night against the Cowboys. These two teams are now in very different places in their seasons. The Buccaneers have players and coaches fighting for careers and the Saints are fighting for the chance to have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Saints offense has cooled off a little in the last two weeks but sometimes Thursday Night Football can upset the rhythm a little. In addition, the Cowboys have one of the best defences in football so going into their stadium and winning was always going to be a tall order, even for an offense this good. Their defence has been legit over the last few weeks and with an adequate but not great offensive line for the Buccaneers they should be able to cause problems.

The Buccaneers have played like a different team in the last two weeks as they have picked up wins. However, they have managed to beat the lowly San Francisco 49ers and the struggling Carolina Panthers. This will be a completely different test on both sides of the ball for them and we will learn a lot about the team quarterback Jameis Winston in this game.

A final thing to consider is the potential weather on Sunday. The current prediction is for thunderstorms and winds of up to 20 miles an hour which could affect the way the game is played.

Team News

Michael Thomas missed practice on Wednesday but returned as a full participant Thursday. Both Saints starting tackles were limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday. The Saints offensive line has been good this season but playing without both offensive tackles would be a significant loss.

DeSean Jackson looks likely to miss the game opening opportunities for Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries. Jason Pierre-Paul has been absent from practice Wednesday and Thursday but has been playing through a lingering knee injury and is expected to suit up. If he is out it would be a big blow to the Buccaneers and a nice boost for the Saints offence.

Head To Head

  • The New Orleans Saints are 32-21 all-time against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • The Buccaneers have won the last two games between the teams, including the first matchup this season, and the last two games played in Tampa.

Key Stats & Facts

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 10th in total points scored and first in total yards and passing yards gained.
  • The Buccaneers rank 27th in total yards surrendered and 30th in points surrenders.
  • They also rank among the bottom 10 in passing yards surrendered, 1st downs surrendered, passing touchdowns allowed, interceptions made, net passing yards allowed per attempt, rushing touchdowns allowed and rushing yards surrendered per attempt.
  • However, in the last two games they have restricted their opponents to a total of 26 points, whole scoring 51 themselves.
  • After not turning the ball over in Week 1 the Buccaneers turned the ball over 29 times in the next nine games.
  • In the last two games they have turned the ball over just once and forced six turnovers.
  • The Saints offense ranks among the top-10 in points scored, yards gained, preventing turnovers, passing touchdowns, net passing yards per attempt, rushing attempts and rushing touchdowns scored.
  • Defensively the rank first in preventing rushing yards but rank just 17th in rushing touchdowns allowed with 10.
  • After averaging 48 points over a three week span the Saints have scored a total of just 41 points the last two weeks, both on Thursday Night Football.
  • The Saints defence has forced 14 turnovers in the last six games and the offense has committed just four (+10 in turnover differential).

Betting Odds

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16/5
  • New Orleans Saints 1/4

The Verdict

I love when we get a good old fashioned divisional revenge game. The teams have split the season series in the last three seasons. I fully expect the Saints to win this game and taking them on the money line feels safe. The line for this game opened with the Saints favourite by 10 but has shortened to eight. I feel like that is a slight over reaction to the Saints loss last week. The Buccaneers defence is nowhere near the same quality of the Cowboys and they do not have the ground and pound offence to keep the Saints defence on the field. On top of all of that we have a Saints team coming off 10 days rest having been beaten in a primetime game and of course looking to avenge the earlier in the season defeat. This is a game where I see the Saints going for the throat in Tampa and suffocating the life out of a Buccaneers team that you cannot ever let hand around. Therefore, I am backing the Saints to win by at least eight points in this one.

I was all for backing the over in this game until I saw the weather forecast. If I see that forecast change then this pick would change to over. However, both teams have shown a desire to protect the ball and control the clock a little more recently. That will increase further if there is inclement weather and therefore if there is rain and wind around on Sunday then I would look to take the under 55.5 points. There is also the potential with thunder around that this game gets suspended at some point and that is never conducive to high scoring football.

I think this game will be a close to the chest ball control game where points will feel crucial early in the game. Therefore, I am going back to an old favourite bet of the over first half field goals with the Buccaneers to have over 0.5 first half field goals.

Unfortunately, touchdown scorers and prop bets do not tend to be available until later in the week, so I do not have the odds. However, Peyton Barber has scored a touchdown in his last three games and I think he can do that again. As a slightly longer shot Dan Arnold has been a lot more involved in the offense for the Saints recently and the Buccaneers have had trouble with the tight end position, so he makes for an interesting anytime touchdown scorer. With DeSean Jackson likely out Adam Humphries makes for an interesting bet as an anytime touchdown scorer as well. Finally, if the weather is bad then look for both quarterbacks to go under on their pass attempts, especially if that numbers sneaks into the mid-30s.

Recommended Bets

  • New Orleans Saints -8 – 19/20 (Betfair)
  • Total points under 55.5 (if there is inclement weather) – 10/11 (Various)
  • Buccaneers over 0.5 first half field goals – 9/10 (bet365)