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NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints preview, prediction, and picks

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Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to the Bayou to play NFC South Division rivals and defending champions New Orleans Saints this All Hallows’Eve, and our betting expert has a few NFL Picks to share. Plus, discover how you can get up to a $1,000 deposit bonus at BetOnline

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Despite all the wild success that accompanied Tom Brady’s first year in Tampa, the Buccaneers didn’t win the NFC South – the Saints did, and Sean Payton’s team turned the Super Bowl-winning Bucs over twice, including a rough 38-3 win at the Raymond James.

The Buccaneers got revenge for the defeats by knocking the Saints out of the playoffs, but Brady won’t like being 1-2 against a division rival, so expect fireworks in this All-NFC South clash.

For a full Saints vs Bucs betting preview and the latest odds courtesy of BetOnline, read on.

Saints vs Bucs Betting Odds

Below are the latest NFL betting odds available for Sunday night’s Game of the Week at the BetOnline sportsbook, as well as our selection of NFL picks from the BetOnline prop market:

Game LinesSaintsBuccaneers
Moneyline+205-245
Spread+5.5 (-108)-5.5 (-112)
Total PointsU50.0 (-110)O50.0 (-110)
Prop Bet NFL Picks of the Game: Both teams
to score O19.5 points: Yes
-130-130

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NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints preview, prediction, and picks

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Saints vs Bucs Preview

This game will see the top two teams in the NFC South go head-to-head. The Saints are second with a 4-2 record. The Bucs sit in first place at 6-1, so a win for either side is likely to prove pivotal in the race for playoff qualification. Hence, we expect serious fireworks! But how do the two teams stack up right now?

Tampa has been in great form all year. Bar one tough defeat to the L.A. Rams, Tom Brady, and the high-powered Bucs’ offense has turned on the style during the opening phases and leads the NFL in receiving TDs (21) and total TDs (30). Brady has already tallied 2,275-yards and 21 TDs and is on course for a record-breaking year if he stays fit.

It’s the defense that’s been Tampa’s one Achille’s heel. Devin White, Lavonte David, and co. still dominate at the mid-level, ranking 3rd in the NFL for rushing yards allowed (3.7), but the injury-ravaged Bucs secondary continues to give up big plays in crucial moments and rank 29th in the NFL for 20+-yard plays allowed.

Tampa’s issues in coverage would typically be a road to victory for any Sean Payton-led Saints team of yesteryear. But, in this post Drew Brees/ no Michael Thomas era, New Orleans has struggled to throw the ball. The Saints rank 31st in the NFL for passing yards (1,126-yards), 32nd in the NFL for 20+ yard-plays, and 32nd for pass attempts. All stats point towards the fact that coach Payton still isn’t ready to fully unleash Jameis Winston’s arm strength, as the Saints, instead, continue to lean on star RB Alvin Kamara to do just about everything.

We were worried about how AK41 will match up as a power back vs the tough Tampa defensive line, but the news of Mark Ingram’s return to the Bayou yesterday evening is a real wildcard! If that pair can reignite their old one-two punch, there’s a chance of yards on the ground for New Orleans.

Another key battle to watch will be between Saints CB Marshon Lattimore, who has been at his imperious best up against Terry McLaurin and D.K. Metcalf in his last two outings, vs Tampa WR Mike Evans. Historically, Lattimore has gotten the better of the Tampa man. But Evans has been in scintillating form this season to date and will be a tough test. Given both teams have a tendency to stuff the run (Saints ranked No.1 in NFL for rushing yards allowed), whoever wins the Lattimore vs Evans dual gives his respective team a much-improved chance of a W.

Saints vs Bucs Injury News

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints preview, prediction, and picks
Will Gronk return this Sunday vs Saints?

The big question on every Saints fan’s lips this week is, will Michael Thomas be available for the Bucs game, finally? The answer is a likely no. New Orleans star WR is ramping up his comeback from the delayed ankle surgery that’s seen him miss the first eight weeks of the season and, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rappoport, is not expected to feature until the Saints’ Week-9 clash with the Dirtybirds.

Other than that, the BYE week was a definite help for the Saints. Sean Payton’s roster is beginning to fill out as players return from injury and suspension. DT David Onyemata is available again after serving a six-game ban for PEDs, and get ready for a familiar blast from the 2018 past as Mark Ingram gets set to line up alongside Alvin Kamara in the Saints backfield for the first time since being traded to the Ravens three years ago.

New Orleans does have a couple of injury concerns, however: rookie DE Payton Turner is questionable, and Pro Bowl LG Andrus Peat is a big doubt, meaning Calvin Throckmorton is likely to continue to deputize on the offensive line. WR Deonte Harris and QB2/Joker Taysom Hill are both questionable for the game too, with the latter still to clear concussion protocol.

For the Buccaneers, TE Rob Gronkowski is expected to feature following a month-long layoff with a rib injury, but WR Antonio Brown is doubtful – he’s suffering from an ankle sprain, and so too is TE2 O.J. Howard, who sat out yesterday’s practice session.

On defense, DE Ndamukong Suh, LB Jason Pierre-Paul, ILB Lavonte David, and new CB Richard Sherman are all listed as questionable to appear vs the Saints.

NFL Picks: Saints vs Bucs   

We’re expecting a tight and interesting game here: Saints QB Jameis Winston is struggling to connect with his receiving corps but continues to excel in the Red Zone, and the Saints keep finding ways to win. Tampa’s secondary is still all beat up, so this could mean that we finally get to see the best of Deonte Harris (if he’s fit) and Marquez Callaway.

On the other hand, Tom Brady has scorched just about every team the Bucs have faced so far this season and it is going to be a long night in coverage for the Saints secondary, too.

All in all, this game has the potential to go right down to the wire, and it really is on a knife-edge – the result wholly dependant on which players win their individual battles. But, when it’s all said and done, we expect the prolific Bucs offense to stroll out of the Dome as victors.

We don’t expect them to win by 5.5 points against this in from Saints defense, though. So, Saints to beat the spread is our best bet.

Saints to beat the +5.5 spread (-112) is our NFL betting Pick for the game.

Bet on Saints to beat the +5.5 spread (-112) at BetOnline

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