NFL Playoff Betting – Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

It just had to happen, didn’t it? Two of the best quarterbacks ever to play the game will meet for what could be the final time when Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in a divisional round matchup on Sunday. I guess we could call this the threematch with the NFC South rivals hooking up for the third time. And the Saints claimed another division title by routing the Bucs in the two regular season meetings. The Saints are positioned as a field goal favorite to reach the NFC Championship for the second time in three seasons.  Bookmaker.eu offers a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1600)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
Date and Time: Sunday, January 17, 2021, 6:40 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
NFL Odds: Saints -3, O/U 51.5
Buccaneers at Saints TV Coverage: FOX

Odds Analysis

Is this a game for the ages or a game for the aged? Both veteran quarterbacks are playing at a high level heading into Sunday’s matchup sparking plenty of interest in the final game of divisional round action. Early action on Tampa dropped the line a half point to its current +3 with the public thinking it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season, especially when that team is quarterbacked by Brady. The Bucs did their best to catch the Saints winning their final four regular season games while going 3-1 ATS. Tampa failed to cover the 10-point line in its 31-23 win over Washington in the wild card round. The Saints easily handled Chicago 21-9 in their first-round tilt covering the 11-point spread for a third straight payout. They won both regular season games by double-digits, including a 38-3 thumping in Tampa in Week 9. Starting with that contest the Saints are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brady was brought in to help the Bucs end a 12-year playoff drought and he was successful in that regard. Now the club is leaning on Brady’s postseason history to accomplish better things. A frequent visitor to the Super Bowl, Brady must tame his nemesis in order to have a chance at another trip to the big game. Did Brady just have his two worst games of the season against the same team or are the Saints his kryptonite? I guess we’ll find out on Sunday.

Brady is playing his best football of the season throwing for more than 340 yards in each of the last four games. He had a season-high 399 yards with four touchdowns in the regular season finale against Atlanta and shredded a good Washington defense for 381 yards and a pair of scores. The Bucs amassed 507 total yards in the wild card game, more than 200 yards above Washington’s season average.

One bad game against a team could be a fluke; two bad games against the same team is a trend. Brady tossed five of his 12 interceptions to New Orleans defenders and averaged just 224 yards per game. He failed to throw a touchdown pass for the only time this season in the Week 9 loss. Things are different now. Brady has mastered the offense and Antonio Brown has been integrated into the mix. But is that enough?

New Orleans Saints

Sometimes a team just has an opponent’s number. That’s the case with the division rivals. It’s not like the Saints have an average defense and they got lucky shutting down the Bucs. They are actually quite stout on that side of the football. The Saints ranked fifth against the pass and in points allowed while placing fourth in total yards and rushing yards allowed. They held the Bears to 239 total yards and 1 of 10 on third down chances in the wild card round. Chicago’s only touchdown came on the final play and the Bears didn’t even attempt the point after leaving Saints backers thrilled. New Orleans ended up covering the 11-point spread on the 21-9 final.

A big addition to the offense was Michael Thomas, who battled injuries all season and returned for the Chicago game. He had five receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown, his first of the season. Brees and Thomas have a unique bond that could give the Bucs defense plenty of problems. New Orleans also has an edge at running back with Alvin Kamara, who totaled the third-most yards from scrimmage with 1,732 and led the NFL with 21 total touchdowns.

While the offensive numbers regressed this season with Brees missing time and Thomas playing only seven games, the group has the ability to score a lot of points. They totaled 85 points in the final two regular season games and amassed nearly 400 total yards against the Bears while going 11 of 17 on third down.

Bet Buccaneers at Saints at BookMaker.eu

The narrative for this game will be about the quarterbacks, but the outcome will be decided by the supporting cast. And that’s where the Saints have an edge. Their defense grades out a bit better and Kamara gives them an edge in the run game. The game should be closer if the Bucs don’t turn the ball over, but I still like the Saints to advance with a cover victory.

NFL Score Prediction: New Orleans 31, Tampa Bay 26

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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