The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without starting quarterback Jameis Winston for the first three games of the 2018 regular season and that means they almost certainly won’t be as potent on offense as they would be with the talented, but often troubled former Florida State star under center.
Now, as the Bucs get set for their regular season opener against Drew Brees and the division rival New Orleans Saints, the question that NFL betting enthusiasts need to answer is whether or not Tampa Bay stands a chance of either getting the outright road win or covering the chalk as a near, double-digit road underdog.
Let’s find out now as I offer up my expert NFL odds prediction on this intriguing Week 1 regular season opener.
Buccaneers vs Saints 2018 NFL Week 1 Odds & Preview
Today’s practice was the last open session to the public, but it’s ok, you can live vicariously through these photo galleries all season long. 👌📷 » https://t.co/EJgFLOQzc4#GoBucs pic.twitter.com/3mEQSj8b6V— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) August 22, 2018
When: Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 1:00 PM ETWhere: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LouisianaTV: FOXRadio: Tampa Bay / New OrleansLive Stream: NFL LiveNFL Odds: New Orleans -9.5 / Total: 49.5
Why Bet on The Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Why should you consider betting on the Buccaneers in this Week 1 divisional rivalry? The best reason is because they’ve split their last six regular season meetings against the Saints. Tampa Bay picked up a surprising 31-24 win over New Orleans last season and they have some legitimate weapons on offense in wide receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson and tight end O.J. Howard. If they get a decent performance out of veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, an upset could be in the making.
- Average Score For: 20.94
- Total Yards: 363.50
- Pass Yards: 273
- Rush Yards: 90.50
- Average Score Against: 23.88
- Total Yards: 378.06
- Pass Yards: 260.56
- Rush Yards: 117.50
Why Bet on the New Orleans Saints?
Why should you consider betting on the Saints to win their regular season and home opener? There are a handful of reasons. First, New Orleans has a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees that would still be the best signal-caller in this contest even if Jameis Winston were suiting up for the Bucs. Not only that, but the Saints have the more explosive offense and the much better defense in this divisional showdown. Last but not least, the Saints are playing at home and the home team has won four straight in this NFC South rivalry.
- Average Score For: 27.94
- Total Yards: 390.61
- Pass Yards: 268.89
- Rush Yards: 121.72
- Average Score Against: 21.17
- Total Yards: 344.44
- Pass Yards: 233.94
- Rush Yards: 110.50
NFL Betting Trends for Buccaneers vs Saints
- New Orleans is 2-2 against the spread versus Tampa Bay over the last 3 seasons
- New Orleans is 2-2 straight up against Tampa Bay over the last 3 seasons
- 2 of 4 games in this series have gone over the total over the last 3 seasons
Buccaneers vs Saints NFL Betting Analysis and Prediction
While I’m not real fond of the high, nearly double-digit point spread in this contest, I am going to advise you to back Drew Brees and the Super Bowl hopeful Saints to hold it down at home to get the big win and ATS cover. Not only did New Orleans rout Tampa Bay 30-10 at home last season, but they’ve also gone a stellar 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games against their NFC South division rivals.
The Buccaneers are just 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games in the month of September, 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games against their NFC counterparts and an uninspiring 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine road games. With the home team going a perfect 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings, I say back Brees and the Saints to get it done!
NFL Week 1 Pick: Saints 31 Buccaneers 21