At 5-6, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are leading the NFC South. On Monday night, they’ll host the 4-8 New Orleans Saints.
It’s safe to say that both of these teams have had disappointing seasons up to this point. The Bucs’ offense has been abysmal throughout the season, while the New Orleans defense has struggled this season as well.
It’s hard to believe that at 4-8, the Saints aren’t out of playoff contention. They would need a lot of things to go their way, but they still have an outside shot of winning the NFC South.
We’ll now preview both teams in this important divisional matchup, and then we’ll give you our NFL Betting prediction for the game.
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New Orleans Saints
Andy Dalton has played well this season. Dalton took over when Jameis Winston went down with an injury.
Alvin Kamara hasn’t had the season that many expected from him. Michael Thomas hasn’t played a down this season, but rookie Chris Olave has done a nice job leading the receivers.
As for the defense, this unit has been a disappointment this season. Tyrann Mathieu has two interceptions on the season, and those are the only two interceptions that the Saints have.
The Saints rank 20th in team defense. They’re giving up 4.5 yards per carry and nearly 130 yards on the ground per game. Fortunately for the Saints, the Bucs’ running game isn’t very strong.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This season hasn’t gone the way Tampa had expected. Tom Brady has played well at times, but it seems as though some of his magic is wearing off, and Father Time is catching up to him.
Injuries, a lack of a running game, and offensive line issues have plagued the Bucs’ offense. Even though they’re leading the division, this team doesn’t look like it has what it takes to make a long playoff run.
Defensively, the Buccaneers still have a very good unit. They’re only giving up 19 points per game, good for 7th in the league. Their secondary is one of the best in the league and has done a very good job. We’ll see how well the Bucs play against an average New Orleans offense.
The Bucs have been made a 3.5-point favorite by the Las Vegas oddsmakers. In looking at the betting numbers, the trends don’t lead to either team gaining an advantage.
The Saints are 0-5 against the spread in its last five road games. They’re also 0-5 against the spread in their last five Monday Night Football games as well.
The Bucs are 0-3-1 against the spread in their last four games against teams with a losing record. In looking at the numbers, we can’t really come up with a clear conclusion as to who to pick.
We’re going to go with our gut and go with the Bucs to win and cover the spread. New Orleans hasn’t been good this season, and with Tampa being at home on a Monday night, we’re going to give them the advantage.