Over the past 14 NFL seasons the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have more Super Bowl wins than NFC South titles. They can change that with a win over the New Orleans Saints in the Week 15 edition of Sunday Night Football. Not only are the Bucs staring down their first division crown since 2007, they also remain in the hunt for the No. 1 overall seed in the conference with their 10-3 record equal to that of Arizona and Green Bay.
The Saints kept their playoff hopes alive with a win over the Jets last week that stopped a five-game losing streak. Their last win prior to that was over Tampa on Halloween. The Bucs opened as an 11.5-point favorite on the NFL betting line.
Saints vs Bucs Odds Game Info
The Week 15 Sunday Night Football game between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL at 8:20 p.m. ET on December 19 and will be televised on NBC.
Saints vs Bucs Odds
New Orleans Saints +10.5 | Tampa Bay Buccaneers -10.5 [BET NOW]
Saints vs Bucs Over/Under
Over/Under 46.5 [BET NOW]
Buyback on the Saints forced the line to come down a point after hitting the board at Tampa -11.5. A shaky second half nearly cost the Bucs last week, though they rallied to beat Buffalo in overtime, 33-27, covering the 3.5-point spread for the their fourth straight win and payout. The Saints had no problems taking down the Jets 30-9 ending a five-game SU and three-game ATS skid.
New Orleans has had all kinds of regular season success against the Bucs since Tom Brady’s arrival. The Saints are 3-0 SU and ATS with an outright 36-27 win as a 4-point home dog in Week 8. The Bucs, though, won the biggest game with a 30-20 road victory in the divisional round of last season’s playoffs. The total opened as high as 48 at some shops with early wagering action on the under dropping the number to 46.5.
New Orleans Saints
The season took a turn for the worse in the first meeting when Jameis Winston sustained a season-ending knee injury. The Saints rallied behind Trevor Siemian to get the win and were 5-2 at that point. They failed to build off that victory and the offense endured some hardships with Siemian at the helm. Winston was having a decent season until getting hurt and quarterback play plagued the Saints in his absence.
Siemian and Taysom Hill have each completed fewer than 60 percent of their passes while combing to throw eight interceptions. Hill took over the starting gig in Week 13 after recovering from injuries that kept him on the shelf. It wasn’t pretty as he tossed four interceptions in a loss to Dallas.
We saw last week why the Saints invested heavily in Hill. It also helped that Alvin Kamara was back in the lineup. With Kamara rushing for 120 yards and a touchdown and Hill adding 73 yards and two scores, the Saints amassed 203 yards on the ground and scored their most points in a game since beating Tampa.
Opposing defenses can’t key on one player allowing Hill and Kamara to potentially have a big game against Tampa’s D that allowed Josh Allen to run for 109 yards while giving up over nine yards per rush attempt to Buffalo.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brady is such a competitor that you know his play against the Saints is gnawing at him. He had two of his worst games last season against New Orleans totaling 448 passing yards with five interceptions and two touchdowns. The Bucs lost both games by a combined score of 72-26. Brady had 375 passing yards and four touchdowns in the first meeting this season, but he did toss two picks, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
Brady has thrown 22 interceptions in his 19 regular season games with Tampa and the Saints have accounted for nearly a third of that total. When it mattered most, though, Brady was spot on. He tossed two TDs and ran for another without a pick in Tampa’s 30-20 playoff win.
Tampa has found some balance in its offense lately. Brady continues to shine leading the NFL’s best passing attack. Toss in a ground game that’s operating at high level and the Bucs are tough to stop. Leonard Fournette ran for 113 yards last week, his second 100-yard game in the past three outings, and the Bucs amassed 488 total yards against a good Buffalo defense. They’ve scored at least 30 points in every game during the winning streak and lead the league averaging 31.5 points.
Saints vs Buccaneers Predictions
Not many teams can say they have Brady’s number, but New Orleans is one of them. The Saints didn’t beat Brady in the playoffs, but they held him to fewer than 200 passing yards and a 54.5 completion percentage. After getting shredded by Josh Allen last week, the Bucs face another mobile QB in Hill. The return of Kamara is also a boost for the group. I can see this game going over the total and if the Saints hold onto the football they will cover the spread and possibly pull off the upset.
Prediction: New Orleans Saints +10.5 and OVER 46.5