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Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints FREE PICK

January 14, 2021
Brees and Saints take on The Bucs and Brady

It’s two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks matching up for a third time this season. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 12-3 this season against all NFL teams other than the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees and his gold-and-black clad teammates are 2-0 this season against Brady’s Bucs.

The Saints are just 2-0 against Tampa Bay. They are an emphatic TWO-AND-OHH! New Orleans has beaten the Bucs by an average score this season of 36-13. In the last meeting between the two teams, the Saints pounded Tampa Bay 38-3. The Bucs haven’t beaten the Saints since the beginning of the 2018 season. Will New Orleans dominance continue?

The Saints are currently -3 and the total is sitting at 51 points at top rated sportsbooks.

Saint Defense

While Brees, WR Michael Thomas, and RB Alvin Kamara receive much of the attention in New Orleans, it’s really the defense that is the heart of this team. The Saints finished fourth in the NFL in total defense allowing 310.9 yards per game. They were No. 5 in scoring defense giving up 21.1 points per game.

Last week, New Orleans allowed Chicago just 239 total yards and nine points. The kicker is that the Bears gained 99 of those yards and seven points as the result of a meaningless touchdown drive at the end of the game.

In the 38-3 Saints win over the Bucs, New Orleans held Tampa Bay to just eight yards rushing. Brady went 22-for-38 for 209 yards and was picked off three times. He was also sacked three times. That made it a total of five picks for Brady against the Saints this season as he threw two in the season opener. New Orleans won that game 34-23.

Saint Thomas

After the ugly 38-3 loss to New Orleans, the Bucs lost two of their next three games (Rams, Chiefs). Since, they have won five straight and averaged 37.8 points per game. Regardless of their previous meetings against the Saints, one thing is certain. The Bucs can score points.

The Saints Offense

New Orleans finally got a healthy Thomas back for last week’s win over Chicago. The 2019 NFL leading receiver caught five passes for 73 yards and a touchdown last week. Thomas missed much of the season with an ankle injury.

Brees went 28-of-39 for 265 yards and two touchdowns against the Bears. He did not throw an interception and he had a late one-yard sneak ruled not a touchdown. With New Orleans leading 21-3 with just 5:13 to play, the game was essentially over. That’s when the Bears scored their lone touchdown.

The point here is that the Saints offense is potent as well. In their previous two games, New Orleans put up 52 and 33 points. For the season, the Saints were fifth in the league averaging 30.0 points per game.

Indoor Football

Bettors love indoor football games. There are no weather concerns, which supports the idea that offenses, especially those in the playoffs, perform better indoors. Take the Bucs, for example. They played three indoor games this season.

They lost to New Orleans in the season opener and then won games at Las Vegas and in Atlanta. In those three games, Tampa Bay scored 99 points, or an average of 33 per game. The Saints were right on their season average at home, 30 points per game.

It’s interesting to note that in indoor playoff games in the NFL, the Over is 29-13. It’s also worth noting that in games that Brees has started for the Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Over is a healthy 71-51-2. That dates all the way back to Brees first season in New Orleans, 2006.

While the Under has hit in seven of New Orleans last ten games, the last five Bucs-Saints games have not followed that trend. In the last four matchups between the NFC South rivals, the Total has gone Over. The Over has also hit in five of Tampa Bay’s last seven games.

If that isn’t enough, consider the career matchups between head coaches Sean Payton and the Bucs’ Bruce Arians. In seven games between the two, the Total has gone Over five times.

Despite a high Total of 51.5, the Bucs and Saints can both put up points, especially on the fast track of the indoor Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

NFL FREE PICK: OVER 51.5

 

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