The final game of the NFL’s Divisional Round playoff weekend features an NFC South showdown between the 5-seed Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 2-seed New Orleans Saints. Kickoff on Sunday from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is scheduled for 6:40pm EST.
This, of course, will be the third meeting between the divisional foes this year after the Saints swept the season series en route to their NFC South crown.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Preview: Buc the Trend?
Dating back to last season, the Bucs have dropped four straight to New Orleans, getting outscored by 70 points combined in those games. They fell to the Saints in their Week 9 meeting this year, 38-3, the biggest margin in the entire NFL up to that point and Tom Brady’s most lopsided loss in his career.
Tampa gets another crack on Sunday after holding off the Washington Football Team in the Wild Card Round. Running back Ronald Jones was a late scratch in that game with a quad injury and his status remains in doubt for this weekend. However, star linebacker, Devin White was activated off the reserve/covid-19 list and will play after finishing fifth in the NFL in tackles during the regular season.
New Orleans Saints Betting Preview: Inevitability
It’s a matchup of the ages..or perhaps the ageless, as the combined ages of the starting quarterbacks is 85. When Brady and Drew Brees met in the season opener, the game featured the first matchup of qb’s over 40 to start against one another, and now they’ll become the first to do so in the playoffs.
For the second straight year, Brees missed a chunk of the regular season due to injury and watched as his backup kept the ship afloat. The Saints cruised to a 21-9 win over the Bears in the Wild Card game, but both sides are expecting a much more competitive – and higher-scoring – game this weekend.
Buccaneers vs. Saints Betting Odds & Lines
According to MyBookie, the Saints are favored in this Divisional Round matchup by 3, with an over/under of 52. Both teams were heavy favorites in their Wild Card wins a week ago, with the Bucs failing to cover as 8.5/9-point chalk in an 8-point win.
The Saints, however, were the topic of discussion in many betting circles, covering the 11-point spread after the Bears declined to kick the extra point after scoring a touchdown with no time left in the game.
Free Betting Pick
This has the makings of the best game of the weekend, and television executives are banking on it after placing this one in the most coveted time slot in terms of ratings. The Bucs have won five straight while the Saints are winners of three in a row. Brady vs Brees and two of the best receiving corps in the NFL. A spot in the NFC Championship on the line.
We’ll lean to the Bucs in this one, and though we’d typically expect an offensive shootout, consider that the teams combined to go UNDER in 7 out of 12 games in which the posted total was 50 or above this season.