Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints Point Spread – Pick

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5 SU, 1-5-1 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (5-2 SU, 5-2 ATS)
Week 9 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 1PM EDT
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: TB +7/NO -7
Over/Under Total: 50

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to the Superdome on Sunday for an NFC South matchup against the streaking New Orleans Saints. Both teams are on opposite ends of the momentum-spectrum. After an 0-2 start, the Saints have roared to five straight wins, including a 20-12 win over the Bears in week 8. The Buccaneers lost their fourth game in a row on Sunday, losing to the Panthers at home, 17-3. After a 2-1 start and a lot of hope to start the season, the Bucs now have to regroup, as nothing seems to be working for them.

It’s almost hard to remember now, but the Saints really looked rough to start the season with two double-digit defeats. Their 20-12 win over the Bears was the only one-score game in this latest win streak. Not only have they turned it around, they’re really giving teams beatings as of late. It’s one thing to turn things around, but to do so in such dramatic fashion really says a lot of about the make-up of this team. The high-flying aerial offense is in full-flight, while a defense that was almost laughable to begin the season has become more-stout, while developing a knack for big plays.

Drew Brees is still awfully effective behind center for New Orleans. He threw for 299 yards against Chicago on 23-for-28 passing. He has gotten a big boost by their one-two punch at running back coming around the past several weeks, with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara getting untracked in a big way. Both had rushing touchdowns on Sunday, along with some useful catches. And the receiver package of Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn, Jr. is a nice tandem to unleash on opposing defenses. Both were effective on Sunday, with Brandon Coleman chipping in with a 54-yard reception. They’ve done it on this side of the ball with a lot of personnel issues on their line, and they have managed to piece it together very well thus far. Brees has only taken 7 sacks this season.

Key to the recent Saints’ resurgence is the tightening up of the defense. They’ve given up a total of 29 points in their last two games and with their offense, that’s usually going to be enough. The secondary has been playing a lot better and making plays, with Kenny Vaccaro with three picks and exciting rookie Marshon Lattimore with two. They can get after the quarterback with Alex Okafor and Cameron Jordan. In four of their last five games, they have allowed 17 or fewer points. They should be tough on a Tampa offense that appears to be in a deep funk entering this matchup.

It’s hard to sugar-coat Tampa’s collapse. Based on how finished last season and a 2-1 start in 2017, it was hard to see this downfall coming. Granted, there have been injuries, but for all phases of the team to depreciate is difficult to explain. The offense is stale and turning the ball over at an alarming rate. The offensive playmaking is there on paper, but having it translate consistently to on-the-field play has been problematic. Their secondary has been one of the more-leaky ones in the conference this season and the margin for error is narrowing for the Bucs just 7 games into the season, as more of the same will lead to 2017 being a total failure.

It’s not right to pin all of Tampa’s woes on Jameis Winston. There have been personnel issues around him, he’s playing hurt, and the line just isn’t up-to-snuff through 7 games. But in Winston’s third year, he hasn’t really upped his game. His propensity for turnovers is becoming a major drawback, while his decision-making has not really improved with experience. He threw two picks on Sunday, while coughing up another fumble. They have a nice core-unit with DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans at receiver, a good running back in Doug Martin and a rising TE-duo with OJ Howard and Cameron Brate. But it just hasn’t come off right this season, as getting more than one of those guys to have a good game at the same time has been difficult.

After giving up 68 points in their last two games, the 17 they allowed to Carolina on Sunday was better for the Tampa defense. Against a struggling Panthers offense, they were somewhat stout, but they continue their pattern of not making a lot of big plays, nor applying much of a pass-rush. They have a paltry 7 sacks on the season. Their secondary is filled with youth and reserves forced into starting spots. Their run-defense is decent with Gerald McCoy and Chris Baker up-front. Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David are a good pair of linebackers. But all in all, this side of the ball has left a lot to be desired this season—especially recently.


When a team like Tampa, who had high hopes, is facing a must-win against a team that might not be feeling that urgent after five straight wins, you can make certain conclusions. But the situation was urgent for the Bucs this past week and all they could muster was a lousy three points at home in a division battle. So willpower and urgency might not be enough. Drew Brees should have his way with this secondary and Mark Ingram should also make a big impact this week. I think the Saints are for real and I see them being in-control this week.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the New Orleans Saints minus 7 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Buccaneers vs. Saints game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you’ll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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