First place is on the line this week in the NFC South as the New Orleans Saints (5-2) travel to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2). This is the final matchup between these teams in the 2020 regular season after New Orleans began the season with a 34-23 home win over Tampa Bay.
Drew Brees and Tom Brady take the stage on Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. on NBC at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
With the Week 1 win, the Saints lead the all-time series 33-20, including a 5-1 mark the last three seasons. Since signing Brees, the Saints are 9-6 on the road in this series with two straight wins.
New Orleans Saints Betting Outlook: Get Healthy
In betting with us at payperhead247.com, the Saints are just 2-5 ATS this season, and the over is 7-0 in their seven games. Sean Payton’s offense ranks seventh in scoring (29.4 points per game), seventh in passing (266.6 yards per game) and 10th in total yards (385.9 yards per game).
The defense ranks eighth in total yards allowed (328.4 yards per game) and third against the run (90.6 yards per game) but struggles in the red zone and allows 28.1 points per game (23rd in NFL).
The Saints played without wide receivers Michael Thomas (ankle) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID) when they won in Chicago 26-23 Sunday in overtime. Thomas hasn’t played since the opener and could return Sunday, while Sanders is expected back.
Brees enters the game with one less career touchdown pass than Brady after throwing two against the Bears. He had 280 yards on 31-of-41 passing in the game and no interceptions.
Running back Alvin Kamara had 12 carries for 67 yards while catching nine passes for 96 yards against Chicago.
With the top two wideouts missing, tight end Jared Cook had five catches for 51 yards and a score against the Bears. Tre’Quan Smith had five catches for 43 yards, and utility player Taysom Hill caught the other touchdown pass.
In the Week 1 win, Brees had just 160 passing yards with two touchdowns, while Tampa Bay held Kamara to 16 yards on 12 carries. The difference in the game was the Saints defense sacking Brady three times, grabbing two interceptions and scoring a defensive touchdown.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Outlook: Make Brees Uncomfortable
Betting with us at payperhead247.com, the Bucs are 4-4 ATS this season, and the over is 5-3 in their eight games. The offense ranks 14th in total yards (368.4 yards per game), eighth in passing (265.8 yards per game) and fourth in scoring (30.9 points per game).
The defense is the best in the NFL against the run (70.4 yards per game), third in total yards (299.5 yards per game) and seventh in points allowed (20.6 points per game).
Brady jumped back over Brees 561-560 with two scoring passes in Monday’s comeback win over the New York Giants. He had 279 yards against the Giants and didn’t turn the ball over. On the season, Brady has 2,189 yards with 20 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Running back Leonard Fournette ran for 52 yards on 15 carries, while Ronald Jones II had 23 yards on seven carries. Jones leads the team with 529 rushing yards and four scores this year, while Fournette has 225 yards and three touchdowns while missing two games.
The big news this week for the Bucs this week is the addition of wide receiver Antonio Brown, who has played exactly one NFL game since December 2018. Last week, Mike Evans led Tampa Bay in catches with five while grabbing a touchdown and tight end Rob Gronkowski had the other score.
Brady had two interceptions in New Orleans while throwing for 239 yards and two scores. Jones ran for 66 yards in that game, while the injured Chris Godwin caught six balls for 79 yards, and Scotty Miller had 73 receiving yards.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Line
Head to our favorite handicapping site at Gameadvisers, where the Buccaneers are favored by 4.5 points at home. The total is 51.5, and the Saints are a +180 road underdog.
The Giants may have given the Saints, and other teams, a blueprint against the Buccaneers defense with 357 total yards and 23 points in Monday’s game. While Brady and Brees get the headlines, this game likely comes down to which defense gets the stops.
In the first meeting, that was the Saints with two interceptions, but it is tough to count on those mistakes from Brady again.
Free Pick: Over 51.5 points (-110)
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