New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview (12/5/22): Betting Odds, Predictions, Depth Chart
The Saints enter Monday night’s matchup with the Buccaneers at 4-8, yet it feels like they’re not totally out of NFC South contention just yet. That’s how abysmal the division has been. Tampa leads the group at 5-6, but after a bad loss in Cleveland and another major injury, the Bucs have more questions than answers.
Tom Brady is 1-4 against the Saints in the regular season since he joined Tampa. Will New Orleans give him more trouble in primetime? Let’s make predictions, dive into the depth charts, and take a look at the odds ahead of Monday’s matchup in Tampa.
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds
The Buccaneers enter as 4-point home favorites, sitting at -205 on the moneyline. The over/under is set at 40.5 points.
As much as the Buccaneers have struggled, they weren’t going to be underdogs after the Saints were shut out in San Francisco last weekend. Something has to give here, and Tom Brady is usually the safer bet. We’ve learned, though, that beating the Saints doesn’t come easy for him. Even in this season’s win, the Bucs didn’t score until the third quarter and were buoyed by a slew of Jameis Winston interceptions. Are oddsmakers giving Tampa too much credit?
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Prediction
The Saints’ defense held Tom Brady under 200 yards in September and shut down Tampa’s running game. Dennis Allen has been shutting down Brady for three years now, and with the Buccaneers’ offense especially vulnerable after the injury to Tristan Wirfs, I’m compelled to believe the defense should have another good night.
The Buccaneers aren’t typically a team with an overwhelming home-field advantage, and Raymond James Stadium is where the Saints managed a 9-0 shutout of the Bucs last December.
A win is far from guaranteed, particularly with the way Andy Dalton and the offense have played in recent weeks. This should be enough of a low-scoring matchup, however, that Saints +4 is an attractive option. Under 40.5 points is also a strong bet. The Buccaneers have only had one of their last seven games finish with 41+ points.
The Saints are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. Just when you think the Saints are ready to jump back into contention, they suffer a major setback.
The Buccaneers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 home games. It’s been tough to find a real home-field advantage for Tampa.
The under is 4-0 in the Buccaneers’ last 4 games against sub-.500 teams.
New Orleans Saints Injuries: CB Marshon Lattimore (abdomen) has missed the last seven games but could play after nearly returning against the 49ers. C Erik McCoy (calf) is on IR. WR Michael Thomas (foot) remains out for the season. LB Pete Werner (ankle) isn’t expected to play. CB Bradley Roby (concussion) is questionable.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Injuries: OT Tristan Wirfs (ankle) is expected to miss Monday’s game. CB Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle) left Sunday’s game and is day-to-day. OLB Shaquil Barrett (achilles) is out for the season. RB Leonard Fournette (hip) and WR Russell Gage (hamstring) are questionable after missing the loss to Cleveland.
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Saints vs. Buccaneers below.
Saints Pass-Rush vs. Buccaneers Offensive Line
A Buccaneers offensive line that has been shaken by injuries all season will face a brand new test with Tristan Wirfs out on Monday. This isn’t the same ferocious Saints pass-rush attack that gave Brady trouble last December, but it’s still averaging a healthy 2.8 sacks per game (10th in the NFL).
The Saints force the fewest turnovers of any team, and Tom Brady commits very few turnovers, so the pathway to beating him will be by generating pressure. With Wirfs out, there’s no excuse not to get to Brady.
Andy Dalton vs. Buccaneers Secondary
Assuming Andy Dalton starts – Dennis Allen has been noncommittal in recent weeks – it’s going to be on him to play much better than he did in San Francisco. The key is avoiding turnovers. Interceptions sunk the Saints when Winston was under center against Tampa in Week 2.
The Buccaneers are 4th in the NFL in yards per attempt, so offense won’t come easy for the Saints. If Dalton can’t execute better than Winston did the first time around, even the best defensive performance by the Saints likely won’t translate to win.