Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints Matchup Preview 1/17/21: Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream
An inter-division matchup will be happening for the third time this season for New Orleans and Tampa. The Saints took care of business against the Bucs earlier this season, winning 38-3 and 34-23. These games started to build the talks of Tampa struggling against good pass rushers. However, both teams finished the year strong, and New Orleans had to get over multiple injuries down the stretch but are full strength, which is scary for any opponent. Another matchup within the game to watch out for is the Buccaneers run defense against this Saints run offense. Tampa is one of the best run defenses in the league, and you have the Saints backs with Murray and Kamara. Vegas has the Saints as field-goal favorites, and the offense is expected as the total sits at 52. This should be a close game despite the prior two being dominated by New Orleans. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, January 17th, 2021
Time: 6:40pm ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans LA
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Live Stream
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kevin Minter (Q), Alex Cappa (O), Ronald Jones (Q), Jeremiah Ledbetter (Q)
New Orleans Saints: Trey Hendrickson (Q), Tre’Quan Smith (Q), Patrick Robinson (Q), Latavius Murray (Q), Nick Easton (O)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Analysis
Tampa Bay and New Orleans bring two of the top-scoring offenses into the mix this week. The Saints have scored 29.5 points per game, and the Bucs are at 30.7. Both teams are built similarly on the defensive side, where they have a good enough secondary, but they are still beatable. However, both the run defenses are incredibly stingy, allowing under 95 yards per game on the ground. Ronald Jones was a surprise inactive, and while Leonard Fournette had a decent game, Jones has been by far the better back, and if he is limited or can’t go again this week, I wouldn’t expect much out of the ground game. The Saints defense registers as a strong pass defense, but better than average pass offenses can still increase numbers. Having so many weapons should give the Bucs a slight edge over the prior two games. Antonio Brown can certainly be an x-factor in this one. Of course, the pass rush will be something as the Saints rank top-ten in sacks and pressure rate. Yes, this affects Tom Brady, but it shouldn’t be the main focus of this game. The focus should really be can Mike Evans put up a big game against Marshon Lattimore, which has rarely been done when they’ve squared off. Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski have better matchups and could push this Bucs team over the edge this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Depth Chart
New Orleans Saints Analysis
Tampa is one of the very few teams that have shut down Alvin Kamara. His career-high in rushing yards against the Bucs in eight games is just 75 yards. The touchdowns have still been there, but he hasn’t been as big of a factor in the massive outbreak games. Michael Thomas being back is big for the Saints. He played in the prior two games but not really at full health, and he injured himself in that opener. Otherwise, he has had 100+ yards in three of the last four games and four touchdowns in that span. I like what the Bucs secondary has done defensively and at the backend of their defense, but this will be a real test for them. Drew Brees isn’t going to throw for 300 yards, but he had six touchdowns and completed 70% of his passes against the Bucs this season. He was also sacked just twice, which is big against the Buccaneers pass-rush. Brady has five picks and has been sacked six times in the two earlier meetings. He really struggled, and the pass rush was a problem, but I would expect some quicker throws for Tampa, sort of like what we saw with the Bucs against Washington. The secondary is going to need to lock down this week. Otherwise, an upset could be in store.
New Orleans Saints Depth Chart
Betting Corner: Saints -3.0
Spread: NO -3.0
Moneyline: TB -420 / NO +310
This has been a one-sided affair over the last few years, as the Bucs have only covered three times in the last ten, but neither of the games this year when tom Brady took over. Will the third time be the charm? The Saints have outscored them 35-14 over the last three games, and the issue has been the Bucs turning the ball over and struggling to get anything on the ground. The Saints were 10-6-1 ATS this season, while the Bucs were 9-8 ATS. Public money is coming in on the Buccaneers and the over as well. It might be the Bucs offense’s recency bias doing well of late or the fact many believe that things will change eventually if there is a trend.
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Daily Fantasy Picks
The quarterbacks in this game are over 40 but still capable of producing some fantasy points. Both quarterbacks are in play, even with Brady’s struggles against them this season. The Saints secondary has improved later in the season, but there will be mismatches against the Bucs weapons. Brady projects 22.7 points this week, which is the 5th most, mainly behind the rushing quarterbacks and Aaron Rodgers. Alvin Kamara projects for the most fantasy points but has not been a slam dunk against the Bucs as most backs have. His PPR value is still there, but the price tag will be tougher to pay off. On the other side of this one, many were burned last week as Ronald Jones ended up not playing in a shock report that he was hurt in warmups, but with Bruce Arians, we can never really know for sure. The Saints run defense has been tough for backs to get anything going for fantasy. I would focus more on the WRs and TEs. Again, Jared Cook is a GPP option with the Buccaneers allowing an 86-832-9 line to tight ends this season. The Saints were also middle of the road. Gronkowski didn’t do much last week but is still in play. The Bucs allowed 38.9 PPR points per game to wide receivers this season, and the Saints allowed 35.8.