Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints Matchup Preview (10/31/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints Matchup Preview (10/31/21)

The Buccaneers lost both of their regular-season games against the Saints last year before exacting some revenge in the postseason. The Saints, of course, replaced Drew Brees with Jameis Winston and have a rollercoaster of a season with wins over the Packers and Patriots but losses to the Panthers and Giants. Inconsistency has defined New Orleans this year, while Tampa Bay has been nothing but consistent with a 6-1 start to the year. Can the Saints continue their regular-season win streak against a heated division rival playing great football?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints Betting Odds

The Trends

  • Buccaneers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against the NFC South
  • Buccaneers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games as a road favorite
  • Saints are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record
  • Saints are 5-1 in the last 6 meetings between these teams
  • Under is 6-0 in the Saints’ last 6 games against the NFC South

The Pick

Tom Brady struggled against the Saints last year, but he looks much more comfortable in his second season in Tampa Bay, and it’s tough to bet against him. The Saints are probably the healthier team, and they do play at home, but I don’t trust Jameis Winston to succeed against a ferocious Tampa pass rush. The Saints’ defense is still one of the best in the league, so I’d lean towards betting on the under in this game. Nonetheless, I’m backing the Buccaneers to get the road win and bring their record to 7-1 on the year with a commanding lead in the NFC South.

My predictions: Buccaneers win 24-17, Buccaneers cover, under 50 points

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TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, October 31
Time: 4:25 PM ET
Location: Mercedez-Benz Superdome – New Orleans, LA
TV Coverage: FOX

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints Live Stream

Where can you watch Buccaneers vs. Saints online? You can stream this game and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Buccanneers vs. Saints Free Online Now.

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Injuries

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Antonio Brown (ankle) Q, TE Rob Gronkowski (ribs) Q, LB Lavonte David (ankle) Q, CB Richard Sherman (hamstring) Q, CB Carlton Davis (quadriceps) IR, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (toe) IR

New Orleans Saints: DE Payton Turner (calf) Q, OG Andrus Peat (pectoral) D, WR Deonte Harris (hamstring) Q, WR Michael Thomas (ankle) PUP, K Wil Lutz (abdomen) IR

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Analysis

Tom Brady is an early MVP frontrunner and he’s putting up eye-popping numbers with 2,275 passing yards and 21 touchdowns this season – that’s a 17-game pace of 5,525 yards and 51 touchdowns. He continues to defy the odds in his age 44 season. It’s worth noting, though, that Brady threw five of his twelve interceptions last year in the two games he played against the Saints as New Orleans got the better of him twice. The Saints have the sixth-best passing defense in DVOA per Football Outsiders, so this should be a very compelling matchup for Brady.

Brady could be short on offensive talent as Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski remain injured. Those players are crucial to the Tampa offense, but Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are still elite wideouts. Evans will reprise his ever-exciting rivalry with Marshon Lattimore, arguably the best reprising divisional matchup between wide receiver and cornerback in the NFL. Evans is coming off a three-touchdown performance last week against the Bears. The Saints have one of the best run defenses in the NFL and rank second in run defense DVOA, so this will be a difficult matchup for Leonard Fournette who has a stranglehold on the starting job in Tampa.

The Buccaneers still have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL as all five of their starters are among the best players at their respective positions. Tampa has allowed just nine sacks this season, tied for the third-fewest in the NFL. They also rank third in the NFL in adjusted line yards, a metric from Football Outsiders that measures how much yardage the offensive line creates for the running back. Tristan Wirfs has excelled in his sophomore season to form one of the best offensive tackle tandems in the NFL with Donovan Smith, while the interior O-line is outstanding.

The Buccaneers have been very vulnerable in the secondary, with Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting still on Injured Reserve. Richard Sherman, who was signed to help replace their production, is also injured. Jamel Dean and Ross Cockrell have performed admirably to hold down the fort while the two starters are healthy. Lavonte David’s ongoing ankle issue has relegated the team’s run defense to simply elite and not head-and-shoulders above the rest of the NFL. However, the front seven still features Shaquill Barrett and Vita Vea and is deep overall.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Depth Chart

QB: Tom Brady
RB1: Leonard Fournette
RB2: Ronald Jones II
WR1: Mike Evans
WR2: Chris Godwin
WR3: Antonio Brown
TE1: Rob Gronkowski
TE2: O.J. Howard

New Orleans Saints Analysis

Jameis Winston’s up-and-down play has defined the Saints’ season and it’s very difficult to trust him on any given week. He’s completed under 55% of his passes on three separate occasions this season and has thrown for under 250 yards in four of his six games. As with most weeks, the Saints’ ability to compete in this tough matchup will determine which version of Jameis Winston we see. If he keeps the turnovers in check and makes intelligent choices, the Saints have a chance to cover at home.

The big issue for Winston in this matchup will be the team’s injured offensive line. Offensive tackle Terron Armstead has played in just three complete games this year as he’s dealt with an elbow injury. Andrus Peat, the team’s best interior lineman, is now listed as doubtful. Ryan Ramczyk has been the only reliable offensive lineman as the Saints have allowed the ninth-highest adjusted sack rate in the NFL per Football Outsiders. That weakened, injured offensive line is not good enough to go up against an elite Tampa front seven.

The Saints have struggled to get consistent production out of their skill position players this season and desperately need Michael Thomas to get healthy as soon as possible. Alvin Kamara is the team’s best offensive player with a current 17-game pace of just under 2,000 yards from scrimmage. However, Deonte Harris is hurt, and Tre’Quan Smith just came off the IR while Marquez Callaway has underwhelmed as the leading wide receiver. Part of Winston’s struggles certainly stems from a less-than-stellar supporting cast.

Defensively, the Saints are still one of the best teams in the league, and they rank 3rd in defensive DVOA. Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport form an elite edge-rushing duo, while Marshon Lattimore is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Pete Werner has been excellent as a rookie linebacker, while Demario Davis remains one of the most underrated players at his position in the NFL. With the Buccaneers missing some key pieces on offense, the Saints should be able to hold them to less production than we’ve grown accustomed to.

New Orleans Saints Depth Chart

QB: Jameis Winston
RB1: Alvin Kamara
RB2: Devine Ozigbo
WR1: Marquez Callaway
WR2: Tre’Quan Smith
WR3: Deonte Harris
TE1: Adam Trautman
TE2: Juwan Johnson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints Daily Fantasy Picks

As you can tell from my analysis above, I’m expecting this to be a lower-scoring game between two familiar divisional foes with elite defenses. The only player on the Saints who I’d contemplate playing is Alvin Kamara, but his upside is suppressed against one of the best run defenses in the NFL. He’s more of a cash play due to his receiving work, but I’m looking for other options in GPPs. Mike Evans has struggled against Marshon Lattimore in the past and could have a limited target share given that matchup, but I like Chris Godwin to deliver value as he’s still underpriced in DFS. Overall, this is not the game I’m rushing to add players to my lineup from on a loaded slate.

Week 8 Matchup Previews
  • Patriots @ Falcons
  • Colts @ Bills
  • Ravens @ Bears
  • Lions @ Browns
  • Texans @ Titans
  • Vikings @ Packers
  • Dolphins @ Jets
  • Saints @ Eagles
  • Washington @ Panthers
  • 49ers @ Jaguars
  • Bengals @ Raiders
  • Cowboys @ Chiefs
  • Cardinals @ Seahawks
  • Steelers @ Chargers
  • Giants @ Buccaneers
I've been writing about sports for Lineups since the beginning of 2020 and on my own website since 2018. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. With my educational background in the sports business and a strong knowledge of the inner workings of professional and collegiate sports, I hope to tell enthralling stories about the world of sports as it unfolds around me.

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