Opening Spread in Saints vs Buccaneers Week 9 Matchup Favors Tampa Bay by 4.5-Points

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady has a sparkling 17-1 TD-to-INT rate since Week 2. Photo by @PFF (Twitter).
  • The New Orleans Saints (5-2) visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2) on Sunday Night Football in Week 9 (Nov. 8, 8:20 pm EST)
  • Tampa Bay has won three straight and opened up as a 4.5-point favorite
  • Read below for analysis on which way the line will move ahead of kickoff

First place in the NFC South will be on the line on Sunday Night Football in Week 9 (Nov. 8, 8:20 pm EST), as the 5-2 New Orleans Saints visit the 6-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This game is a rematch of Tom Brady’s Bucs debut in New Orleans in Week 1, which ended in a 34-23 Saints victory. It will also mark the return of controversial wideout Antonio Brown, who was signed by Tampa Bay prior to its Week 7 contest.

Saints vs Buccaneers Opening Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
New Orleans Saints +4.5 (-114) +166 Over 54.5 (-110)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -4.5 (-106) -198 Under 54.5 (-110)

Odds taken Nov. 2nd at FanDuel.

The Buccaneers opened up as a 4.5-point home favorite, following their win on Monday Night Football over the New York Giants. The victory was Tampa Bay’s third in a row, but it wasn’t the same type of dominant performance we’ve seen in the previous two weeks.

Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker

Buccaneers Barely Escape with Win

Riding high after blowout wins over Green Bay and Las Vegas, the Bucs spotted the G-Men a 14-3 lead before snapping out of a funk. They outscored New York 19-3 in the first 29 minutes of the second half, before holding on for dear life and escaping with a two-point win.

Tampa Bay’s number one rated coverage unit picked off Daniel Jones twice in the second half, which Brady converted into 10 points. The 43-year-old threw two more touchdowns and now has a 17-1 TD-to-INT rate since Week 2.

Not only will the Bucs offense be adding Brown to the mix in Week 9, but they could get Chris Godwin back as well. The stud receiver missed Monday’s game with a finger injury, but the thought of him, Brown, Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski to defend must be giving defensive coordinators around the league nightmares.

New Orleans Needs Reinforcements

New Orleans will enter Week 9 riding a four-game winning streak, thanks to a Week 8 overtime victory in Chicago. For the fourth straight game, the Saints were forced to come from behind, rallying from a 13-3 deficit on the back of Alvin Kamara.

Their superstar running back racked up 163 scrimmage yards versus the Bears, marking the sixth straight game he has produced at least 100 all purpose yards. The New Orleans offense has revolved around him since Michael Thomas went down in Week 1, and that’s been amplified over the past two weeks with Emmanuel Sanders on the COVID-19 list.

Sanders will almost certainly be in the lineup on Sunday Night, while Thomas returned to practice last week and appears to be trending in the right direction.

Tampa Bay’s defense is ranked first by DVOA, and the Saints will need all hands on deck if they’re going to put up enough points to upset the Bucs.

Line Likely to Drift in Saints’ Favor

Prior to Week 8, the lookahead line for this game was Bucs -4.5 and nothing either team did in their respective matchups warranted oddsmakers to make any adjustments.

That will almost certainly change if New Orleans gets positive news on the injury front. Thomas, and to a lesser extent Sanders, are difference makers for this Saints offense and if word comes out early that they’ll be suiting up, expect a line move in New Orleans’ direction.

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