The New Orleans Saints will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend at Raymond James Stadium in a match-up of NFC South teams. It would be easy to guess that this week's NFL picks and predictions would favor the Saints after watching the Bucs implode in their game against the San Francisco 49ers last week, but let's take a look around the web regardless.
The good folks at CBS Sports were unanimous in their picks of eight of the Week 6 games, but the Saints-Bucs tilt was not one of them. Pete Prisco, currently 49-28 with his picks thus far this season, was the lone dissenting member of their five-man panel. ESPN was in the same boat as Seth Wickersham was their only expert to go against the grain and pick the home team in this week's match-up.
Sports Illustrated's Peter King predicts that the Saints will win, but not by a lot, while citing his "Weird Stat of the Weekend."
While the Bucs have split their last four with the Saints, the oddity is that those two wins have come at the Superdome. Drew Brees must like the great outdoors. In Tampa, the Saints have won 38-7 and 31-6 in the last two years. Two reasons this one should be closer for the Bucs: Embarrassment (after losing by 45 last week in San Francisco) and a better defensive line. It won't be enough to hold down Brees.
As it stands now, it doesn't seem that a Buccaneers pick would be the worst thing in the world -- but the safe money is certainly on the Saints.