New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: betting odds, spread, preview, pick

Christian Petersen

The Saints come off a bye week remaining a Super Bowl threat in the eyes of some fans and some sportsbook operators. They visit Tampa Bay as small favorites, a spot where they have thrived over the years.

The Saints are small favorites in Tampa Bay and that is a situation where New Orleans bettors have turned a huge profit over the years.

Since 2001, in 11 games where they were favored by 2 points or less, the Saints are 10-1 ATS, according to the NFL searchable database.

More than 62 per cent of the early betting action at online sportsbooks and Vegas shops was on New Orleans, who comes off a bye week.

Defense could be the difference when the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet at Raymond James Stadium as each of the last seven games between these two division rivals has gone UNDER the posted total.

Tampa Bay opened as a 1-point home underdog, but betting is moving the line (follow us on Twitter for updates).

After starting off the season 0-3 SU and ATS, the New Orleans Saints entered their bye week last week with some positive momentum. The Saints kept it close in a 28-27 loss to Green Bay to cover the spread in Week 4, and then won their first game of the season over San Diego 31-24 at home in Week 5.

Drew Brees and the Saints offense have looked good this season, but the defense has been awful allowing 30.8 points per game. New Orleans hopes that the bye week and the return of Jonathan Vilma help correct those mistakes.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are quietly putting together a pretty respectable season at 2-3 SU and 4-1 ATS. After finishing 2011 on an 0-10 SU and 1-9 ATS skid, the Bucs have kept their losses to the New York Giants, Dallas, and Washington within one score and have picked up wins at home over Carolina and Kansas City.

The Buccaneers are allowing just 20.2 points per game this season even with the defensive meltdown against the New York Giants (allowing 41 points).

This game really comes down to which version of the New Orleans Saints will show up coming out of their bye week. Will it be the team that went 37-11 SU over the last three regular seasons, or the one that started this year off 0-4 SU?

At only -3.0, with a bye week to prepare and getting Jonathan Vilma back, we have to go with the Saints. New Orleans is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 trips to Tampa Bay, and in a must-win situation look for Drew Brees to will his teammates to a win.

PICK: New Orleans -2 (courtesy of PickShark.com) Of note, the past seven meetings between these teams have played UNDER the total.

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