When the NFL’s schedule committee meets prior to the start of each season, do you think they know their pragmatic approach to what games go where will blow up in their faces? Let’s take a look at the NFL odds and decide which way to lean at top sportsbooks.
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, December 19, 2021 – 08:20 PM EST at Raymond James Stadium
Honestly, we’re coming off of a Bears-Packers matchup that was less than stellar in terms of competition, and now this week we are forced to endure another inter-divisional showdown between one team destined for at least the NFC Title Game and another destined for supreme mediocrity due to their quarterback situation being akin to tire fires, and that feels like an insult to tire fires.
Sean Payton is a good coach. We’re not gonna argue that he’s a bad coach just because he had Drew Brees for the majority of his career. But, a great coach needs a great quarterback (see the 2020 New England Patriots vs. 2021 New England Patriots) to get over that hill and make a team matter, especially in the NFC where there is a nuclear arms race between Tampa, Los Angeles, Arizona, and Green Bay, and then ask Seattle who lost Russell Wilson and now is staring headlong into the same oblivion that the Saints, Lions, Giants, and every other sub .500 NFC team is going through.
There are five teams at 6-7 heading into week 15, and all of them have a chance to make the playoffs, hell the seventh and eighth seeds are in the playoffs as of December 13th (Washington and Minnesota) with only ONE team in the entire conference eliminated from playoff contention, the 1-11-1 Lions.
So, while this game has “playoff implications,” the only real implications come for Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, who are currently the 3 seed and are eyeing to puddle jump Green Bay to get not only the bye but a chance at their first home playoff game since 2007, which is if you don’t count the Super Bowl because it was supposed to be a neutral site game.
Nevertheless, the Buccaneers walk in needing a better win percentage in the conference per ESPN, as all three of their losses have come inside the NFC… one of which is against their opponents this Sunday night, the New Orleans Saints.
And while the Saints would lose Jameis Winston during the game and carry themselves to victory with Trevor Siemian behind center. Bad penalties and the lack of Rob Gronkowski was the story for Tampa walking out of the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
A fun thing to note per the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, the Bucs have only lost when Rob Gronkowski was hurt during a game or out due to injury… Gronk is slated to start this week.
Also, the Bucs are slated to be a -500 favorite to the +400 underdog Saints, who lost five straight after losing to Tampa, with the only thing stopping the bleeding was a 30-9 shellacking of the New York Jets.
The Saints are also 29th in passing yards, 14th in rushing, and are tied for 16th in points per game at 23.4, while the Bucs are first in passing and points for (314.2 and 31.5 respectively).
The line is set at 46.5 (-110) at BetOnline, we suggest taking them over and if you feel daring… take the under cause the Bucs defense likes to give up scores with 12 of their 13 opponents scoring in double digits on them this season.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.