Saints vs Bucs Preview & Free Pick [November 8th 2020]

New Orleans (5-2) at Tampa Bay (6-2)
When: Sunday, November 8th, 2020
Where: Raymond James Stadium,
Tampa, Florida
Time: 8:20 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: Tampa Bay -4/55.5

Sunday Night Football this week features a terrific matchup of two teams vying for the NFC South crown as well as two future Hall of Famers going head-to-head. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in a key division matchup in prime time. The Bucs lead the South by a half-game over the Saints, who prevailed 34-23 in New Orleans in Week 1. Both quarterbacks had two touchdown passes last week, leaving Brady with a 561-560 edge in their illustrious careers. The Saints intercepted Brady twice and sacked him three times in the season opener. Both teams come in hot with New Orleans winning four in a row after a 26-23 win at Chicago, while the Bucs have captured three straight including a hard-fought 25-23 victory at the New York Giants on Monday night.

The Saints have done well against the Buccaneers recently and have gone 4-0 against the spread and straight-up in their last four meetings. Games involving New Orleans this season have gone over the total every time. The over is also 7-0 in the Buccaneers last seven NFC South games.

Alvin Kamara picked up a receiving TD and a rushing score against the Bucs in Week 1 and leads the Saints in rushing yards (431), receiving yards (556), rushing TDs (4) and receiving TDs (3). Kamara led the team’s ground and air attacks last week versus Chicago with 67 rushing yards on 12 carries and 96 receiving yards on nine receptions. In the first meeting with the Bucs, Brees passed for just 160 yards but had two touchdowns without an interception. Wide receivers Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and Marquez Callaway are all slated to return to action against the Bucs. Thomas injured his ankle in the first meeting with Tampa Bay and has not played since. The Saints own the No. 3 ranked rush defense in the NFL, holding opponents to 3.6 yards per carry and 90.6 rushing yards per game. New Orleans’ pass rush sacked Nick Foles five times last week. New Orleans will host San Francisco next Sunday.

Brady has found a groove after a sub-par start to the season and now has 20 TDs and only four interceptions. He’s been spreading the ball around to everyone. In last week’s win over the Giants, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, Jaydon Mickens and Ronald Jones II all had at least four receptions. Since the opener, Brady has completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,950 yards and 18 touchdowns with two interceptions. The Buccaneers activated wide receiver Antonio Brown from the suspended list earlier in the week after signing him on Oct. 27. Tampa Bay has the best rush defense in the league, holding opponents to 3.2 yards per carry (1st) and 70.4 rushing yards per game (1st). They are also tied for the second most sacks in the league with 28 and the secondary is tied for the most interceptions in the league (11).

Tampa Bay has played much better at home this season and already owns a blowout win over the Packers. Brees has been limited at practice this week and that’s not a good sign going up against the stout Buccaneers defense. I like Tampa Bay big here.

Pick: Bucs -4.5
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