It’s hard to tell which team has been a bigger downer this season – the New Orleans Saints or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Neither team has performed how it was supposed to, but the interesting thing is that their division, the NFC South, is so weak that neither of these teams is out of the playoff race despite losing records.
Tampa Bay is currently the leader, with a record of five wins and six losses. BetOnline customers have been keeping up with the soap opera involving Tom Brady, who seemed to get into conflict with his wife over sticking around for another season to play some football. Has it affected his play? Well, you can take a look at the numbers – and the Bucs’ record – and make your determination.
He’s only thrown 14 touchdown passes this season, and remember, this guy had set the record for most TD throws in a season. But the one thing you can give him credit for is keeping his turnovers down, as he’s thrown only two interceptions. And as we see that New Orleans has intercepted only two passes on the season, that would seem a pretty good matchup for him.
The Saints have tended to go to sleep on offense. Last week was one of those occasions, as they had only 260 yards from scrimmage in a 13–0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. In the wake of the retirement of Drew Brees, this club has not really had a quarterback ready to take control. Taysom Hill could have been that guy, but Sean Payton apparently didn’t have enough faith in him to hand him the reins, and then after he retired, his replacement, Dennis Allen, has not made a move with him either.
So Andy Dalton, who was a Pro Bowl player long ago with Cincinnati, retains the starting position ahead of Jameis Winston, who has been cursed with injuries. It’s just as well because Winston threw three interceptions against Tampa Bay in a 20–10 loss on September 18.
In the Monday Night Football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, the Buccaneers are laying points at home.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3.5 (-105)
New Orleans Saints +3.5 (-115)
Over 41 Points -110
Under 41 Points -110
Balance is something the Bucs definitely don’t have in their arsenal. Despite the presence of Leonard Fournette, only twice has Tampa Bay topped 100 rushing yards in a game. And they have averaged only 3.3 yards per carry, and no NFL team is worse than that. Brady seems to have wanted to take matters into his own hands almost entirely, as passes have constituted 66.4% of the overall play selection.
But this team has been far from a juggernaut, with a pedestrian 38% conversion rate on third down and touchdowns on only 50% of their red zone trips.
It used to be that the Buccaneers were rock solid against the run. But they are surrendering 4.6 yards per carry, instead excelling against opposition air attacks. New Orleans does not have a lot of wide receivers. Chris Olave, the rookie from Ohio State, has been the top target, catching 56 passes and averaging almost 15 yards per reception. But it’s pretty thin after that, and Juwan Johnson, a potential threat for Dalton, has been ruled out of this game. Perhaps this will change the dynamics as fans may experience a lot of ups and downs in the betting odds at top NFL betting sites.
Hill has 409 rushing yards, but aside from that, he hasn’t really produced as a receiver or passer. What has killed this team is turnovers; they have a minus-14 margin, which is the NFL‘s worst. And it makes it very difficult for them to sustain drives.
Brady has had his difficulties, to say the least, playing against this opponent. Since the beginning of the 2020 season, when he joined the Bucs, he’s had seven touchdown passes against the Saints but thrown eight interceptions. So even though he avoids those kinds of mistakes regularly, New Orleans has demonstrated itself to be the exception.
We obviously have a lot of doubts about the Saints’ offense. When you look at the Buccaneers’ schedule, they have played nine of their 11 games under 41 points. There’s a case to be made for picking either side here, but the strongest case is for the UNDER.
It’s always a great Monday Night Football evening when you can spend it with BetOnline. With Prop Builder, you can take your pick of so many choices on what the playmakers will do. And you can always keep the action going after the kick-off with the “Live Betting” option. And speaking of options, there are plenty of them when it comes to making a deposit. They accept just about every cryptocurrency out there and then include Bitcoin!