Bucs at Saints -3


This is the game I’m least confident in but maybe most excited for. I think the Saints are the better team and there’s a lot of evidence to support that from this season – the Saints beat this team twice and blew them out 38-3 in Tampa Bay in November. The Bucs defense has been up and down all season long and inconsistency was really the theme of this team until they got a generous schedule of Detroit, Atlanta, and Washington down the stretch. The Saints defense is legit on all three levels and quarterbacks have a 10:14 touchdown to interception ratio against them since Week 9. Tampa Bay’s defense has a 19 to 5 touchdown to interception ratio during the same stretch. Brady has done very well as an underdog in the postseason and dogs are 12-8-1 ATS in the last 21 divisional matchups in the postseason, but Brady was with an established team for those years and Tampa Bay is a team that figured things out on the fly this year. The Saints have been through years of success and heartbreak together in the playoffs and the coaching edge has to go to Sean Payton. This is Brees’ best team and it looks like he’s retiring after this win or lose – I think the Saints rally around that and there’s a high sense of urgency from the Saints defense. This isn’t the same Saints offense that Brees just lets it fly down the field, but with Thomas healthy and Sanders there they have so many guys who get open consistently and Brees is one of the best at managing the game and setting the offense up to win. I’ll probably lock New Orleans as the weekend goes on and can’t wait to watch this. The Saints defense is 5th in the NFL in 3rd down defense allowing only 36.9% conversions and their last 3 games they only allowed 17.9%