Alvin Kamara has been carrying the Saints offense, but he’ll get some help against the Buccaneers with Michael Thomas back in the fold. Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire
- The New Orleans Saints visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with first in the NFC South on the line (8:20pm EST)
- Last week’s picks went 1-2, losing 1.11 units
- Which of these ancient quarterbacks will keep their offense moving? Find out below
The all-time passing TD record is on the line, as is first in the NFC South, when Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints travel to Tampa to take on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football. The most anticipated game of the weekend has the Bucs as four-point favorites in what should be a windy, but clear night in South Florida.
With Brady just one TD ahead of Brees for the all-time lead, can the Saints offense get that lead back for their QB, or will the Buccaneers defense keep them grounded? Let’s explore.
Saints vs Buccaneers Player Props
|Passers||Completions||Passing Yards||Passing TD|
|Drew Brees (NO)||24.5 (Ov -112 | Un -112)||278.5 (Ov -112 | Un -112)||1.5 (Ov -167 | Un +134)|
|Tom Brady (TB)||25.5 (Ov -118 | Un -106)||295.5 (Ov -112 | Un -112)||2.5 (Ov +165 | Un -210)|
|Rushers||Rush Attempts||Rush Yards||Rush + Receiving Yards|
|Alvin Kamara (NO)||12.5 (Ov -134 | Un +108)||50.5 (Ov -110 | Un -110)||89.5 (Ov -112 | Un -112)|
|Latavius Murray (NO)||7.5 (Ov -134 | Un +108)||25.5 (Ov -115 | Un -105)||35.5 (Ov -112 | Un -112)|
|Ronald Jones II (TB)||13.5 (Ov +101 | Un -125)||47.5 (Ov -110 | Un -110)||63.5 (Ov -112 | Un -112)|
|Leonard Fournette (TB)||9.5 (Ov -124 | Un +100)||37.5 (Ov -110 | Un -110)||58.5 (Ov -112 | Un -112)|
|Receivers||Receptions||Receiving Yards||Longest Reception|
|Michael Thomas (NO)||5.5 (Ov -124 | Un +100)||62.5 (Ov -112 | Un -112)||N/A|
|Emmanuel Sanders (NO)||3.5 (Ov +120 | Un -150)||42.5 (Ov -118 | Un -106)||N/A|
|Jared Cook (NO)||3.5 (Ov +133 | Un -167)||37.5 (Ov -112 | Un -112)||N/A|
|Mike Evans (TB)||4.5 (Ov +110 | Un -140)||55.5 (Ov -106 | Un -118)||21.5 (Ov -113 | Un -113)|
|Chris Godwin (TB)||N/A||53.5 (Ov -106 | Un -118)||N/A|
|Antonio Brown (TB)||N/A||39.5 (Ov -112 | Un -112)||N/A|
|Rob Gronkowski (TB)||3.5 (Ov -125 | Un -102)||38.5 (Ov -125 | Un +101)||17.5 (Ov -120 | Un -104)|
Odds taken Nov. 8 from DraftKings and FanDuel
Throwing On Bucs Won’t Be A Brees
The return of Michael Thomas to New Orleans lineup is a huge boost and don’t let the following prediction tell you otherwise. This is simply a bad matchup for what Brees and the Saints have been doing best all season, and that is dump the ball off short and let Alvin Kamara make plays.
Alvin Kamara receiving:
⚜️ 92.0 PFF Grade (1st)
⚜️ 522 YAC (1st)
⚜️ 196 REC YDS after contact (1st) pic.twitter.com/lr36zkiunB
— PFF (@PFF) November 7, 2020
Over half of the Saints passing yardage this season has come after the catch, but those opportunities for big plays won’t be as plentiful against these great Buccaneers linebackers.
Lavonte David has been a top-five linebacker in coverage this season and along with Devin White, they already showed an ability to corral Kamara in their Week 1 meeting, holding him to 67 yards from scrimmage.
There’s an ocean of grass available on this play, and Lavonte David was like, “Cool, you get 1 yard.” pic.twitter.com/Ba4UBZqHd6
— Robert Mays (@robertmays) October 5, 2020
Without Kamara busting out some big gains underneath, it’s hard to see Brees topping 275 yards, especially while nursing a shoulder injury. Take the under for the old man’s aerial production.
Pick: 1 unit on Brees UNDER 278.5 passing yards (-122)
RoJo a No-Go
Bruce Arians sent Ronald Jones II to the doghouse after a costly fumble early against the New York Giants and it’s unclear when he’ll be getting out. But even if the Buccaneers back is getting a healthy dose of carries again on Sunday night, it doesn’t mean they’ll be effective. Tampa has been running the ball a ton on first down in the past few weeks, and it’s not working at all.
Why is Bruce Arians taking the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands?
First half first downs:
1st 4 weeks: 51% run
last 4 weeks: 59% run
3.1 YPC, 43% success, -0.19 EPA/att
with Brady YTD, Arians is 55% run (8th highest rate)
with Jameis, Arians ran less often (52% run)
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) November 7, 2020
Now, the Bucs will be going up against a stingy Saints run defense that ranks fourth in DVOA vs the rush. New Orleans hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 50 games, which is closing in on an NFL record. Look for them to stay focused on wrapping up Jones and keeping that streak alive.
Pick: 1 unit on Jones UNDER 47.5 rushing yards (-110)
Saints vs Buccaneers Scoring Props
|Team||Odds to Score 1st TD||Odds to Score Any TD|
|Alvin Kamara (NO)||+700||-125|
|Mike Evans (TB)||+800||+108|
|Leonard Fournette (TB)||+900||+115|
|Ronald Jones II (TB)||+1050||+145|
|Antonio Brown (TB)||+1100||+150|
|Chris Godwin (TB)||+1100||+150|
|Michael Thomas (NO)||+1100||+150|
|Rob Gronkowski (TB)||+1200||+175|
|Latavius Murray (NO)||+1500||+210|
|Jared Cook (NO)||+1600||+240|
New Toys Get Played With First?
Arians hinted that Antonio Brown would see limited snaps in his debut tonight. But after Brady spent so much time lobbying for the Bucs to sign the troubled wide receiver, expect the quarterback to get him involved in the game early. Last season, the duo connected on a first half touchdown in their only game together.
Perfect placement from Brady to AB, and Brown uses a veteran move to create space. His first TD with the Pats pic.twitter.com/WZATeFYOzJ
— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) September 15, 2019
I could see a similar situation here with Michael Thomas returning for the Saints. The reigning Offensive Player of the Year hasn’t found the endzone in 2020, getting shutout in his lone game against these very Bucs. Look for New Orleans to get their man involved early.
Pick: 0.5 units each on Brown 1st TD (+1100) and Thomas 1st TD (+1100)
Eric Thompson has been with SBD since 2015, serving as a sports betting expert in NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB. If you want someone who eats, sleeps, and breathes sports news and betting, Eric is your man. Having studied economics at university, he understands what value is and how to spot it.