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Sunday Night Football Betting — New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

How Do the New Orleans Saints Solve Their Problem Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

By Charles Jay

When looking at Sunday Night Football betting options at BetAnySports, we are considering the situation regarding the New Orleans Saints and scratching our heads a little.

When they had Drew Brees in the fold, it may have been a better bet that he could improvise when he was short of offensive weapons, but with Taysom Hill under center, there is more of a chance for New Orleans to be one-dimensional, and that is an issue against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are the double-digit favorites as action gets underway at 8:20 PM ET at Raymond James Stadium.

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Sunday Night Football Betting — And for the Bucs, the problem is….

That they haven’t beaten the Saints in the regular season in three tries with Tom Brady at quarterback. Of course, they did get by them in the playoffs on the way to the Super Bowl.

Sunday Night Football Betting — Mark those absences

When you talk about New Orleans, you have to talk about those players who will not be in action.

As we know, Michael Thomas, who holds the record for most receptions in a season (at least for now), is not going to be playing for the rest of the season. And maybe things would have been different for this Saints offense if he was available.

So how have they gotten by? Well, they’ve gotten results that are better than expected out of Deonte Harris, who took over the role of the #1 wide receiver option. In fact, Harris is currently ranked as the fifth-highest graded wideout by the respected analytics site Pro Football Focus.

But Harris is currently sitting out a three-game suspension imposed by the league, stemming from a July DUI arrest. He had filed an appeal, which allowed him to play o a temporary basis, but the appeal was ultimately denied.

And New Orleans is without its two tackles, Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk, and that is a big blow, because if you’re the Saints, you are going to be looking to establish the run. After all, they have run the ball 47% of the time. And that is so tough to do when you are without two Pro Bowl offensive tackles.

Sunday Night Football Betting — Here are the numbers….

In the odds that have been posted at BetAnySports on this game, the Bucs are the favorites, and they are laying a lot of points:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -11
New Orleans Saints +11

Over 45 points -110
Under 45 points -110

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Sunday Night Football Betting — Who needs to run?

Tampa Bay has Leonard Fournette in the backfield, and we have seen that he can go off when he has to. But as far as wanting to establish the run, there is no team that seeks to do that LESS than these Bucs, who run the football only 33.5% of the time.

That the defending champs are sitting with a commanding lead in the NFC South (10-3 SU and 7-6 ATS) is a genuine testament to their 44-year old quarterback. Tom Brady came into this NFL weekend leading the league in passing yards and touchdowns. And he’ll be throwing into the teeth of a New Orleans secondary whose numbers are kind of middle-of-the-road.

The Saints have been a very tough defensive front to run against, allowing just 3.7 yards per carry (best in the league), but Brady and the Bucs offense needs that run game less than anyone. See how that works?

Sunday Night Football Betting — Uh, to answer that previous question….

The Saints will need to run. And whatever play-calling mix they are going to use, they are going to do it without the play-caller. Sean Payton has to sit this one out with a positive COVID test. Pete Carmichael, his long-time assistant, will do the honors.

The encouraging part is that New Orleans pounded the Tampa Bay line for 152 rushing yards in the last meeting. And the Bucs’ numbers against ground attacks are not as good as last season (allowing 4.4 ypc).

But the offensive line injuries are big, and Taysom Hill, who is okay but nothing sensational as a passer, may have a hard time if the Bucs commit to shutting down Alvin Kamara and the run game first.

Sunday Night Football Betting — Our conclusion

Obviously the success New Orleans has had against this opponent complicates things, but that might be a reason the Bucs don’t take their collective foot off the gas pedal. The fundamental matchup advantages favor Tampa Bay here, so that’s how we’re leaning.

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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