Buccaneers vs Saints NFL Week 2 Odds, Picks, Predictions
Sean Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Tom Brady.
- The Buccaneers are road favorites today against the division-rival Saints.
- Tampa Bay won its opener in Dallas, while New Orleans had a comeback win over the Falcons.
- Cody Goggin breaks down the matchup and explains his betting pick below.
Buccaneers vs. Saints Odds
Everyone was watching last Sunday night as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense dismantled Dak Prescott and the injured Cowboys offensive line.
While the Saints don’t have quite as much turnover on offense, this Tampa Bay defense will still give Jameis Winston a tough time.
Buccaneers vs. Saints Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Buccaneers and Saints match up statistically:
Buccaneers vs. Saints DVOA Breakdown
Last weekend against a Falcons defense that has no expectation of being good this year, the Saints offense had to score 17 points in the fourth quarter to pull out the tight one-point victory. The Saints had a Series Conversion Rate of 66.7% in that game, compared to the Falcons’ 72.2%. Series Conversion Rate is the rate at which a series starting on first down earns a new first down (or touchdown) on that series.
Tampa Bay’s defense was dominant against Dallas en route to an easy win. The Dallas' banged-up offensive line did not have any answers for the Tampa Bay pass rush, which registered six sacks. Dallas was only able to muster a 54.5% series conversion rate, a 38% success rate and -0.34 Expected Points Added (EPA) per play on offense.
Winston will also need to do much better than the 0.01 EPA per pass that he averaged last week against the Falcons, especially without Alvin Kamara, who's reportedly going to miss the game due to injury.
If you’re looking at the past history of how Tom Brady has performed against the Saints, it’s not good. In fact, it would probably cause you to blindly bet the Bucs. However, I don’t think that the Saints will be able to replicate last season's 9-0 win over the Buccaneers, which happened on Sunday Night Football, this year.
This Saints defense is without a lot of the players that allowed them to play the style of defense that they did. Without Marcus Williams, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Malcolm Jenkins, they won't be as lethal on the backend this year.
The additions of Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Maye help fill this void, but they're much different players than what New Orleans had last year. Cornerback Paulson Adebo had a solid rookie year last season but will miss this game.
Donovan Smith will be a big loss along the offensive line that may give Brady some trouble. Josh Wells will replace him this week at left tackle, but he struggled in the chances that he did get last season in the playoffs. Wells posted Pro Football Focus pass blocking grades of 62.2 and 54.6 against the Eagles and Rams.
Chris Godwin will be out for this contest, but the expectation is that both Mike Evans and Julio Jones, both of whom are listed as questionable, will play. If these two suit up, I will be much less worried about the Bucs offense.
The injury situation could end up being much worse for Tampa Bay, but as of right now I believe that they will be OK, even without Smith and Godwin. Brady will still have enough of an offensive line around him and talented enough receivers to move the ball against a Saints defense that allowed Marcus Mariota 0.05 EPA per play when passing last week.
In the end, I think that the hopes of the Saints being able to completely shut out Brady again aren’t realistic. New Orleans’ defense may be OK, but with the turnover in the secondary and how they looked against the Falcons last week, I’m going to rely on that information this week and side with them being a touch overrated.
When the final injury reports come out, I would expect that this line will move to -3. That’s why I want to get this line at -2.5 if possible and stay within that key number. You could still take this at -3 if the injury report contains good news for the Buccaneers and you still love the bet, but I would definitely not play -3.5 if it goes that far.
FanDuel Quickslip: Buccaneers -2.5 | Bet to -3 pending injury report