Capping off some Week 9 action, the NFL closes out Sunday Night Football with the New Orleans Saints taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Starting the year 5-2, the Saints enter this contest as 3.5-point underdogs. On the other side, the 6-2 Buccaneers will look to take a commanding lead of the NFC South. Having already faced each other once this season, the Saints took home a 34-23 victory over Tampa Bay. Let’s get into some NFL odds shopping based off the OddShopper tool and some NFL picks and best bets for Sunday Night Football, Saints vs Buccaneers.
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NFL Odds Shopping + NFL Picks: Sunday Night Football Saints vs Buccaneers
Tampa Bay -3.5 (PointsBet)
The second matchup between these two opponents, Tampa Bay draws the home field advantage in this spot. This particular matchup also has a slightly different flavor with Michael Thomas expected to make his return for New Orleans and Antonio Brown expected to make his debut for Tampa Bay. Despite the return of 2019’s leading receiver for New Orleans, Tampa Bay looks to hold a number of advantages in this spot.
Looking to the previous matchup between these teams, New Orleans still found a way to win despite an overall mediocre performance. The Saints racked up 34 points, but only managed 271 offensive yards. Alarmingly, only 160 of those came from Drew Brees in the passing game. This was also the only game Michael Thomas played all year. New Orleans managed to win with superior field position and a defensive score after Tom Brady threw a pick-six. New Orleans struggled to find a ground game as well, turning 34 total carries into just 82 yards against a stout Tampa Bay front-seven.
Heading into this game, Drew Brees continues to battle a shoulder injury that kept him limited in practice all week. Over the course of the season, Tampa Bay allows the sixth-lowest yards per pass attempt (6.3) and a league-best 3.2 yards per rush attempt. Now playing away from home with an injury designation, New Orleans carries heightened risk heading into this Sunday Night tilt.
With Chris Godwin returning from injury and Antonio Brown making his season debut, Tom Brady possesses enough weapons to pick apart New Orleans’ defense. After throwing 239 yards in their first match, Brady should find additional ways to move the ball, making Tampa Bay a sharp pick against the spread ahead of Week 9 Sunday Night Football.
Drew Brees – Over 24.5 Completions (DraftKings)
Unlike normal Sunday Night Football contests, this game comes with a reduced number of props. With injury news and players making their debut, it remains possible that more props are added tonight. Looking to the known commodities, Drew Brees enters this spot with a particularly attractive player prop.
To this point, the New Orleans’ 57.1% pass rate ranks 19th in the NFL. However, with five wins to their name, New Orleans typically tailors their pass rate to game script. They find themselves projected to trail in this spot, pointing to elevated pass attempts.
Likewise, Brees’ style of play lends itself to more high percentage completions than most quarterbacks. Brees is currently completing 73.1% of his throws for 7.5 yards per attempt. This points to high percentage, low average depth of target throws to Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara in this spot.
Currently, Awesemo’s projections slate Brees for 28.2 completions, providing a sizeable gap between the projection and his listed prop. Projected to face negative game script, Brees’ passing completion prop looks like a top bet on the Sunday Night slate.
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