The Tampa Bay Buccaneers arrive in the Big Easy on against-the-spread win streaks of 7-3 in New Orleans and 6-0 when catching points as double-digit road underdogs.
They catch the Saints in a situation where they are just 3-13 ATS in the past 16 seasons.
Saints-Buccaneers point spread: Saints opened as 12.5-point favorites; the total was 47. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 24.9-15.0 Saints
Why the Buccaneers can cover the spread
Since losing their first eight games of the season, the Bucs have won four of seven and will cherish their second chance against the Saints, who won the first meeting, 16-14, back on Sept. 15.
Unlike most of their games during the first half of the season, the Buccaneers have played with much more purpose since Nov. 11 and have covered five of their last eight since coming close to upsetting the Seahawks in Seattle on Nov. 3.
New Orleans has covered the spread just three times in 16 season finales.
Why the Saints can cover the spread
Nothing is official in New Orleans' postseason itinerary, and it still needs to win this game if it plans on returning to the playoffs after missing them last year. The Saints have lost two straight and three of four, but they take a step down in competition after playing the Seahawks and Panthers in three of the last four weeks.
In their last two home games, the Saints have outscored the 49ers and Panthers 54-33, so they'll have some confidence for this game.
While it seems automatic to take the highly volatile and offensively explosive Saints, the Buccaneers have been playing better and will be looking to bring their physical game to New Orleans and slow things down.
This could be a backdoor cover for either team, so a low number looks more appealing, as the UNDER is on a 9-1 run when these two meet and the Saints have stayed low in seven of their last eight in NFC South play.
- UNDER is 9-1 past 10 meetings
- Bucs are 7-3 ATS past 10 trips to New Orleans
- Bucs are 6-0 ATS past six games as double-digit road underdogs
- UNDER is 7-1 past eight Saints games within division
- Saints 3-13 ATS past 16 regular season finales