Bet Saints Home Cover vs. Buccaneers for NFL Picks

Nikki Adams

Thursday, October 2, 2014 6:02 PM GMT

Tampa Bay Buccaneers are searching for their second win of the season, to back up the upset win over the Steelers in week 4 NFL betting. Can the Bucs turn the NFL odds in their favour again when they visit struggling Saints? Find out as we preview this clash of 1-3 SU teams and serve up NFL picks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-13, 1-1 away)
Mike Glennon was the hero of the day last week as he assembled a late drive in the dying seconds of the game to lift the Buccaneers to the improbable 27-24 win over the Steelers, thereby handing the Bucs their first win on the season. Not to take anything away from the well-deserved win, but the Steelers did themselves in late in the game, not to mention Big Ben failed to deliver the coup de grace when he had the opportunity.

Any bonhomie felt following that win didn’t impact NFL betting markets as the Bucs are matched as the whopping +375 underdogs to win straight up in New Orleans and they are matched as the 10-point underdogs. Undoubtedly, Mike Glennon was better in offense than the other guy (what’s his name?), he gave it dimension and guile. Alas, that hasn’t correlated to appropriate respect on the NFL odds. (Would the odds makers rue the decision not to credit Bucs’ sneaky offense under Glennon come Sunday?)

 

New Orleans Saints (1-3, 1-0 home)
What used to be an overwhelming offense has rolled out this season like a deflated tire, to the disappointment of football fans who’d had the Saints as a top Super Bowl pick this season. On paper, at least, they look the part of contenders. After one win in four games, the verdict out: they’re not as good as NFL betting fans thought, flattering to deceive and nowhere more so than on the road.

Saints have notoriously enjoyed poor form on the road. For the last two seasons, they’ve only been able to muster up a 3-5 SU record on the road and this season they are well on the way to the mark after an 0-3 start on the road, if not worse. Fortunately, this game is at home where they’ve been nigh indomitable. Last season, they were a perfect 8-0 at home, a run of form they’ve extended to 9-0 with a win over Minnesota Vikings in week 3 of this season.

As things currently stand, New Orleans are ranked third in passing offense with 294.5 yards per game and 11th in rushing with 131.3 yards per game. Problem is they are only converting those gains to just 23.8 points per game – compared to Indianapolis and Atlanta that are averaging between 32 and 34 points. Heck, San Diego, Philadelphia, Denver, Cincinnati – to name a few – are converting lesser yardage better than Drew Brees and company. Of course, it’s not all down to ineffective offense alone. Defense has dropped the ball, proving ineffective as it ranks in the nether regions of the NFL table.

Last week’s clash with the Cowboys where the Saints were hammered on the score hoard 38-17 is case-and-point. Saints accounted for 438 yards of total offense to Dallas’ 445 yards; although they outgained the Stars by 79 yards in passing offense, they were in turn outgained by 86 yards in rushing; all of which amounted to very little for the Saints as the lopsided score indicates.

 

Bucs vs. Saints Betting Tips and Picks
Despite a subpar start to the season, the Saints enter this game as the whopping -500 favourites in NFL betting markets. Such a favourable outlook has everything to do with established home form rather than current form, which leaves much to be desired. Taking some of the shine off those NFL odds: the Saints improved their home record to 9-0 (since 2013) behind a 20-8 win at the expense of a suspect Vikings, and not without some struggle and effort either. That they expended so much effort while putting up just 20 points was a far cry from the blowout many NFL experts predicted.  And the Minnesota Vikings were there for the taking.

The hapless Bucs are also 1-3 SU this season. Although they are after a big win over the Steelers, the win was dubious even if spectacularly achieved in the dying seconds of the game on a last-gasp drive by Mike Glennon. It doesn’t change the opinion of the Bucs as a side of no consequence in the broad spectrum of the NFL season. Hence, they’re matched at wildly ridiculous +375 NFL odds to win straight up in New Orleans.

Needless to say, a win over the Bucs is going to be meaningless; by that we mean it won’t help us to determine whether the Saints are good or simply stink. It will improve their record to 2-3SU though, which is a damn sight better than the alternative – 1-4SU record ahead of their week 5 Bye beggars belief. And it would send them into their week of rest with measured optimism as they try to figure out where and how they went wrong in the first month of the 2014-2015 NFL season.

NFL Picks: Saints -500 SU

 

Bucs +10 (-115) vs. Saints -10 (-105)
This is a must-win game for the Saints and they should come through for NFL bettors. We’d wager the sharp NFL pick isn’t going to be whether they win or not, but whether they lay the points as the 10-point favourites.

Saints’ fall from grace is a combination of missed opportunities on offense, turnovers and poor defending – they boast one of the lowest ranked defenses at 28th against the pass and 21st against the run. What’s more, the Saints haven’t blown off the field anybody of consequence, nor have they been able to overwhelm the so-called “lightweights” of the league. Defensively challenged Atlanta and Cleveland have managed to keep the Saints to within a few points, while the Swiss cheese Cowboys’ defense surprisingly held the Saints to a 38-17 score. Those games were road games however.

At home, the Saints are a different team. Granted, we only have a sample size of one-game at home, in which the Vikings weren’t exactly pushovers but the Saints did bank as the 9-point favourites in the 20-8 win. And trusting a low-ranked defense with 10-points is a risk on your NFL picks. But we feel the Bucs are there for the taking, just as the Vikings were. And this is a MUST-WIN game for Drew Brees and company. So the Saints as the 10-point favourites in this game is our recommended sharp NFL pick.

NFL Picks: Saints -10 at Bet365
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