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Derek Carr #4 of the New Orleans Saints features in our Buccaneers vs. Saints predictions
Derek Carr #4 of the New Orleans Saints calls a play during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sept. 24. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

Our predictions for the Buccaneers vs. Saints matchup are grounded in the best NFL odds available. Derek Carr is anticipated to start for New Orleans, despite sustaining a shoulder injury last week.

This divisional rivalry reignites as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, with both teams starting the season with 2-1 records in the highly competitive NFC South; the winner of this Week 4 showdown could take a crucial first step toward asserting dominance in the division.

Here is our best Buccaneers vs. Saints prediction and our NFL picks (odds via our best NFL betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Buccaneers vs. Saints prediction

1st-half total Under 19.5 (+100 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Over/Under for this matchup is set at 40.5 points, tied for the lowest total of the Week 4 slate. The last three head-to-head battles have fallen well below this total (NO 9-0 in 2021, TB 20-10, and TB 17-16 in 2022).

Both the Saints and Bucs are averaging fewer than 20 points per game this season. The Saints are scoring just 17.7 points per game and have yet to put up more than 20 in a contest this season. The Bucs average 19.3 points per game despite playing two of the league's worst defenses in Minnesota and Chicago.

Both teams play at a more methodical pace, as they each rank in the bottom half of the league in plays per game (Tampa 60, New Orleans 66) and yards per play (TB 4.7, NO 4.8).

Add to the equation that Saints quarterback Derek Carr intends to play despite suffering an AC joint injury last Sunday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.

Even when fully healthy, Carr has struggled to put up points. The Saints had just six first-half points in Week 1 and Week 2. They led 17-0 at half against the Packers.

The Saints and Bucs also rank in the top 10 in defense, each allowing fewer than 20 points per game.

Rather than betting on the game total that could be decided by late-game theatrics, we're focusing on the first-half total. The last three head-to-head matchups saw 13, 3, and 6 points scored in the first half.

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Buccaneers vs. Saints best odds

FanDuel (+100)

1st-half total Under 19.51st-half total Under 19.51st-half total Under 19.51st-half total Under 19.51st-half total Under 19.5

The price on this prop varies at our best sports betting apps, but only one book is offering even odds. That makes FanDuel the obvious choice for our first-half total bet.

Buccaneers vs. Saints odds

Buccaneers vs. Saints odds analysis

The Saints opened as -3.5 favorites and have received 67% of the wagers. The spread now varies between -3 and -3.5 at our best sports betting sites

The total opened at 40.5 and has seen heavy action on the Over, yet books are dropping the O/U a full point to 39.5. The first-half total has moved from an open of 20.5 to 19.5, suggesting Under being the sharp bet.

Buccaneers vs. Saints game info

  • When: Sunday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. ET
  • Where: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
  • How to watch: FOX
  • Weather: Indoors

Buccaneers-Saints prediction made Thursday at 11:46 a.m. ET

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