Capper Favors Home Dog Bucs ATS vs. Saints for NFL Picks

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 8:43 PM GMT

Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014 8:43 PM GMT

Will Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally win a home game this season when they host the struggling Saints in week 17 NFL betting. Find out what NFL odds are currently trading at various cyber exchanges and what NFL picks we've decided on.

New Orleans Saints (6-9, 3-4 away)
The New Orleans Saints are behind one of their worst seasons in recent memory, imploding to the shock of all and sundry at the Superdome. After finishing last season with an 8-0 SU record in the unconquerable fortress, many were of the opinion that the Saints would at least ride to another playoff appearance on the strength of home form. That wasn't the case though as the Saints lost their last five home games, including the pivotal week 16 clash with the Atlanta Falcons that officially ended their 2014-2015 campaign.

The Saints succumbed to a 30-19 loss at the Superdome on Sunday to the Falcons. Although the game was marred by contentious officiating, it doesn't change the fact that the Saints simply didn't do enough to win the game. The Falcons outplayed, outmuscled and outscored the Saints. They sacked Drew Brees five times and the Saints committed three costly turnovers in the fourth quarter that sank their hopes.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-13, 0-7 home)
It's high time the Buccaneers put to bed their abysmal season; the end couldn't come sooner for fans, so frustrating and demoralising  a season it has been, nowhere more so than at home where they are winless in seven appearances.

The Buccaneers can still close the season on a high note, a first win at the expense of the miserable Saints. It's the least they could do for those few loyal fans that show up for their curtain closer on Sunday. The odds that the illusive win will come to pass are slim; that is if the NFL odds board were any indication. The Bucs are installed as the home underdogs, trading at 3-to-3.5-points depending on your sportsbook of choice.

The Bucs are coming off a 20-3 loss to the Packers in week 16 NFL betting. Being held to just three points by the Packers is a continuation of their offensive woes this season.  They are the fifth worst scoring offense in the league averaging approximately 17-points per game. The only redeeming aspect of their account last week is holding the seventh-ranked passing offense to just 20-points despite giving up 431 yards in total offense. That subjective success could bode well for the Bucs against the Saints. 

 

NFL Betting Verdict:
If the Bucs could hold the Packers to 20-points despite giving up over 400 yards of total offense, they could fancy their chances of making a game of it against the Saints' passing offense that ranks third in the league. Consider the Saints have nothing to play for now, save for pride – an overrated objective when the disappointment of having their playoff hopes sink right in front of their beloved fans is still fresh on their minds – is it really a stretch of the imagination to expect the Bucs not only to give the Saints a run for their money but also finally win their first home game of the season?

Of course, the Bucs would have to bring their comatose offense to life somehow to make this notion a reality. Looking back to their earlier clash this season, a game that the Bucs led only to lose 37-31 in overtime, the Bucs' offense had no problem putting up points against the Saints' suspect defense. That defense hasn't improved since week 5. In fact, it's gotten worse you could say. In the first five games of the season, the Saints defense was giving up an average of 28-points approximately. Over the course of their last five games, they've given up 30.5-points.

Saint's road form has been a touch better (so far) than their home form this season: they are 3-4 SU on the away and 4-3 ATS with a 1.4-point margin of victory. They are also riding a three-game winning streak on the road with wins over Carolina, Pittsburgh and Chicago. But if week 16 taught us one thing, it's a must-win game doesn't necessarily mean will win.  It follows that a should-win game (predicated on the notion of pride being the guiding incentive) isn't necessarily going to be a will win either.

The loss to the Falcons knocked the wind out of their sails and sunk their season. That's a huge disappointment, not easily dismissed. By contrast, the Bucs have been out of contention for some time. They'll have no hang ups when they take on the Saints on Sunday. So if there were a time to bank on the Bucs to come through on your NFL picks, this has to be the best opportunity.

NFL Free Picks: Bucs +3.0 at 5Dimes

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