NFL Picks: Bet Saints to Win & Cover the 10-Point Spread Line Over Buccaneers

David Lawrence

Saturday, September 19, 2015 1:00 AM UTC

Saturday, Sep. 19, 2015 1:00 AM UTC

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints got off to bad starts in this NFL betting season. Let's review the odds in search of valuable football picks for this Sunday's matchup.

This is a hugely important divisional game for each team, even though it’s only week two. The loser of this game faces a huge climb in the attempt to finish in the upper half of the NFC South, and to have any realistic chance at a playoff spot.


Neither team has any momentum which could be called positive, but the Saints, it could be said, have less negative momentum. New Orleans lost by 12 to an Arizona Cardinal team which made the playoffs last year and would have been a lot better off if quarterback Carson Palmer hadn’t been injured in the second half of the season. It seems likely that Arizona is going to be a 10- or 11-win team this season, so the loss is not catastrophic for the Saints.

The Buccaneers, on the other hand, already appear to be in deep trouble this season. They got blown out by Tennessee, which was not very good at all last year. More specifically, the Bucs were crushed in a battle of the top two picks from this past spring’s NFL draft. Marcus Mariota completely outplayed Jameis Winston, in the kind of game which is not easy for a downtrodden franchise to overcome, at least not quickly. That’s a very bad loss to Tennessee, perhaps not by itself, but certainly in terms of the 42-14 margin. This team needs to try to learn as much as possible from that experience, but it might not be easy to put the pieces back together.


Line Moves
This betting line started out with the Saints being a 10.5-point choice. Then the NFL odds moved down to 9.5 points. Now it stands at an even 10. The public is unsure of how to handle this game. The Buccaneers looked awful against the Tennessee Titans in their season opener, but perhaps the first-game jitters are going to subside for Jameis Winston as he sets out on his NFL career. The Saints, on the other hand, were clearly outclassed by the Arizona Cardinals in week one of the season, looking a lot like the team that stumbled and struggled through the 2014 season. If the Saints aren’t very good, it’s hard to give them the benefit of the doubt and push the point spread into the double-digit rage. There’s simply a lot of conflict here.


Notable Injuries
The Buccaneers know that defensive lineman Larry English and defensive tackle Akeem Spence are out indefinitely with injuries. Wide receiver Kenny Bell is on the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury. Tackle Demar Dotson is also on the injured reserve list and will not be back until November at the earliest. Defensive end T.J. Fatinikun is questionable for this game with a shoulder injury. Cornerback Mike Jenkins is also questionable with a hamstring injury. Starting wide receiver Mike Evans is questionable with a hamstring injury.

The Saints have linebacker Dannell Ellerbe listed as questionable for this game with a toe injury. Linebacker Davis Tull is questionable with a shoulder injury. Running back C.J. Spiller is questionable with a knee injury. Safety Rafael Bush is on the injured reserve list with a pectoral injury. Cornerback Keenan Lewis will miss this game with a hip injury. Safety Jairus Byrd is still out indefinitely with a knee injury.


Handicapping The Game
The Buccaneers are very hard to take seriously right now. The Saints might not be a really good team, but the Bucs couldn’t beat anyone other than the Raiders right now. Take New Orleans with your Sunday NFL picks.

NFL Pick: New Orleans -10 -105 at Bovada

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