NFL Week 17 Pick: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, December 26, 2017 5:35 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017 5:35 PM UTC

While the Falcons and Panthers are playing a huge game against one another in the NFC South, the Saints get to close their season with a presumed cakewalk in Tampa. Survivor Pick: New Orleans.

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7, 50)

This game was flexed to 4:25 p.m. ET, the same time that Panthers-Falcons was flexed to. The NFL wants those two NFC South games going simultaneously as they are intertwined from a playoff perspective. The NFC South is the only division in he NFL that hasn’t been won yet. The Saints have clinched at least a wild-card berth and will take the division with a victory or Carolina loss in Atlanta. New Orleans will be playing on wild-card weekend as either the 3, 4 or 5 seed. For the No. 3, the Saints must win and have the Rams lose at home to the 49ers, which is possible. In that scenario, Atlanta would host either Atlanta (if it beats Carolina) or Seattle (if it beats Arizona and the Falcons lose). The Saints would be the No. 4 with a win and Rams win OR a loss and Carolina loss. Then, the Saints would host the Panthers. Finally, to have to go on the road on wild-card weekend as the No. 5 seed, the Saints would have to lose and the Panthers win. New Orleans would then visit either Carolina or the Rams. If the Rams win in Week 17, the Saints would face Carolina. If the Rams lose in Week 17, the Saints would face the Rams. Got all that? Tampa Bay is simply playing out the string in a hugely disappointing season.

  • Saints are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 road games.
  • Buccaneers are 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
Free NFL Pick: Saints -6.5 (buy down from 7)Best Line Offered: SportsBetting

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This likely will be the end of the road for Bucs coach Dirk Koetter. The Bucs won nine games under him last year but have regressed in just about every fashion this year, and Koetter’s relationship with franchise quarterback Jameis Winston also has apparently gone sour. The next time the Bucs take the field, I believe their coach will be a certain ESPN Monday Night Football analyst named Jon Gruden. Of course, he led the Bucs to their only Super Bowl title back in the 2002 season. He was fired after 2007 but his relationship with ownership is good again, Gruden still lives in Tampa and apparently already is calling around the league to gauge interest of some potential assistants. Tampa Bay isn’t far from being good – seven of its 11 losses are by seven points or fewer, including the past four. The Saints routed the Bucs 30-10 in Week 9. Drew Brees was 22-for-27 for 263 yards and two scores. Brees' touchdowns went for 33 yards to Alvin Kamara and 36 yards to Ted Ginn. Kamara also scored on a 6-yard run and had 172 yards from scrimmage. Winston didn’t play in the second half due to a shoulder issue.

  • Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
  • Under is 5-0 in Buccaneers last 5 home games.
Free NFL Pick: Under 50Best Line Offered: Bet365

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