If the Bucs have another performance like Week 1, the calls for Lovie Smith's job will get louder. Here’s a rundown for those making Buccaneers-Saints NFL picks.
Can things get worse for Tampa Bay, who were embarrassed 42-14 at home by Tennessee in their opener? They'll be heading to New Orleans this week and the Saints might be sour. They lost 31-19 at Arizona, so they'll be looking to get back on track.
Opening Odds & Line Movement
Open: -10.5 -105 at Pinnacle
This NFL odds at -10.5 for the Saints, then fell to -9.5 before settling to -10, and it'll probably stay around there until game time. You can't understate how bad Tampa Bay looked on Sunday against Tennessee – on both sides of the ball. Jameis Winston had about as bad a start to his NFL career as a rookie quarterback, especially with Marcus Mariota on the other side for Tennessee, but the defense might be the bigger story as they couldn't tackle or stop the Titans from doing whatever they wanted. The Saints, on the other hand, didn't look terrible on the road against the Cardinals, and Drew Brees still managed to throw for 355 yards and a touchdown against an Arizona defense that many think is very good. If the Saints are slightly better in the red zone, where they were 1-for-4, this might be a different story.
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Winston's debut might have been a little better if he had Mike Evans on the field, but the Bucs' No. 1 receiver couldn't go against the Titans because of a hamstring problem. He says he is 100% healthy and ready to play this weekend, but hamstrings are a difficult injury to forecast, so you'll have to keep an eye out for that right up until kickoff.
For the Saints, the jury is still out on C.J. Spiller, who didn't play against the Cardinals because of his knee, and he is listed as questionable as of right now, while safety Jairus Byrd isn't expected back until next week, but he is making a push to play on Sunday. The Saints would love to have him back as Rafael Bush is out for the season with a pectoral muscle and Keenan Lewis is out too. Byrd played just four games last season, his first for the Saints, after a knee injury and would love to get back on the field.
The Bucs are 1-9 SU in their last 10 games, but 5-5 ATS, and they've covered in five of their last seven on the road, even though they're 2-5 SU over that time. The Saints have covered in just one of their last five overall and whereas the Superdome used to be a fortress for them, New Orleans is 0-5 SU and ATS in their last five at home.
That being said, New Orleans is 8-2 SU in their last 10 against Tampa Bay, including seven wins in a row, but they've covered in just half of those games. In New Orleans, the Saints are 6-4 SU in their last 10 against Tampa Bay, but 4-6 ATS.
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