Buccaneers vs. Saints Point Spread: NFL Week 1 Odds, Prediction

Jeremy Perry | Updated Sep 03, 2018

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The Saints will look to take advantage of a matchup against the only NFC South team that isn’t expected to contend for a playoff spot when they host the Bucs in Week 1.

Tampa Bay
5-11
AT
September 09, 2018, 1:00 PM ET
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Pointspread +10 -115
Moneyline +410
Over / Under o +49.5

22%

Betting Action

78%

Pointspread -10 -105
Moneyline -535
Over / Under u +49.5

22%

Betting Action

78%

The New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers enter the 2018 NFL season with Super Bowl aspirations in the NFC South. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to be the doormat.

Jameis Winston’s three-game suspension really shook up Tampa Bay’s outlook for this season. Without him, the Buccaneers will be close to a double-digit underdog on the road in Week 1 versus New Orleans.

NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis

Tampa Bay is just 4-10 in its last 14 September games. The Buccaneers are 3-8 in their last 11 season openers overall. Factor in a 2-6-1 record against the spread in their last nine road games and it’s clear that Ryan Fitzpatrick and company will be in tough on the road in Week 1.

New Orleans has also traditionally been a slow starting team with a 0-4 record in its last four Week 1 games. However, the Saints have done their job against their division over the years with a 13-5 record in their last 18 games versus NFC South opponents. It’s also worth noting that the Over is 4-0 in New Orleans’ last four September games.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers have struggled against NFC opponents with a 3-8 record in their last 11 games against the conference overall. It’s hard to imagine that record improving this week with Fitzpatrick under center for Tampa Bay on Sunday. Fitzpatrick, who will turn 36 in November, completed 58.9-percent of his pass attempts for 1,103 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions in limited action for the Buccaneers a year ago. He has an impressive cast of weapons but could struggle getting them the football with the Saints defense looking to make life miserable for him this week. The defense will be tested by Drew Brees and a lethal New Orleans offense that can beat them both through the air and on the ground in this matchup.

The good news is the Bucs defense should be improved as they added Jason Pierre-Paul, Vita Vea, Vinny Curry, M.J Stewart, Carlton Davis and Jordan Whitehead.The Saints won the opening meeting between these teams a year ago 30-10 before losing a Week 17 meeting in which they had nothing to lose after locking up the division.

New Orleans Saints

New Orleans will once again rely heavily on Drew Brees’ arm this season. Despite committing a lot more to the run a year ago, Brees still threw for 4,334 yards and 23 touchdowns while completing 72-percent of his pass attempts. Michael Thomas is coming off another incredible year and remains Brees’ No. 1 option while Ted Ginn Jr., Cameron Meredith and rookie Tre-Quan Smith round out a reliable receiver core.

Meanwhile, a suspension to Mark Ingram will mean more carries for last year’s rookie sensation Alvin Kamara, with rookie sixth-round pick Boston Scott also figuring in to the mix. It will be very interesting to see how the New Orleans defense fares after improving dramatically last season. The Saints owned the 15th ranked pass defense in the NFL. They should be even better now they their young cast has more experience. They also spent a first-round pick on Marcus Davenport.

If they can produce similar numbers on that side of the football this season, New Orleans could be a legitimate contender out of the NFC South. They should get off to the start they want with a lopsided win in Week 1.

Buccaneers vs. Saints Prediction

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