Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints Prediction, Pick and Preview, October 31 (10/31): NFL Week 8
- Oct 30, 2021, 6:36:09 PM
Credit: photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
|Time||4:25 p.m. EST|
|Buccaneers money line||-200|
|Saints money line||+200|
|Over / under||50.5|
2021 season stats
|Road / home record||2-1||1-1|
|Points per game||33.3||23.3|
|Points allowed per game||21.0||16.8|
|Pass yards per game||265||251|
|Rush yards per game||67||81|
|Total yards per game||345||346|
|Total yards allowed per game||332||332|
It's NFC South rivalry time once again as the two divisional frontrunners go head to head. The reigning Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers will travel to the Superdome to play the New Orleans Saints. The Bucs have one loss this season coming on the road to the Rams in Week 3. Since then they've put on an impressive four-game winning streak in which their defense has looked its best for the season. Their offense has remained the best in the league - only currently behind the Cardinals due to last Thursday night's game. Tampa Bay will go into their bye week after this road trip to New Orleans.
The Saints came off of their bye week and had to grind out a win in Seattle. They sit at 4-2 in the South. This week, their top five defense faces a tougher task against Tom Brady who last week surpassed a milestone 600 career TD passes. For Jameis Winston, it's his first start against the team where he spent the first five years of his career.
The last meeting between the Bucs and Saints ended up being the final game of future Hall-of-Famer Drew Brees' career. Tampa Bay won the game 30-20 on their run to eventually becoming champions.
Tom Brady is still playing at an extremely high level. The 44-year old is one yard short of Kyler Murray in total yards - again, due to the Cards starting Week 8 on Thursday - but still leads the league with 21 TDs and 325 yards per game; also first in the league. Chris Godwin exploded for 111 yards and one score last week allowing him to pass Mike Evans as the teams' leading receiver with 520 yards to Evans' 496. Both receivers are fit to play on Sunday. Gronkowski was limited in practice on Thursday and could be a game-time decision. Antonio Brown could also be back for the trip to Nola.
The Saints struggled offensively against the Seahawks in Week 7. Alvin Kamara was the only spark on offense amassing 179 scrimmage yards and one score. Jameis completed only 19 of 35 passes for 222 yards and the one TD pass to Kamara. Marquez Callaway is the team's leading receiver with 254 yards, slightly edging out Kamara's 241 air yards. Both players are available this weekend. Mike Thomas still isn't available following his preseason ankle surgery and Deonte Harris is also questionable. Harris has 236 yards on the season. Taysom Hill will miss the game due to a concussion.
The Bucs are still battling injuries to their defense. Ndamukong Suh was a full participant in Thursday's practice. Lavonte David, Jason Pierre-Paul and Richard Sherman are all listed as questionable and could possibly be ready for Sunday. Devin White leads the team with 51 tackles. Overall the Bucs' defense has improved since their loss to the Rams. They've given up only 14.8 points per game in the four games since that defeat and in the last three games only 14 which is the best in the NFL in that span.
Demario Davis was the standout performer in an incredible Saints defense last week with seven total tackles and two sacks. His 48 tackles lead the team this season and the two sacks carry his season total to three. The good news is that Marshon Lattimore's hand injury didn't seem to be serious as he was a full participant in practice all week.
The Bucs and Saints always provide an intriguing game. Mike Evans had been shadowed by Lattimore when the two have met up. In eight matchups, Evans has only ten catches from 22 targets for 200 yards for two scores and one pick. Evans could have another bad day at the office, but Brady has shown faith in Tyler Johnson in times such as those. These are the top two rush defenses in the league but offensively there's no comparison even with a projected bad day for Evans. The Bucs should be able to take care of this game on the road.
PICK: Buccaneers spread (-4.5)
Find more sports picks from the top sports bettors and NFL experts all in one place using our iOS and Google Play apps, as well as our other articles at Kingpin.pro. We are the home for NFL picks, sports picks and sports betting.