New Orleans Saints
(3-2, 1-4 ATS)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(3-1, 3-1 ATS)
No one really thought at the outset of the season that the Week 6 NFL betting affair between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was going to be a crucial one, but that’s exactly was is going to happen this Sunday. The Saints will fall two games back in the loss column if they can’t get over their road woes in the Sunshine State.
The Saints are already 0-2 ATS away from the Superdome this year, and they really haven’t looked anything like a Super Bowl team once again quite yet. They have failed to cover four straight spreads and really haven’t had a dominating game. The offense hasn’t scored more than 25 points in a game all year, and the defense has been awfully suspect in four straight games. There are still really no running backs to turn around and hand the ball to right now, as RB Pierre Thomas and RB Reggie Bush are once again going to be sitting on the sidelines. New Orleans ranks second to last in the NFL in rushing at 75.6 yards per game, and it is really putting a lot of pressure on QB Drew Brees and the passing attack. This unit still ranks No. 5 in the game in passing at 271.2 yards per game, but things would be significantly different if there was just a bit of balance. The ‘D’ has never really been special for the Saints, and this year is no exception. The unit is allowing 306.4 yards per game and 20.4 points per game, neither number of which is really worth noting.
Tampa Bay might have played a weak schedule to date, but it has done what it has needed to do and already has as many wins as it had a year ago. HC Raheem Morris clearly has a team that is going in the right direction, especially with QB Josh Freeman leading the way. Freeman is coming off of one of the best games of his career. He threw for 280 yards and a TD against the Cincinnati Bengals in an upset of a 24-21 victory at Paul Brown Stadium. WR Mike Williams and TE Kellen Winslow have been rock solid. The rookie out of Syracuse has finally given a legitimate deep threat to a team that badly needed to be able to stretch the field. He has 19 catches for 238 yards and three TDs. Winslow has 17 grabs for 214 yards as well. RB Cadillac Williams is averaging less than three yards per carry this year, numbers that just aren’t going to cut it if this team is ready to take the jump to the playoffs. The pass defense has been great at just 197.5 yards per game allowed through the air, and that will have to continue to knock off the defending champs.
This NFL spread has dropped all week long, and there’s a good reason for that. The Bucs are for real and might be able to win this game outright. Either way, we’ll take our chances and take the points, hoping that this game is at least going to be remotely close.
NFL Free Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers +4