Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Saints vs. Buccaneers (12/5/2022) - Taking Vegas



Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Saints vs. Buccaneers (12/5/2022)

By TakingVegas Staff Writer
December 5, 2022

New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12/5 @ 8:15 PM EST)

Spread: Tampa Bay -3.5
Money Line: New Orleans +165 / Tampa Bay -195
Total: 40.5

Overview and Betting Info

The New Orleans Saints (4-8) head to Tampa Bay to renew their rivalry with the Buccaneers (5-6). The Saints lead the overall series 39-23 and have won four of the last six, but Tampa won when they met earlier this year. The Saint’s playoff hopes are over, but the Buccaneers lead the NFC South by one game.

The Saints are 4-8 against the spread this season and have yet to cover on the road (0-5-0). They have gone over the total six times, including four of their last five games.

The Buccaneers are 3-7-1 against the spread and have yet to cover a game at home (0-4-1). They’ve gone over the total just twice this year.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints’ offense averages 362 yards and 23.8 points per game this season. They are led by Andy Dalton, who has 2,023 yards and four touchdowns since taking over after Jameis Winston was benched. He did not play in the first matchup between these two teams. Dalton is helped by rookie of the year candidate Chris Olave. The receiver leads the team with 822 yards with three touchdowns. He’s seeing five or more targets per game since Dalton took over, and he’ll be Tampa’s top priority. The Saints will be without tight end Juwan Johnson this week (leads team with 5 TDs), so look for receivers Jarvis Landry and Tre-Quan Smith to see more looks on Monday.

The New Orleans running game has been disappointing, averaging 113 yards per game. Veteran Alvin Kamara has been dealing with injuries and has been mostly ineffective as a rusher. Over his last five games, the back averages only 34.6 yards per game with 3.2 yards per carry. He’s been able to make up for it by being the team’s second-leading receiver, with 422 yards on 49 receptions. Kamara is coming off a game where he lost two fumbles, so we may see Taysom Hill get more carries on Monday. He’s been a more effective rusher, with 409 yards and five touchdowns on the year.

The Saint’s defense came in with high expectations but are allowing 344.3 yards and 23.3 points per game. Their inability to generate turnovers all season (-14 turnover differential) has been an issue, and it isn’t helped by the fact that they are spending a lot of time on the field (3rd most plays in the NFL). On the bright side, the Saints have succeeded in getting into opposing backfields and are 5th in the NFL with 33 on the season. The unit has been led by Cam Jordan (9 TFL, 5.5 sacks) and Demario Davis (6.5 sacks, 9 TFL). Davis leads the team in sacks, tackles for loss, and tackles. They are supported in the secondary by Tyrann Mathieu, who has both of the Saint’s interceptions on the season (32nd in NFL). They should be in for a favorable matchup Monday, as the Bucs average just 18 points per game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs’ offense is averaging 350.4 yards and 18.2 points per game. They are led by quarterback Tom Brady, who has 3,051 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. While he’s currently fourth in the NFL in passing yards, injuries to all of their receivers and a running game among the worst in the NFL has made life hard. The good news is that their receiving stars are now healthy, with leading pass-catcher Mike Evans (702 yards, 3 TD) back and Russell Cage looking like he has a chance to play. Even if both play, we expect to see Chris Godwin again lead the team in targets. He’s been fantastic over the last couple of games, with 181 yards and two touchdowns. Keep an eye on tight-end Cade Otton, as he is quickly becoming a favorite weapon of Brady.

The Buccaneers manage a league-worst 73 rushing yards per game, making this offense one-dimensional. The unit is led by Leonard Fournette, who has 462 yards and three touchdowns on the season. He’s been dealing with his injuries, but backup Rachaad White has been fantastic filling in. White has looked the better back, with 214 combined yards over his last two games and averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Even if Fournette can go, we still expect White to be heavily involved in this offense.

Tampa’s defense allows 337.8 yards and 18.5 points (6th in NFL) per game. Their strength is the ability to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, leading to them being 3rd in the NFL with 36 sacks. They are led by defensive tackle Vita Vea and linebacker Devin White. Vea leads the team with 6.5 sacks, while White (5.5 sacks) leads the team with 59 tackles and 8 tackles for loss. The Tampa secondary has supported this line well, led by Jamel Dean and Mike Edwards, who lead the team with two interceptions. They’ll have an easier challenge Monday against Dalton, but we’ll see how they handle Kamara and Olave.

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