NFL gambling handicappers are also giving the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints a second football betting look but for opposite reasons.
Tampa Bay will host New Orleans on Sunday. Sports-Gambling opened with the Saints as 5 point road favorites and with an over/under of 44.5. Kickoff is set for 1:05 PM Eastern with a telecast on FOX.
The New Orleans Saints are coming off their second loss in three games to fall to an overall record of 3-2 straight up and 1-4 with the NFL odds. The Saints are coming off a 30-20 loss at Arizona against a Cardinals team that started a rookie free agent quarterback.
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees was intercepted 3 times as the Cardinals converted a total of 4 Saints turnovers into 3 touchdowns even as New Orleans outgained Arizona 358-194. A big problem for the Saints is the 31st ranked ground attack which has stalled due to injuries to their top two backs Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas.
Thomas is questionable for Sunday and Bush is out until next month. Brees has had to shoulder the burden of the Saints offense and has a 96.0 quarterback rating with a 9/5 touchdown/interception ratio. The defense has shown improvement from last year to rank 9th in the NFL.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a record of 3-1 both straight up and with the NFL lines after their 24-21 win at Cincinnati last week as 6.5 point dogs.
The Bucs trailed 21-14 with just over two minutes to play but intercepted Carson Palmer twice to rally to victory as Josh Freeman hit a touchdown pass and then set up the game ending/winning field goal on the final possession that followed.
Freeman has shown marked improvement in his second year as the starter as he has an 84.8 QB rating with a 5/3 TD/INT ratio. Freeman is also the 2nd leading rusher on the Bucs averaging 7.5 yards per carry. Tampa Bay ranks 15th for points allowed and 9th in pass defense, which is a good thing against Brees.
This is a key NFC South Division matchup that the Saints must win to avoid a 3-3 start. The big question is whether young and rebuilding Tampa Bay is ready to beat the champs and start off at 4-1?
The underdog has gotten the money in 11 out of the last 16 NFL gambling matchups between these two teams.