Saints vs. Buccaneers: NFL Playoff Betting Preview – January 17, 2021

Posted By Staff on January 15, 2021 - Last Updated on January 17, 2021

The New Orleans Saints (12-4) are favorites as they head into a showdown with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) in the NFC Divisional round of the 2020 NFL Playoffs on January 17, 2021 at 6:40 PM ET on FOX. The contest’s over/under is set at .

The Saints won both regular-season meetings with the Bucs, winning 34-23 in New Orleans in Week 1 and 38-3 in Tampa Bay in Week 9. Tampa Bay, the NFC’s fifth seed, beat the Washington Football Team 31-23 on the road in last Saturday’s NFC Wild Card Round; New Orleans, the No. 2 seed in the conference, topped the Chicago Bears 21-9 on Sunday.

The betting insights in this article reflect betting data from DraftKings as of January 12, 2021, 1:41 AM ET. See table below for current betting odds and CLICK HERE to bet at DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Saints vs Buccaneers Betting Odds

Saints vs Buccaneers Props

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Betting breakdown

The Saints were 4-point favorites in Week 1 and 3-point favorites in Week 9. They won and covered with ease in both meetings and the two games split against the Over/Under. Sunday’s line of 51.5 points will be the highest of the three matchups between the two. The Saints won and covered in each of the last five head-to-head meetings dating back to 2018.

Tampa Bay failed to cover a 10-point number against Washington last week with the game playing to the Over on a projection of 44.5. New Orleans covered as an 11-point favorite with the Bears opting to not kick an extra point following TE Jimmy Graham’s touchdown as the clock hit zero. The Under hit with the line set at 48 points.

The Saints are favored for the 16th time on the season. They’re 10-7 against the spread overall and cover by 3.8 points per game. They’re 5-4 ATS at home and 9-6 ATS as favorites. New Orleans is 10-7 against the Over/Under and games at the Superdome have gone 6-3 against the number.

The Buccaneers are just 9-8 ATS but cover by an average of 3.5 PPG. They’re 4-5 ATS on the road but 2-1 as underdogs. They went 10-7 against the O/U and played an average of 3.9 PPG above the line.

New Orleans went from +750 to +600 at PointsBet to win Super Bowl LV with its wild-card win over the Bears. Tampa Bay’s odds improved from +1000 to +800 with the win over Washington. The two teams have odds of +225 and +350, respectively, to win the NFC. The Saints are third overall to win the Big Game, trailing only the No. 1-seeded Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers.

Betting the Total (Over/Under)

  • Saints games have gone over 51.5 points on seven occasions this season (43.8% of matchups).
  • In seven (43.8%) games this season, the Buccaneers have combined with their opponents to go over 51.5 points.
  • The total for this matchup is 51.5 points, 9.4 fewer than the combined scoring average of the two teams.
  • The over/under for this game is set at 51.5 points, 8.2 points higher than the two teams’ opponents scoring average.
  • The over/under in this game is 51.5 points, 0.3 higher than the average total in Saints games this season.
  • The average total for Buccaneers games is 52.9 points, 1.4 more than this game’s over/under.
  • The Buccaneers are the league’s third-highest scoring team this season compared to the fifth-ranked Saints.
  • This matchup features the league’s eighth-ranked (Tampa Bay) and fifth-ranked (New Orleans) scoring defenses.

Saints Betting Insights

  • New Orleans’ games have hit the over in 10 out of 16 opportunities this season (62.5%).
  • New Orleans has compiled a 9-7 record against the spread this season.
  • The Saints have an ATS record of 8-6 when playing as at least 3.0-point favorites.

Buccaneers Betting Insights

  • Tampa Bay has compiled a 9-7 record against the spread this season.
  • The Buccaneers are 7-6 ATS when playing as at least 3.0-point underdogs.
  • Tampa Bay’s games have hit the over in nine out of 16 opportunities this season (56.2%).

Saints vs Buccaneers: Head to Head

Saints vs Buccaneers: Last 4 Meetings
Date Favorite Home Team Spread Total Favorite Moneyline Underdog Moneyline Total Yards Result
11/8/2020 Buccaneers Buccaneers -3 50.5 -167 +148 420-194 NO 38-3 NO
9/13/2020 Saints Saints -4 48 -180 +155 310-271 TB 34-23 NO
11/17/2019 Saints Buccaneers -5 51 -215 +185 334-328 TB 34-17 NO
10/6/2019 Saints Saints -3 46.5 -157 +138 457-252 NO 31-24 NO

Check out TheLines YouTube channel to learn more about betting tips and picks for this week’s NFL action.

Saints vs. Buccaneers game matchup

Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, 43, and Saints QB Drew Brees, turning 42 years old Friday, Jan. 15, will meet at a combined age of 85 Sunday. It’ll be the highest combined age of starting quarterbacks ever. Neither showed their age last week, with Brees throwing for 265 yards and two touchdowns against the Bears, while Brady went for 381 yards and two TDs on 22-for-40 passing against Washington.

Brady had the better regular-season campaign in his first year in Tampa Bay. The six-time Super Bowl winner and three-time MVP had a resurgent season with 4,633 passing yards and 40 TDs against 12 interceptions with another three scores on the ground. Brees finished with 2,942 yards and 24 TDs against six interceptions with two rushing scores while missing four games due to broken ribs.

While they took different routes, the offenses are well matched. The Bucs and Saints ranked third and sixth, respectively, in points per play. They’re sixth and 13th, respectively, in yards per play. The Saints were fifth in both third-down and red-zone offense. New Orleans was plus-9 in turnover differential and Tampa Bay was plus-8.

The Saints have the superior offensive line, ranking fifth by ESPN’s Pass Block Win Rate and ninth by Run Block Win Rate. Tampa Bay’s O-line was 17th in both categories. Defensively, Tampa Bay has an edge with a pass rush ranked fifth to New Orleans’ 22nd-ranked unit. The Bucs were second in Run Stop Win Rate while the Saints were 19th. Football Outsiders graded New Orleans second and Tampa Bay fifth by total DVOA.

Brees played both games against the Bucs in the regular season with a total of just 382 passing yards but six touchdowns against no interceptions. Brady totaled 448 yards but with just two TDs against five INTs in those two games. Saints RB Alvin Kamara had just 116 total yards but three touchdowns in the head-to-head series.

When the Saints Have the Ball

  • The Saints have put an average of 30.1 points per game on the scoreboard this season, 7.9 more than the 22.2 the Buccaneers have surrendered in each contest.
  • When they meet or outpace their scoring average this season, New Orleans is 6-0 and 6-0 against the spread.
  • When the Tampa Bay defense allows 22.2 points or fewer this year, the Buccaneers have put together a 6-1 overall record and a 6-1 record against the spread.
  • The Saints hold a 49.5-yard advantage in total yards gained versus total yards allowed compared to the Buccaneers defense this season (376.6 to 327.1). The Saints average 5.8 yards per play while the Buccaneers give up 5.1 per play.
  • In contests where the New Orleans offense totals at least their average yard output this season, they are 5-5 against the spread and 8-2 overall.
  • When the Tampa Bay defense allows less than their season average for total yards this season they are 4-3 against the spread and 5-2 overall.
  • The Saints have averaged 141.7 yards per game on the ground this season, 61.1 yards more than the Buccaneers have allowed to opposing rushing attacks (80.6).
  • In games where the New Orleans rushing attack puts together at least their season average this season, the Saints are 6-0 overall and 6-0 against the spread.
  • When Tampa Bay limits opposing teams to 80.6 rushing yards or fewer this year, they are 4-4 against the spread and 6-2 overall.
  • The Saints have turned the ball over 1.1 times per game this season, while the Buccaneers have averaged 1.6 takeaways per contest.
  • When New Orleans turns the football over 1.1 times or fewer this season, they are 9-3 overall and 6-6 against the spread.
  • Tampa Bay’s record this season when they force more than 1.6 turnovers: 5-4 ATS, 7-2 overall

When the Buccaneers Have the Ball

  • The Buccaneers rack up 30.8 points per game, 9.7 more than the Saints give up per outing (21.1).
  • When Tampa Bay records at least 30.8 points, it is 6-2 against the spread and 8-0 overall.
  • New Orleans has a 6-0 record against the spread and a 6-0 record overall in games when it allows 30.1 points or less.
  • The Buccaneers rack up 73.3 more yards per game (384.1), than the Saints allow per outing (310.8). On average, the Buccaneers gain 6 yards per play, while the Saints allow 5 per play.
  • New Orleans’ record last season when they accumulated at least their season average in total yards: 8-1 overall and 6-3 ATS.
  • New Orleans has a 6-1 record ATS and a 7-0 record overall when holding its opponents to 310.8 yards or less.
  • The Buccaneers rush for 94.9 yards per game, just one more yard per game than the 93.9 the Saints allow per outing.
  • When Tampa Bay runs for at least 94.9 yards, it had a 5-2 ATS record and a 6-1 overall record.
  • This season, New Orleans is 8-1 against the spread and 9-0 overall when holding opponents to no more than 93.9 yards on the ground.
  • This year, the Buccaneers turn the ball over 1.1 times per game, only 0.5 fewer turnovers per game than the 1.6 the Saints force on average.
  • Tampa Bay has a 7-4 record against the spread and a 10-1 record overall when it turns the ball over 1.1 times or less.
  • When it forces 1.6 or more turnovers, New Orleans has a 6-0 record against the spread and a 6-0 record overall.

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Saints Players to Watch

  • Drew Brees leads the team with 2,942 passing yards (245.2 yards per game) and has a 70.5% completion percentage this year (275-of-390) while throwing 24 touchdowns and six interceptions in 12 games.
  • Alvin Kamara has rushed for a team-leading 932 yards on 187 carries (58.3 yards per game) while scoring 16 touchdowns in 16 games. He also averages 47.3 receiving yards per game, grabbing 83 passes for 756 yards and five touchdowns.
  • In 16 games in 2020, Latavius Murray has rushed for 656 yards on 146 carries (41.0 ypg), with four rushing touchdowns.
  • Emmanuel Sanders has also tacked on 726 yards on 61 catches with five touchdowns. He has been targeted 82 times and puts up 45.4 receiving yards per game in 16 matchups this year.
  • Jared Cook has caught 37 passes on 60 targets for 504 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 33.6 yards per game in 15 contests in 2020.
  • Cameron Jordan has 7.5 sacks to lead the team, and has also added 11.0 TFL and 51 tackles over 16 games.
  • Demario Davis has collected 118 tackles, 10.0 TFL, and four sacks to lead the team in tackles so far in 16 games over the course of the 2020 campaign.
  • Marcus Williams has intercepted three passes to lead the team while adding 59 tackles and seven passes defended 14 over games.

Buccaneers Players to Watch

  • Tom Brady has thrown for 4,633 yards while completing 65.7% of his passes (401-of-610), with 40 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 16 games this year (289.6 yards per game).
  • Ronald Jones II has taken 192 attempts for a team-leading 978 rushing yards (61.1 yards per game) while scoring seven touchdowns in 16 games.
  • Leonard Fournette leads the team with 367 rushing yards on 97 carries (28.2 yards per game), with six touchdowns on the ground over the course of 13 games in 2020. He also has 36 catches for 233 yards (17.9 per game).
  • This season, Mike Evans has 70 catches (on 109 targets) to lead the team with 1,006 yards (62.9 per game) while scoring 13 touchdowns in 16 games.
  • Chris Godwin’s statline this year shows 65 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns over the course of 12 games. He puts up 70.0 receiving yards per game and has been targeted 84 times.
  • Rob Gronkowski has caught 45 passes on 77 targets for 623 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 38.9 yards per game in 16 contests in 2020.
  • Jason Pierre-Paul has 9.5 sacks to lead the team, and has also racked up 7.0 TFL, 55 tackles, and two interceptions over 16 games.
  • In 16 games over the course of the 2020 campaign, Devin White has totaled 140 tackles, 15.0 TFL, and 9.0 sacks and leads the team in tackles.
  • This season, Carlton Davis leads the team with four interceptions and has added 68 tackles, 3.0 TFL, and 18 passes defended 14 in games.

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