Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images
Saints enter the season as -3.5 favorites against the Bucs.
The Saints kick off the 2020 season this weekend hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. While there will be no fans in the stands for this first bout of the season, the Saints still find themselves in both an enviable and entirely familiar situation: favorites to beat their opponent at home.
Against the spread in 2019, the Saints were favored in 11 of their 16 regular season games, though four of the five games in which they were underdogs came when starting quarterback Drew Brees was recovering from injury.
Ultimately, the Saints went 11-6 (including the playoffs) ATS last season, giving them the third highest cover percentage in the NFL with 64.7%, an impressive performance. However, New Orleans struggled ATS at home going 4-5, including the Wildcard playoff loss to Minnesota.
To open the 2020 NFL season, the Saints are hosting the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs struggled against the spread in 2019, going 5-9-2 and covering at a third-worst 35.7% last year.
However, we did say “new-look” Bucs. With Tom Brady at the helm, there must be a massive improvement awaiting this team. Right?
Last year’s New England Patriots were led by Tom Brady and a defense that, for the first month of the season technically outscored opposing offenses when they were on the field. That team, however, managed to finish 2019 with a modest 8-8-1 record ATS. The 2020 Bucs have added Brady, but they don’t have the 2019 Patriots defense, nor the genius of Bill Belichick.
Communication and cohesion will also be key in this game. The Saints’ defense has struggled with that very element to start last season, improving as the year progressed. However, this year, veteran presences have increased and the Saints will look to capitalize on their leadership and familiarity.
The Saints’ odds for Week 1 against Tampa Bay are:
- Straight-up: Tampa Bay (+155), New Orleans (-190);
- Against the Spread: Tampa Bay +3.5(-110), New Orleans -3.5(-110);
- Over/Under: o49.5 (-110), u49.5 (-110).
With an O/U at 49.5 and a spread of -3.5, experts seem to expect a score of 27-23 or 26-23, meaning the Saints won’t cover and they may or may not hit the Over, but they’d still win a close one, resulting in more heart palpitations for Saints fans.
Every week, you’ll get an update on the Saints’ odds and a rundown of their matchup. But we’ll also bring you some fun with prop bets. So here are Saints game-related props and info below that you can discuss in the comments. Odds from the odds-makers at Sports Betting Dime.
Brady passing yards: 294.5
Brees Passing Yards: 286.9
Kamara (Rushing + Receiving Yards): 94.5
Taysom Hill (Yards Rushing + Receiving+Passing): 37.5
Michael Thomas Receptions: 7.5
Rob Gronkowski Receptions: 3.5
Odds to have the most yards receiving
Michael Thomas: 2/1
Chris Godwin 3/1
Mike Evans: 3/1
Rob Gronkowski: 32/1
Odds Jameis Winston Throws a pass: 12/1
What are your predictions for this Week 1 matchup? Let us know in the comments. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @RossJacksonNOLA and subscribe to my daily Saints podcast, Locked On Saints.