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‘Monday Night Football’ picks and open thread: Saints at Buccaneers

Will the Saints win in Tampa again?

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Divisional games tend to get interesting, and this one should be no exception. DraftKings Sportsbook lists the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as 3.5-point home favorites against division rivals the New Orleans Saints. This isn’t shocking, seeing as both teams currently have a losing record and have each gone 2-3 over the last five weeks, according to ESPN.

Regardless, both of these teams have gone 1-0 against the Seattle Seahawks, so take that for what it is worth. Neither of these teams is looking like contenders for a high seed in the playoffs, but the Buccaneers are currently in possession of the 4th seed as they lead the NFC South; the 4-8 Saints haven’t yet been eliminated from postseason contention, although they are behind the 5-7 Falcons as well, so their odds are looking decently lower.

Tom Brady and the Bucs beat the Saints in Week 2 on the road, which is literally the first time that Brady has won a regular season matchup with the Saints since he joined Tampa Bay. In the other four meetings between these two teams since 2020, TB12 and the offense have managed to average 13.25 points, while allowing an average of 29.25 points, according to StatHead. Humorously enough, the Bucs are quite clearly a step (or a few) back from where they have been the last two seasons. Those first two meetings in 2020 featured Drew Brees in his final season — a year in which he played in 12 games and went 9-3. In the other 3 games, the Saints have played a combination of Jameis Winston, Trevor Seimian, and Taysom Hill. This time they expect to see Andy Dalton under center. The Bucs are volatile this year; will the Saints face the team that beat the Dallas Cowboys 19-3, or will they face the team that lost to the Carolina Panthers 21-3? The Saints are volatile too, with their only victory over a winning team being their win at Seattle. Is the year that Tom Brady completes a sweep of the Saints? Sure, why not.

The Pick: Under 40.5 points, Buccaneers win straight up, but the Saints cover the spread