When the Buccaneers (10-3) host the Saints (6-7) on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 15 of the 2021 NFL season (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), they will be looking to wrap up the NFC South title. Tampa Bay was a wild-card playoff team behind New Orleans when it made the run to win Super Bowl 55 last season.
A win would mark another division crown for Tom Brady with a second team. The Saints are looking at their four-year reign over the South coming to a close.
The Buccaneers can make a statement trying to re-establish their status as clear Super Bowl favorites. The Saints are looking to sweep the Bucs for a second consecutive regular season.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Saints vs. Buccaneers in Week 15, including updated odds, trends and expert’s prediction for “Sunday Night Football.”
NFL WEEK 15 PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up
Saints vs. Buccaneers odds for “Sunday Night Football”
- Spread: Buccaneers by 11.5
- Over/under: 45.5
- Moneyine: Saints +420, Buccaneers -560
The Buccaneers have been double-digit favorites since the initial lines, another lopsided spread in a division game for SNF. The Bucs are rolling like they were last December while the Saints keep fading with limited offense and shaky pass defense.
(betting odds per FanDuel Sportsbook)
Saints vs. Buccaneers all-time series
The Saints lead the series 38-22. They won 36-27 on Halloween in New Orleans. Last season, they won 34-23 to open the year at home and also won 38-3 in Tampa. But the Buccaneers won the key playoff meeting in between, 30-20. That’s Tampa Bay’s only win in the past seven meetings.
Three trends to know
—72 percent of spread bettors are siding with the Saints to cover the massive number despite being on the road, where the Buccaneers have dominated at home.
—60 percent of over/under bettors think the total is too low given the offensive potency of both teams at times. The Bucs can handle much of the scoring on their own to push the total around 50.
—The Saints are 4-6 against the spread and 4-6 straight up in their past 10 games. The total has gone over six times. The Bucs are 6-4 ATS and 8-2 SU in their past 10 games. The total has gone under six times.
Three things to watch
The Saints’ offensive injuries
The Saints are once again missing starting tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk because of knee injuries. Wide receiver Michael Thomas has missed the entire year with his ankle injury, leaving the Saints’ with arguably the league’s worst wide receiver corps. There will be plenty of Taysom Hill as a runner with support from the versatile Alvin Kamara as New Orleans tries to move the ball on the same level as Brady.
The Buccaneers’ defensive injuries
The Bucs will be hurting again in the secondary with the safeties and subpackages being the concern as Jordan Whitehead (calf) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (foot) are listed as questionable and Jamel Dean and Richard Sherman are set to miss the game. The Bucs have been managing on the back end all season and their top linebacker corps will be more critical to winning this game.
The running games
Tampa Bay Is No. 3 against the run. New Orleans is No. 6 against the run. Tampa Bay has the No. 25 rushing offense, but it is effective running the ball when needed with Leonard Fournette (ankle-questionable). New Orleans is more dependent on the ground, with the No. 14 rushing offense. The Bucs won’t mind passing 50 times to win the game with Brady; the Saints want Hill probably to throw fewer than 20 times.
Stat that matters
48.2 percent. That’s the Buccaneers’ conversion rate on third downs this season. The Saints’ defense has allowed a low conversion rate of 37.9 percent. The Bucs get it done with great early-down passing with Brady or chunk runs, setting up third-and-manageable situations consistently. Their big offensive strength, No. 2 in the league, can flex here to thwart the Saints.
Saints vs. Buccaneers prediction
Hill and Kamara will try to run the Saints into competitiveness but their continued limitations in the passing game hurt here given the Bucs’ secondary is still dealing with a lot of injuries. The Bucs’ pass rush working against backup tackles will be effective and Brady will make sure the game script isn’t favorable by jumping on the many weaknesses of the Saints’ own pass defense.
Buccaneers 31, Saints 20