Odds, expert Week 2 NFL picks

Staff report


Our NFL betting expert brings you his best Buccaneers vs. Saints predictions and picks for their Week 2 match-up, which is live Sunday on FOX at 1 p.m. ET.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had one of the most impressive debuts in the NFL last week as they beat the Cowboys 19-3 and were the only team in the NFL to not allow a touchdown. The Saints struggled in all three phases as they fell behind the Falcons 26-10 in Atlanta, before making the biggest fourth-quarterback comeback in franchise history to win, 27-26.

Buccaneers vs. Saints predictions

  • Bucs to cover -2.5 @ -110 at BetMGM
  • Saints under 20.5 @ +100 at BetMGM
  • Bucs/Saints under 44.5 @ -110 at BetMGM

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Buccaneers vs. Saints picks and analysis

The Saints defense has held Tom Brady in check as a Buccaneer, winning four regular-season games and allowing an average of just 13.2 points. But in this game, it will be the Tampa defense that sets the tone against a Saints offense that played poorly for more than 3 quarters last week.

Bucs -2.5 (BetMGM)

Tampa’s defense was dominant against a talented Cowboys offense in the opener, and should be able to slow down a Saints offense that struggled to block a weaker front (Falcons) than they will face this week.

New Orleans lost its standout left tackle (Terron Armstead) in free agency (Miami) and his replacement, first-round pick Trevor Penning, is out indefinitely because of toe surgery. That leaves journeyman James Hurst, who was slowed by a foot injury in training and had a tough time in the opener.

Leonard Fournette rushed for more than 100 yards against Dallas and Atlanta’s Cordarrelle Patterson rushed for more than 100 against the Saints. Fournette will get going early and make things easier on Brady, who needs more than a little boost if his banged-up receivers aren’t available.

Our Pick: Bucs (-2.5) @ -110 at BetMGM

Tom Brady throws a pass against the Saints in 2021
Tom Brady throws a pass against the Saints in 2021
Getty Images

Saints team total under 20.5 points (BetMGM)

Saints running back Alvin Kamara missed practice on Thursday because of a rib injury suffered in the opener. A healthy Kamara and Mark Ingram II combined for just 61 yards (on 13 attempts), though backup QB Taysom Hill ran for 81 yards and a touchdown.

The New Orleans offensive line had a tough time last week and will face a more talented front in the Buccaneers.

The entire offense was held in check for three quarters before Jameis Winston, who has been limited in practice because of a back issue, got hot in the hurry-up offense and led the comeback. But the Saints will need to be balanced for four full quarters to be successful against the Bucs, and that’s not going to happen.

Our Pick: Saints under 20.5 points scored @ +100 at BetMGM

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Bucs vs. Saints game total under 44.5 (BetMGM)

The Saints’ success at holding down Brady and the Bucs’ offense the last 2 seasons has largely been because of the pass rush and left tackle Donovan Smith’s absence would make a continuation of that trend more likely.

The Saints won’t be the only team struggling on offense in this game. Tampa reached the end zone just once against the Cowboys, and five receivers have been on the injury list. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Julio Jones all missed practice entirely on Thursday.

Our Pick: Under 44.5 total points @ -110 at BetMGM

Buccaneers vs. Saints odds

Odds courtesy of BetMGM. Correct at time of publishing and subject to change.

Team Spread  Moneyline Total Points 44
Bucs (-2.5)  -110 +140 Over   -145
Saints  (+2.5) -110 -167 Under +120 

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