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Buccaneers vs. Saints: Week 17 NFL Lines & Spread Prediction

Sunday NFL Betting – Bucs Will Hang Tough With Saints

The New Orleans Saints are going to be doing something that they haven’t done in the Sean Payton era: playing a meaningful game in Week 17. They still have a shot at the NFC South as well as the No. 1 seed in the NFC if they can win and the Atlanta Falcons were to lose.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also in a must-win situation as they need a win and some help to make the playoffs.


Bucs vs Saints Gambling Matchup

Date/Time: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 2nd, 2011
Venue: Superdome, New Orleans LA
Broadcast: FOX
Buccaneers vs. Saints Betting Lines from Just Bet
Spread: Buccaneers +9, Saints -9
Over/Under: 46.5

This will be one of the more important contests in Week 17.

How Can Tampa Bay Win?

Pound the ball with LeGarrette Blount.

Without question, the Bucs are much tougher to beat when quarterback Josh Freeman has some help and if the Bucs can get Blount going, their task will be much easier. Blount had 164 yards on just 18 carries last week.

The Bucs will need to run the ball well to succeed because the Saints have the league’s second-ranked pass defense. Freeman won’t win this game by himself against a quality secondary.

The Bucs have injuries but so do the Saints. And considering the Saints have already qualified for the playoffs and likely won’t get the No. 1 seed – unless Atlanta collapses at home to Carolina – the Bucs will be more up for this game. On top of that, the Saints may rest some starts.

Receiver Marques Colston had arthroscopic surgery and very likely won’t play. Tight end Jeremy Shockey is also questionable. Reggie Bush has a bruised chest and would probably play a normal week but may be out.

How Can New Orleans Win?

Do what they did in the first meeting: abuse the Bucs run defense.

The first time these teams met, the Saints rushed for 212 yards. Considering the Saints offensive linemen Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans were just named to the Pro Bowl, it’s likely that they follow the same blueprint.

Pierre Thomas hasn’t played much this season so this would be the ideal game to get him going –  especially with some questions regarding the health of the Saints pass-catchers. The Bucs run defense has been depleted as stellar rookie defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is out for the season and the run defense has dropped to 28th in the NFL, giving up 133.4 yards per game.

On defense, the Saints will just have to stop Blount. Last week, they held Falcons running back Michael Turner to just 48 yards on 17 carries so putting forth another stellar effort is very likely.


The Bucs have been scrappy all season long – especially on the road – so why not take the points?

They need this game and the Saints know that they their chances of attaining the No. 1 seed is unlikely with the Falcons being a 14-point home favorite this week.

If the Saints just happen to be scoreboard watching, they might call off the dogs and the Bucs will have a great chance to cover and even win.

Take the Bucs plus the points. The Saints will likely win but the Bucs can keep it close.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints Betting Trends:

TB are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 road games.
TB are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
Under is 6-2 in TB last 8 games on fieldturf.

Pick: Bucs +9

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