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New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay NFL Preview: Week 6 Free Pick

New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Week 6 NFL Gambling & Free Predictions

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Week 6: Saints vs Buccaneers Preview

Date: Sunday, October 17, 2010
Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Broadcast: FOX
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Bucs Betting Lines from Betus.com
Money Line: Saints -230, Buccaneers +190
Spread: Saints -4.5
Over/Under: 43.5
New Orleans Saints (3-2)
Bet now @ BetUs.com!

If you saw the Saints’ loss to Arizona coming last week, congratulations. You’re probably very rich now. On paper, the matchup looked great for the Saints. They had a ballhawk defense facing a rookie quarterback and an elite passing offense facing a “D” that regularly gets beaten deep.

But the victory for the defending world champs wasn’t to be. The Saints beat themselves. Their “D” actually did a fine job stopping Arizona but Drew Brees had an uncharacteristically bad game. He threw three interceptions, one of which Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned for a touchdown. The Cardinals scored another defensive TD when Kerry Rhodes ran back a Laddell Betts’ fumble.

The big question bettors have to ask this week is whether or not last week was a fluke. Will the Saints bounce back in what looks like another great matchup for them or will they choke again versus Tampa?

Defensively, New Orleans is in decent shape this week. It has the NFL’s ninth-ranked defense. Though Josh Freeman has been magical at times for Tampa, he still turns over the ball a lot and the Saints specialize in that department; they’ve picked off four passes and forced six fumbles this season. Though New Orleans’ run defense is pedestrian, it looked good against Beanie Wells last week and the Bucs’ rushing attack is mediocre at best.

But will Drew Brees be better this week? I say yes. The Saints are still averaging 271.2 passing yards per game and, chances are, they won’t surrender two defensive touchdowns again this week. Their rushing attack has struggled without Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush but the Buccaneers allow an NFC-worst 143.3 rushing yards per game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)

Is Josh Freeman the real deal? The sophomore makes plenty of mistakes but he’s emerging as a clutch performer. No one gave him a shot in a tough road matchup at Cincinnati last week. While he did throw an interception and fumble twice, he came through in crunch time, leading the Bucs downfield twice in the last 2:18 to help them put 10 points on the board and shock the Bengals.

It’s amazing to see Tampa at 3-1 after many pundits picked them to win fewer than three games all season. But I’m not convinced that they’re a contender. Their defense should still be a liability this week against the Saints.

They’re 18th in the NFL in total defense but even that stat is misleading. They faced the woeful Browns and Panthers in their first two matchups. They faced Pittsburgh with no Ben Roethlisberger but got lit up by Charlie Batch of all people for three passing touchdowns. They bottled up Carson Palmer reasonably well but still allowed 144 rushing yards from Cedric Benson in last week’s victory.

The pick:

The Saints’ pride is on the line this week. They still have the personnel to be an elite offensive team and they face a suspect defense this week. They also face an exciting young quarterback who takes chances and will almost certainly give their opportunistic defense a chance to make plays.

If the Saints want to contend again at all this season, they have to make a statement. Bettors should put their faith in Brees this week, especially with the Saints only favored by 4.5 points. The Saints will expose the Bucs as pretenders in Week 6. If they don’t, it’s really time to worry about the champs.

Chicago at Carolina Gambling Trends:

The total has gone OVER in 6 of New Orleans’s last 9 games when playing Tampa Bay
New Orleans is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games on the road
New Orleans is 19-5 SU in its last 24 games
New Orleans is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Tampa Bay
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Tampa Bay’s last 11 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games at home
Tampa Bay is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
Tampa Bay is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing New Orleans

Saints vs Buccaneers prediction: Saints 27, Buccaneers 13

Money Line: Saints -230
Spread: Saints -4.5
Over/Under: UNDER 43.5

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.