NFL Picks: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

Cowboys Saints NFL PreviewBucs at Saints
Time: 4:25 PM ET, Dec 29, 2013
Line: NO -11
Total: 47.5

Betting Odds courtesy of Bovada

The New Orleans Saints still have a chance of winning the NFC South division and will attempt to secure its fourth playoff berth in five seasons against the Bucs. The Saints will clinch a spot with a victory, but can also enter if the 49ers defeat the Cardinals.

If the Saints win and the Panthers win, the team will clinch the division and a first round bye, with the Saints getting the Wild Card. The 4-11 Bucs are of course playing for nothing other than the chance to get another victory in a disastrous season.

Drew Brees has thrown four interceptions in the past two games and was sacked six times by the Panthers. Brees accepted responsibility for the sacks, saying he just “didn’t get the ball out.” But the offense has been pretty poor and the team needs Brees to play at a high level. Fortunately for the Saints, the Bucs are a very poor offensive team and its averaged just 15 points per game over its last four contests.

Bucs coach Greg Schiano confirmed Tampa Bay will use its starters. Schiano said, “You’re 4-11, well, you know what, that last game sticks with you.” Tampa ranks dead last in the NFL in passing yardage per game (173 yards) and isn’t particularly good on the ground either (22nd , 102 yards per game).

The Bucs are about average defensively, but with so little talent on the offensive end and having given up on its starting quarterback mid-way through the season, 4-11 is about as good as things could have gone. The team battled a contagious infection, lost its QB, and will have a lot of issues to address during the offseason, but an improbable victory today would at least be a feel good note to end the season on.

TB Trends: UNDER 7-1 in last 8 in DEC; UNDER 5-1 in last 6 vs teams on road with winning home records; 1-5 ATS in last 6 after accumulating less than 250 total yards in previous game.

NO Trends: UNDER 4-0 in last 4 following ATS loss; UNDER 6-0 in last 6 overall; UNDER 4-0 in last 4 in DEC.

Head-to-head: UNDER 4-0 in last 4 in New Orleans; UNDER 9-1 in last 10 meetings; Home Team 4-1 ATS in last 5 meetings.

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