Saints Buccaneers Betting – Defending Champions Suddenly Have Something To Prove
The betting world can tell that the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints are not the same team they were last year. Last season, the NFL betting surrounding the Saints was confident. This year, the numbers the Saints are putting up are nowhere near the powerhouse level that people expect from this offense.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are surprising a lot of people this season with their 3-1 start. But, to this point, the Bucs have not really established themselves as a true contender because they have not beaten anyone with a winning record. Their one loss came at the hands of the 3-1 Pittsburgh Steelers, while the Bucs have beaten the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers.
NFL Game Preview For October 17, 2010: New Orleans Saints (-4 ½) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last season the football betting surrounding the Saints centered on their high-flying offense. The Saints were a scoring machine that could compensate for a lackluster defense by scoring a lot of points. This year the Saints are only scoring 20 points a game and their running game is one of the worst in the league with an average of 76 yards per game. With running back Reggie Bush still out with a leg injury, it is doubtful that the Saints offense will improve any time soon.
The Buccaneers have found their starting quarterback in Josh Freeman. Freeman may not be tearing up the stat sheets with his play, but he is the most consistent person the Bucs have had at quarterback in the last two or three years.
The defending Super Bowl champion Saints never promised to have a great defense, not even during their championship run last year, but it has been decent play by the Saints defense that has allowed their offense to put up enough points to win games this season. The Saints defense is strong against the run and the pass, and is only allowing 20 points per game this season. When the defense is holding the opposition to as many points as their offense is scoring, you wind up with a team headed for .500.
The Buccaneers have a good pass rush that has given them a pass defense that is ranked ninth in the NFL. Unfortunately for the Saints, the weakest part of the Bucs defense is their run defense. The Bucs rank 30th in run defense, but that is a weakness the Saints may not get a chance to exploit.
The Bottom Line:
The Saints can do a lot just based on pride and the will of quarterback Drew Brees. With all of their problems this season, the Saints are still one of the top teams in the NFC. As their record has shown to this point, the Buccaneers are not quite ready to compete with the top teams in the league. The Bucs are not that far away from getting to the point where they can compete with anyone, but they are still developing and they are not consistent enough to take on the league’s elite.
Sports Betting Pick: New Orleans Saints