The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2) host the New Orleans Saints (5-2) at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday Night Football in Week 9; kickoff will be at 8:20 p.m. ET. The Buccaneers enter the marquee NFC South showdown atop the division, but the Saints would take control with a victory after beating the Bucs 34-23 at home in Week 1. Below, we make our Sunday Night Football betting picks for the moneyline, spread and over/under between the Saints and Buccaneers.
QBs Tom Brady and Drew Brees front the primetime matchup for the Bucs and Saints, respectively. The two elder statesman have their teams in the thick of Super Bowl LV contention. The Buccaneers are +650 at DraftKings Sportsbook to win the Big Game; the Saints are +1500. Tampa Bay is a moderate 4.5-point favorite while at home in Week 9. The Bucs have won three straight games and are a perfect 3-0 at home. The Saints have won four straight and are 2-1 on the road.
Betting advice is offered on each bet type as either a “pick” or a “lean”. Picks are stronger plays that can be made at odds similar to those listed at the time of publishing. Leans are more conservative and may hinge on certain injury news or projected line movement closer to game time. My Sunday Night Football Betting Preview at TheLines dives deeper into the Saints-Buccaneers matchup to help you prepare for your Week 9 betting picks. There, we look at the on-field matchup, betting trends for both teams, and betting information from some of the top US sportsbooks.
Saints at Buccaneers odds
Saints at Buccaneers picks: Moneyline
The Buccaneers are home favorites despite the double-digit road loss to the Saints in Week 1. They escaped Monday Night Football with a narrow 25-23 win over the New York Giants on the road. They previously beat the Green Bay Packers and Las Vegas Raiders each by at least 25 points. Their other loss came by a 20-19 score against the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football in Week 5.
The Saints are underdogs for the first time this season. They’ve won four straight games but each of the last three was decided by just three points. Two of those three games also went to overtime with a 30-27 home win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 5 and a 26-23 road win over the Chicago Bears last week. New Orleans enters with one day of extra rest having played last Sunday. They’re also just three weeks removed from their bye week, while the Bucs don’t have their bye until Week 13.
Offense is the draw with Brady and Brees both leading vaunted attacks. The Saints are expected to have WRs Michael Thomas (hamstring, ankle) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19) rejoin the lineup. They’ll complement RB Alvin Kamara, who leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage and leads the Saints in both rushing and receiving yards. The Bucs hope to have WR Chris Godwin (finger) back in the lineup while the recently-signed Antonio Brown is expected to make his season debut in only his second game since 2018.
The Saints added to their defense by acquiring LB Kwon Alexander from the San Francisco 49ers at the trade deadline. The hope is he’ll eventually improve a unit ranked just 23rd with 28.1 points allowed per game. Tampa Bay is seventh defensively with 20.6 PPG allowed per game. It allowed just 10 points to the high-flying Green Bay Packers in Week 6. The Bucs also rank second in the NFL with 28 sacks through eight games.
We’ll stick with the favored Buccaneers to remain atop the division and split the head-to-head tiebreaker. Wait this one out until closer to Sunday; however, as public betting is likely to pull this line closer to even.
The lean: Buccaneers (-225 or better)
Saints at Buccaneers picks: Against the spread
The spread of 4.5 is yet to budge after opening at the same number last week despite the bulk of betting action being on the Saints at +4.5. Tampa Bay is 4-4 against the spread at the mid-way point. It wins by an average of 10.2 PPG and covers by 6.0 PPG. New Orleans is just 2-5 ATS for the season while failing to cover by 3.6 PPG. The Saints covered with ease as 4-point favorites in the season-opening matchup.
The Saints have played tighter-than-expected games of late while failing to cover as favorites. Their losses this season were by scores of 34-23 against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2 and 37-30 against the Green Bay Packers in Week 3. The Bucs routed those same Packers 38-10 three weeks ago on Thursday Night Football. All but last week’s win over the Giants was decided by at least seven points.
Fade the public in this one and take the Buccaneers to cover -4.5 and win by at least 5 points. While the Saints are getting their top two receivers back in the lineup, the Bucs have the superior defense, particularly in the pass rush. Brees won’t have the required time to hit Thomas or Sanders downfield and another big game for RB Alvin Kamara as the primary target should be expected.
The pick: Buccaneers (-4.5 or better)
Saints at Buccaneers picks: Over/Under (total)
The Over/Under for Sunday Night Football is a modest 51.5 given the talent and star power involved. The Saints are the only team at 7-0 against the Over Under, while the Bucs are 5-3 against the number. New Orleans tops projections by an average of 9.1 PPG and Tampa Bay plays 4.2 PPG above the line.
The Week 1 meeting saw a total of 54 points scored when both teams were at their healthiest but with a little more rust than usual with no preseason games. The Bucs have scored 23 or fewer points just one other time this season. New Orleans scored more than 30 points just once since Week 1.
Thomas and Sanders boost the somewhat-stagnant New Orleans attack and Brady and the Bucs have the talent to match. Take the Over on a low number for the primetime showdown.
The pick: OVER (51.5 or better)
Best SNF prop bet
Team to score first touchdown: Buccaneers -141
The Bucs are third in the NFL with a red-zone conversion percentage of 78.6%. They’ve gotten into the end zone on 22 of 28 trips inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. The Saints are just 15th with a conversion rate of 62.1%.
Thomas led the Saints with 30.59% of the team’s red-zone targets last year, but he scored on just nine of those 26 looks (with 20 total completions). TE Rob Gronkowski leads the Bucs with 11 red-zone targets and the Saints have already allowed six touchdowns to opposing tight ends, including one to injured Bucs TE O.J. Howard in Week 1.