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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds
Tom Brady makes his much-balleyhooed “Tompa Bay” debut following 20 decorated seasons in New England, with which he won six Super Bowl titles, three NFL MVP awards and a boatload of other honors. Brady ranks second all-time in passing yards (74,571) and touchdown passes (541) behind Saints counterpart Drew Brees (77,416 and 547, respectively).
The 43-year-old Brady isn’t the only new face with the Buccaneers, as tight end Rob Gronkowski ended a one-year retirement to join his former Patriots teammate while ex-Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette aims to follow up a career year in rushing yards (1,152), scrimmage yards (1,674) and receptions (76).
The new additions join a potent wide receiving corps in Chris Godwin (NFL third-ranked 1,333 receiving yards in 2019) and Mike Evans, who joined Hall of Famer Randy Moss as the lone NFL players with at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first six seasons. Evans is dealing with a hamstring injury and his status for Sunday is up in the air.
New Orleans Saints Odds
New Orleans swept Tampa Bay last season en route to a 13-3 record and NFC South title. Brees threw for three touchdowns in a 34-17 win versus the Buccaneers on Nov. 17, boosting his total to 11 against one interception in his last six meetings with Tampa Bay.
Michael Thomas highlighted his NFL-record 149 reception season with 19 — including three for touchdowns — in a pair of games against the Bucs.
Electric running back Alvin Kamara, who reportedly is “extremely close” to a lucrative contract extension, had 16 catches in the series — including 10 in the November tilt. Offseason acquisition Emmanuel Sanders gives Brees a quality second wide receiver option.
Buccaneers at Saints Betting Pick
While the lack of fans in attendance is a shame given the much-anticipated meeting of the two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, New Orleans has enjoyed quite the advantage in the comfy confines of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The Saints own a stellar 20-4 record at home during the last three seasons, and that trend will continue on Sunday.
Buccaneers at Saints Betting Pick: Buccaneers (+3.5), Saints (-3.5)
Saints 26, Buccaneers 20
Buccaneers at Saints Best Bet
While the potent offenses will be the headlining attractions, the Saints’ defense is geared to make its presence felt more than one might expect.
Two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore led the team with 14 passes defensed and was primarily responsible for holding Evans without a catch in New Orleans’ 31-24 win over Tampa Bay last October.
Buccaneers at Saints Best Bet: UNDER 49 total points