NFC South rivals face off for the third time on Sunday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-5) and New Orleans Saints (13-4) meet in the Divisional Round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs. New Orleans (13-4) has won both meetings this season, outscoring the Bucs 72-26. It is a matchup of the league's top two passers of all-time, with the Saints' Drew Brees holding the edge over Tom Brady in yards, but Brady holding the lead in TD passes.
Kickoff is set for 6:40 p.m. ET at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. William Hill Sportsbook lists New Orleans as a three-point favorite in the latest Buccaneers vs. Saints odds, with the over-under for total points scored set at 52. Before making any Saints vs. Buccaneers picks, see the latest NFL predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven model.
The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up almost $7,900 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception five-plus years ago. It is a sizzling 24-14 on top-rated NFL picks this season, returning well over $800. The model also enters the Divisional Round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs on an incredible 120-78 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.
The model ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch three of the past four years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 95 percent of CBS Sports office pool players three times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
- Bucs vs. Saints spread: New Orleans -3
- Bucs vs. Saints over-under: 52
- Bucs vs. Saints money line: Tampa Bay +150, New Orleans -170
- TB: WR Chris Godwin has 15 catches for 296 yards and four TDs in the past three games
- NO: RB Alvin Kamara has 288 total yards and seven TDs over the past two games
Why the Saints can cover
New Orleans has won and covered the spread in five straight meetings, and Brees threw four TDs and no interceptions in a 38-3 victory in Week 9. The quarterback, who has thrown for more than 80,000 yards in his career, finally has a full complement of weapons. Wide receiver Michael Thomas, who set an NFL record for receptions last season, missed nine games with an ankle injury and had just 40 catches in six games. However, he had five grabs for 73 yards and a TD last week.
The Saints are 7-1 against the spread in their last eight games as favorites, and Brees has developed a strong relationship with Jared Cook. The tight end scored a team-high seven receiving TDs and averaged 13.6 yards per catch.
Running back Alvin Kamara also is explosive, leading the team in rushing and receiving, putting up 1,688 total yards and 21 TDs. The Saints allow 21 points per game, fifth-fewest in the NFL, and rank in the top five in all yardage categories, allowing 311 per game.
Why the Buccaneers can cover
Quarterback Tom Brady was third in the league with 4,633 yards and had 40 TD passes during the regular season. He has Pro Bowl receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, who combined for 198 yards and a TD last week. Rob Gronkowski (45 catches) is always an option, while fellow tight end Cameron Brate had 80 yards against Washington.
The Bucs allow 80.6 rushing yards per game and rank sixth in total yards. The unit has stars at every level, with pass-rushers Jason Pierre-Paul (9.5 sacks) and Shaquil Barrett (eight) and linebackers Lavonte David (three takeaways) and Devin White (nine sacks) making impact plays regularly.
How to make Buccaneers vs. Saints picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with the simulations showing the teams combining for 53 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time. You can only see which side to back here.
So who wins Saints vs. Buccaneers in the 2021 NFL Playoffs? And which side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Saints vs. Buccaneers spread you need to jump on Sunday, all from the model on a 120-78 roll, and find out.