We close out the divisional round weekend with an epic matchup between Drew Brees and Tom Brady. Brady, in his first year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has given a franchise that has missed the playoffs for several years, a fighter's chance. Brees, who may be in his last run with New Orleans, is looking to get over recent playoff heartbreaks by advancing to the NFC Championship game. It's not just a matchup of quarterbacks, however, and both defenses have stood out at times this season. We're in for a great game.
Below, we're going to dive headfirst into all the different betting angles that this game has to offer. As well as picks surrounding the spread and total from our CBS Sports and SportsLine experts, you'll also get some of the inside scoop on our favorite prop bets for what is billed to be an epic head-to-head.
All NFL odds are via William Hill Sportsbook.
How to watch
Buccaneers at Saints spread picks
"The Saints beat the Bucs twice in the regular season, and now get the chance for the hat trick. New Orleans beat up Tom Brady in those two wins, picking him off five times and sacking him six times. In the last meeting in November, the defense abused Brady. But Brady has come alive since then. He's playing great football. The Saints defense will still be a major challenge. They have been good against the pass all season, which will make for an interesting battle between those two units. On the other side, Tampa Bay's defense didn't play well last week against Washington. If it plays like that this week, this will be ugly. I don't think it will. But Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara will do enough to find a way to win this one. Saints get the sweep and move on." -- Pete Prisco on why he's predicting New Orleans wins and covers against the Bucs.
"When two division rivals meet in the playoffs, I don't necessarily pay attention to what happened during the regular season, but in this game, it's kind of hard to ignore. The Saints blew out the Buccaneers twice this year with wins of 34-23 and 38-3, and yes, I count that first score as a blowout because it was 34-17 late in the game until the Buccaneers scored a garbage-time touchdown," John Breech on why he likes the Saints to pull out the win and cover against Tampa Bay.
In his bold predictions piece for the divisional round, CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin has Tom Brady throwing a game-winning touchdown to finally slay the Saints in New Orleans to advance to the NFC Championship Game. To read the rest of Cody's bold predictions, click here.
"While Tampa Bay has the talent, it's hard to trust them going on the road and slaying the Saints. In their careers, Drew Brees is 5-2 SU and ATS in head-to-head matchups with Tom Brady. This game will be closer than the previous matchups, but I'll still roll with the status quo in New Orleans." -- Tyler Sullivan on why he's leaning towards the Saints, 28-24.
SportsLine's Hammerin' Hank Goldberg has been red-hot in his last 27 games involving the Saints against the spread, owning a 20-6-1 ATS record. That include's New Orleans covering last week against the Bears. To see which way he's learning in this matchup, head on over to SportsLine.
Buccaneers at Saints total picks
"This is the second-highest total on the divisional round slate and for good reason. The Over is 20-14 between these two teams this year and both clubs boast offenses capable of putting up points in a hurry. In their previous two matchups this season, the Saints and Bucs have combined for an average of 49 points per game. That number is driven down heavily thanks to the three-point showing by the Buccaneers in their last matchup of the regular season. More recently, however, Tampa Bay's offense has picked things up over the last month. Over his last four games, Tom Brady has thrown for 1,518 yards (379.4 passing yards per game). He's also thrown 12 touchdowns to just one interception over that same stretch. If he can continue that pace against a tough Saints defense, Brady and Brees should be able to throw their way over this total." -- Tyler Sullivan on why he's leaning toward the Over in Saints-Bucs.
Best prop picks
- Mike Evans total receiving yards: Under 66.5 (-115) -- CBS Sports' Tyler Sullivan
- Tom Brady total passing yards: Over 306.5 (-115) -- CBS Sports' Tyler Sullivan
- Antonio Brown anytime touchdown (+200) -- CBS Sports' Tyler Sullivan
- Alvin Kamara total receptions: Under 4.5 (+130) -- CBS Sports' Tyler Sullivan
- Michael Thomas total receiving yards: Over 78.5 (-115) -- CBS Sports' Tyler Sullivan
- Drew Brees total passing touchdowns: Over 1.5 (-190) -- CBS Sports' Tyler Sullivan