SportsLine’s advanced computer model simulated Saints vs. Buccaneers 10,000 times.
By CBS Sports Staff
After 20 years and six Super Bowl titles with Bill Belichick in New England, Tom Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offeseason. On Sunday, the Bucs will visit the New Orleans Saints. Brady won’t go it alone, as he is surrounded by the best array of talent in his career, with Rob Gronkowski coming out of retirement to join an offense that already includes Mike Evans (questionable, hamstring), Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette, O.J. Howard, and a bevy of other elite players. The Saints counter with fellow NFL legend Drew Brees and top playmakers Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara.
Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET at the Mercedes Benz-Superdome. New Orleans is a 3.5-point favorite in the latest Bucs vs. Saints odds at William Hill, while the over-under is 47.5. Before locking in any Saints vs. Buccaneers picks, make sure you see the NFL predictions from SportsLine’s proven projection model.
The SportsLine Projection Model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up over $7,000 for $100 players on its top-rated NFL picks since its inception five years ago. It also enters the 2020 NFL season on an incredible 96-65 roll on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.
The model ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch in 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.
Now, the model has set its sights on Buccaneers vs. Saints. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NFL odds from William Hill and trends for Saints vs. Bucs:
- Buccaneers vs. Saints spread: New Orleans -3.5
- Buccaneers vs. Saints over-under: 47.5
- Buccaneers vs. Saints money line: New Orleans -180, Tampa Bay +160
- TB: Brady is 12-4 straight-up against the NFC South
- NO: WR Michael Thomas had 19 catches for 296 yards and three TDs vs. the Bucs in 2019
Why the Buccaneers can cover
Tampa Bay is 7-3-1 against the spread in its last 11 road games, and the Bucs are going all-in after a 7-9 season despite Jameis Winston throwing 30 interceptions. Brady won’t make those mistakes, and with Evans and Godwin, the offense is in good hands. Godwin had 86 catches for 1,333 yards in 2019, while Evans, who is a game-time decision, added 67 for 1,157.
Speedy Scott Miller could be the slot receiver Brady has been known to favor after catching 13 passes as a rookie last year and would be leaned on if Evans sits.
The Bucs also have elite tight ends in Cameron Brate, Howard and Gronkowski. Howard had 34 catches and can make chunk plays, while Brate had 36 and is a strong possession receiver. The Bucs are 5-2-1 against the spread in their past eight on FieldTurf, while the defense can cause trouble, led by linebackers Shaquil Barrett (NFL-high 19.5 sacks in 2019) and Lavonte David. Vita Vea holds down the front for the league’s best run defense (73.8 yards per game).
Why the Saints can cover
Brady is widely considered the top quarterback of all-time, but Brees also is in that conversation. He has thrown for 77,416 yards in 19 seasons. He completed 74.3 percent of his passes and threw for 2,979 and 27 touchdowns despite missing five games last season. Receiver Michael Thomas set an NFL record with 149 catches in 2019 and posted 1,725 yards and nine TDs for the Saints, who are 11-4 against the spread in their past 15 games.
The favorite is 6-2 in the past eight meetings, and Alvin Kamara is a key weapon for Brees. The Bucs had the top run defense last year, but Kamara can do damage as a receiver. He had 81 catches for 533 yards to go with 797 rushing yards, and he topped 100 total yards in both games against the Bucs last season.
How to make Buccaneers vs. Saints picks
The model is leaning over the total, as Brady throws for 300 yards and two scores, while Thomas has a 100-yard day for the Saints.