Nov 17, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA;Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive tackle Demar Dotson (69) blocks New Orleans Saints outside linebacker A.J. Klein (53) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Saints Bucs Pick

There is plenty of drama and plenty of money on the Buccaneers as the Saints host Tampa Bay to kick off an intriguing NFC South campaign.

This line opened around -5 for the host Saints but was -3.5 as of noon on game day over at BetRivers and SugarHouse NJ. Is that ‘Tom Brady is the QB now money’ rolling in or ‘the Saints never cover the spread in Week 1 money’ rolling in or a little of both? Maybe it’s some ‘will Alvin Kamara be ready money’ as well. Whatever, we have the analysis and the pick.

Why Tampa Bay will cover the spread

Brady was 4-1 SU vs the Saints during his two decades in New England, but this is a different scenario entirely. This is now a divisional matchup between preseason Super Bowl contenders and the Bucs now have the careful veteran presence of Brady to guide an explosive offense. Many fear Brady will stumble without Bill Belichick to fall back on, but if things go sideways against the Saints, Brady has plenty of TE options to dump the ball off.

They face a Saints team that just signed RB Alvin Kamara and which has limped to a 1-9 ATS mark in season openers the past decade.

Why New Orleans will cover the spread

Most ‘experts’ believe the Saints are the better team here and that Drew Brees will be motivated to get a head start on Brady for divisional bragging rights and positioning. The league’s best WR in Michael Thomas and explosive offensive talent surround Brees here.

For Saints backers, -3.5 looks like a pretty good deal but they haven’t been a lock as small home chalk going back to 2015. In fact, the OVER has prevailed eight of the past nine times the Saints were home favorites of 1-4 points.

Tampa Bay vs New Orleans Pick

There is a lot of uncertainty in Week 1 generally and its amplified here with the Saints loading up for a Super Bowl run and Tampa Bay starting a new Brady Era. New Orleans has been a bad bet in Week 1’s past.

With the total sitting at a lofty 47.5, many folks are siding with the UNDER here, but a lot of trends point OVER. The fact these two future Hall of Famers will be excited to one-up the other, we anticipate offense at the expense of defense.

We play OVER 47.5

Trend Dummy (not his real name) is a veteran sports betting writer, who really should be a lot smarter by now. Starting with a betting trends fascination in 1993, Dummy has been chasing trends, patterns, streak and mathematical anomalies ever since. A serious data miner with real databases and betting acumen, he sometimes stretches stats to fit a narrative, but the data is legit. You decide if the trends have handicapping value.