Saints To Continue Winning Streak With Bucs Triumph

Brees can lead the Saints to another win

The New Orleans Saints are one of the surprise packages in the NFL this season. Sean Payton’s men have won their last five matches to move to 5-2 in their season.

The Saints can take control of the NFC South with a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. New Orleans have not won the division since 2011 and a sixth win on the spin would send a strong signal that they can end their drought.

Drew Brees has been his consistent self, but for a change the Saints have eased the pressure on his arm. Their defense has found form and is developing into a stout unit – capable of guiding their team towards the division crown.

The Buccaneers are a mess and are in danger of taking a significant step back this term. The club were touted to win the division with quarterback Jameis Winston taking a step forward in his development.

However, he has regressed as the offense has failed to fire, while the defense has been up and down throughout the term. They were solid enough last week against the Carolina Panthers, only for their offense to cost them.

Head coach Dirk Koetter needs a performance from his team to ease the growing pressure on his position and end the Bucs’ four-game losing streak. However, it will take a huge effort as the Saints are the form team of the NFL at the moment.

We’ll now break down both sides and look at the contest using the latest betting odds.

New Orleans Saints

Brees can lead the Saints to another win

Since their defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots in week two of the campaign, the Saints have been sensational. New Orleans were heading down a familiar road having started the term 0-2 for the third season on the bounce.

However, their reaction has been brilliant, with their defense leading the charge to the top of the NFC South. In recent years, the Saints have been overreliant on Brees and the offense to outscore their opponents.

The pressure has been eased on the quarterback this season, with the 38-year-old on pace for his lowest production. It’s not a sign of a decline in his play, but the control that the Saints have had on their matches.

The presence of impressive rookie running back Alvin Kamara has also helped greatly. He has ousted Adrian Peterson – who was traded to the Arizona Cardinals – due to his ability to provide a threat on the ground and through the air. Mark Ingram also has 400 yards in the running game, which has put Brees on course for his lowest yardage total since 2010.

Balance has been provided by the defense that has improved no end from the unit that has been on display in New Orleans in the last few years. Cameron Jordan has been outstanding as a pass-rusher, leading the way with 5.5 sacks. Alex Okafor has three sacks as well, forming a fine partnership with his team-mate.

The biggest development has come in the secondary. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore looks to be a star in the making, shutting down his opponents with ease. Should he continue to improve the club could have a perennial All-Pro on their hands. He will be vital in guiding his side to their sixth-straight win in a crucial match-up with Mike Evans.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Koetter needs a result against the Saints

The Buccaneers were supposed to be on the charge for a playoff place, ending their nine-year drought. Their season began well by defeating the Chicago Bears, while they also overcame the New York Giants on home soil.

However, since their loss to the Patriots in week five, Tampa Bay have suffered four defeats on the bounce. The form of Winston has been a major concern as he has not been able to take the next step forward in his development.

The 23-year-old has been up and down, failing to deliver consistency. He has had solid moments, throwing three touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills. Only to follow that performance with an awful outing against the Panthers, missing several throws downfield.

The running game has been non-existent as Doug Martin has failed to thrive since returning from his suspension, adding to the club’s problems.

The frustration has been palpable at the club, with Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson displaying signs of discontent. On the other side of the ball, Chris Baker and TJ Ward have expressed their dissatisfaction over their lack of playing time.

Pressure is building on Koetter to provide a solution for his side’s woes. The defense have had the same issues as Winston, with a solid outing against the Panthers, but they allowed the Bills to drive to victory in the previous week. The biggest concern has been their pass-rush, amassing only seven sacks in their seven matches thus far.

There’s talent on the team, but they need to find their form soon otherwise it will be another lost season for the franchise.

Betting Options

The Saints are rolling and on home soil they should have few issues coping with the threat of the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay have had huge issues getting to opposing quarterbacks – therefore Brees should have ample time to pick out his targets.

On the other side of the ball, the Bucs have had huge issues with Winston connecting with Evans and Jackson. Those problems will not be solved facing Lattimore and the Saints’ secondary, while Jordan should be a constant presence in the backfield to thwart Winston and Martin.

As a result, back the Saints for the win at odds of -286   with 888Sport. Given the Bucs’ struggles back New Orleans to cover a -9.5 spread, increasing the woes of Koetter’s men at +130   with Betway. At home the Saints should be on form on offense so take them at -111   with BetVictor to score over 29 points. Coby Fleener has scored two touchdowns this season, but has been held out of the endzone since week two. Back him at odds of +188   with Bet365 to score an anytime touchdown.

Tips Summary

New Orleans Saints To Beat Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday 5th November 2017 13:00 ET (18:00 GMT)
Odds: -286

New Orleans Saints To Cover -9.5 Spread
Sunday 5th November 2017 13:00 ET (18:00 GMT)
Odds: +130

New Orleans Saints To Score Over 29 Points
Sunday 5th November 2017 13:00 ET (18:00 GMT)
Odds: -111

Coby Fleener To Score Anytime Touchdown
Sunday 5th November 2017 13:00 ET (18:00 GMT)
Odds: +188