Thursday, November 3, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (Week 9, 2011-12)

The St. Louis Rams pulled off a dominating performance in their first victory of the season against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have been very tough at home. However, can they get their revenge against a pesky Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that has struggled on the road?

The early spread on this game is Saints (-8). Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for in pick ’em leagues. All lines from Y! Sports and injury reports from CBS Sports as of November 3, 2011. Always update yourselves with injury lines because they’ll change throughout the week. Please note that ATS means “Against the spread.”

*MY* Current Personal Picks Record (Straights Only)
New Orleans Saints 5-3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-4

Key Injuries
T Zac Strief, LB Will Herring, RB Mark Ingram, T Charles Brown (IR), T James Lee, G Jeremy Zuttah, S Tanard Jackson, RB Earnest Graham (IR), RB LeGarrette Blount (Probable)

Keys to the Game
  • The Saints are 3-0 ATS at home. The Buccaneers have struggled on the road.
  • The Buccaneers have had two weeks of rest and preparation
  • Will Drew Brees avoid the interception?
  • Saints run defense vs. Buccaneers run offense that’s impacted with injuries

The Buccaneers should have LaGarrette Blount for this contest. That’s a big boost because the Saints’ defense surrender 5.5 yards per rushing attempt to opponents. They may have some success with forcing Drew Brees or the Saints into some turnovers. The Saints’ turnover ratio (-5) is 26th in the NFL. The Buccaneers are (+1).

The problem with the Buccaneers is that they haven’t played well on the road. They needed a 17-point comeback to defeat the Minnesota Vikings. They were beaten 48-3 by the San Francisco 49ers. They also didn’t fare well against the Chicago Bears in London.

I’m going against conventional wisdom on the PATS. While the Saints are 3-0 at home ATS, the Buccaneers have always been a pesky team that have given NFC South teams some problems. The Buccaneers are also coming off a bye week. The Saints offensive line is banged up while their still adjusting to life with Sean Payton in the press box.

Saints in a one-possession game.

Final Predictions:
Against the Spread: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+8)
Straight: New Orleans Saints 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21

Stat sources:

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