The top two teams in the NFC South get together in Week 9 of National Football League action. The New Orleans Saints (5-2, 2-1 away) battle the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2, 3-0) for the top spot in the division.
These two teams opened the season against each other, with the Saints pulling out a 34-23 victory in New Orleans. This contest will kick off on Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. EST at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, FL.
Tampa Bay is a -4.5 point favorite in the game according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – New Orleans Saints
The Saints are rolling after an overtime victory over the Chicago Bears captured their fourth-straight victory in as many weeks.
There was concern that New Orleans would be without Drew Brees this week, but reports are that the veteran quarterback will suit up against the Bucs. Brees was limited in practice during the week with a shoulder injury.
Star wide receiver Michael Thomas is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game but is excepted to be back. Thomas has been out since the last time these two teams played in Week 1.
Alvin Kamara continues his assault on NFL defenses this season. Kamara tallied 163 yards from scrimmage against a tough Bears defense last week. Tight end Jared Cook added five catches for 55 yards and one touchdown. His third-straight game finding the endzone.
What to Know – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay is on a winning streak of their own, with wins in their last three contests. Monday night’s game against the Giants was much closer than the Bucs would have liked, but Tom Brady and company eeked out a 25-23 win on the road.
The Saints welcome back Thomas, and the Bucs will be welcoming Antonio Brown into the fold for the host. Brown signed with Tampa Bay a few weeks ago and will be making his debut with the Bucs this weekend. The speedy wide receiver played in just one game last year for the New England Patriots.
Brady tossed a pair of touchdown passes and accumulated 279 yards through the air Monday night against a solid Giants defense. Wideout Mike Evans and tight end Rob Gronkowski were benefactors of Brady’s touchdown passes.
The Bucs mustered up just 81 yards on the ground, with Leonard Fournette leading the way with 15 carries for 55 yards. The rushing total was the lowest output of the season for the Buccaneers.
The Pick is In
Both of these teams have been playing great football over the last month and enter Sunday night’s game with extreme confidence. The welcoming back of Thomas and the insertion of Brown into Tampa Bay’s lineup add additional cheese pieces to both offensives. Kamara rushed for and caught a touchdown pass against the Bucs in Week 1, and he will be the difference-maker in this one again.
The Pick: Saints +4.5