New Orleans Saints (7-8) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7)
Sunday, December 31, 1:00 PM ET
The New Orleans Saints are still in it right now, but they are hanging on by a thread. Their loss on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Rams last week was pretty crippling, especially with everything else that transpired in the NFC South in the next couple of days.
The Saints have been a hard team to figure out all season. Derek Carr put up a bunch of stats in that game against the Rams but they all ended up ringing hollow. Ultimately, not making the playoffs after the investment the Saints made in him would be a terrible disappointment. Especially as “weak” as the NFC South has been this season, it would be a bitter pill to have to swallow.
And we’re going to get some real clarity in Week 17 as the Saints head to Tampa Bay to take on Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers. Obviously, this game will have massive implications on the NFC South division race as a whole.
The early betting line has the Buccaneers favored by two points in this one, but I think they could get a boost as the week progresses. I don’t see it getting above 3.5 points, though, but I do think I’m taking the Bucs by four here.
Prediction: Buccaneers win 27-23