Last week we once again had an underdog straight-up upset as the Tampa Bay Bucs defeated the Carolina Panthers as 3½-point dogs, which means if you tailed this pick it not only cashed with the points but on the money line as well! We weren’t nearly as fortunate with the Jets, as they fell to the Titans but we’ll take it. Let’s keep these pups howling and cash a pair this weekend!
Saints (10-2 SU, 9-3 ATS) at Bucs (5-7 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) – Sunday, 1:00 PM ET
The best online sportsbooks, found over at Sportsbook Review, are making this an easy spot to back a live home dog. As of this writing, the Bucs are getting north of a touchdown at home against New Orleans coming off a 13-10 setback against the Cowboys. Tampa Bay has had a wild ride this year with musical chairs at quarterback, FitzMagic, the renaissance of Jameis Winston and a defense that was as porous as a fishing net yet has suddenly begun to shine over their last two games.
The Saints are a powerhouse, but they lost a 48-40 shootout in Nawlins back in Week 1 to Tampa and many are predicting they want revenge. However, emotions are the domain of fans and not so much for athletes. Tampa Bay is a divisional rival and, yes, the Saints would like payback but a win is a win and one doesn’t count any more than the other especially when the division is sewn up and a first-round bye is virtually guaranteed.
The Saints are 1-4 ATS over their last five meetings against the Bucs and we can easily see that record moving to 1-5 against the number after this one is through. Winston has been a new man since he took over for Ryan Fitzpatrick a few weeks ago and if he can avoid the onslaught of New Orleans’ one-man wrecking crew, Cameron Jordan, Winston will find plenty of opportunities to exploit a weak Saints’ secondary that ranks 30th in pass defense, allowing 279 yards per game.
Of course, Drew Brees will hit his targets – he always does – but the Bucs defense is playing with some swagger and will give the future Hall-of-Fame QB more trouble than expected. Grab the bundle of points and back the Bucs.
Broncos (6-6 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) at 49ers (2-10 SU, 3-9 ATS) – Sunday, 4:05 PM ET
We poked a bit of fun at all the hype Nick Mullens received in his historic debut a few weeks ago in San Francisco’s 34-3 destruction of Oakland. However, let’s give the kid credit: He launched for over 400 yards passing last week against the Seahawks, with two touchdowns and one pick, but the Niners bowed 43-16. Not exactly a compelling argument to back a lousy team off another crushing loss.
However, the Broncos are a bit mercurial and they don’t score an awful of points, averaging less than two points per game more the 49ers. San Francisco is actually better at defending the run, allowing 108.2 versus 122.1 yards per game, while their pass defense is better as well (241 vs. 261 passing yards per game). This is a great spot to back a home dog against a Denver offense that always seems to claim victories by outlasting opponents as opposed to blowing them out.
It would be nice to get the Niners +7 at the best online sportsbooks, but we suspect that the sharps will come send it in and prevent that from happening while the public will be frothing at the mouth to lay the lumber on the road with the Broncos. Don’t be a square, stay sharp, and back the Niners.