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Saints Open as Slight Favorites Over Buccaneers in Divisional Round

Max Staley
New Orleans Saints are slight favorites over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
New Orleans Saints are slight favorites over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. / Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face off for the third time this year in the Divisional Round. Drew Brees and the Saints have clearly had the advantage over Tom Brady and the Bucs in 2020, boasting a 2-0 record with a plus-46 point differential. And going back even further, New Orleans is 5-0 in its last five games against Tampa Bay.

Despite New Orleans' dominance of this rivalry, however, FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL Playoff odds only list the Saints as 3-point favorites heading into Sunday's showdown.

Saints fans were surely expecting a bigger line here. After all, the team has defeated the Bucs by an average margin of 23.0 points per game (PPG) this season. Plus, Brees has led the team to a 9-3 record across his 12 starts, winning nine of his last 10 starts as well.

And while the Buccaneers have turned it around recently, New Orleans presents legitimate matchup problems for Tampa Bay. Brady hasn't been the same QB when pressured this season and the Saints generate pressure at the sixth-highest rate in the league (25.6%).

The health of sack artist Trey Hendrickson, who missed Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears, could be a pivotal factor here. Hendrickson led the team in sacks this season with 13.5, 3.0 of which came in two games against Brady.

New Orleans' best shot at taking this one is by making Brady uncomfortable, and it'll probably need Hendrickson to be near full strength in order to do so.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.