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New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday Night Football Betting Preview
Monday Night Football in Week 13 of the NFL season will feature two teams from the NFC South. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints are two of four teams from this division that are below .500, but the Buccaneers can get back to the .500 mark with a win here.
To prevent that, the Saints will look to get their sluggish offense back up and running against their division rivals.
New Orleans Saints
Coming into Monday night, the New Orleans Saints have lost three of their last four games and have fallen to 4-8 on the season.
Their only win during that stretch came against the Los Angeles Rams, who have been a disaster this year despite their status as defending Super Bowl champions.
New Orleans has scored 14 or more points just once in their last four outings, and will need to put something together offensively to get a win here.
The offensive struggles of the Saints have wasted some solid efforts from the New Orleans defense over their last few games. New Orleans has allowed 20 or fewer points in each of their last three games.
However, when the Saints have struggled to put the ball into the end zone the way they have, the Saints defense may need to start holding teams scoreless in order to have a chance to get out of their recent funk.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers enter this contest in first place in the NFC South, not that that is a high bar to clear this season. They will also enter this game as -3.5 point favorites.
The Buccaneers are 5-6 on the season, and are coming off of an overtime loss to a Cleveland Browns team that was starting Jacoby Brissett for the final time. Much like the Saints, the defense of the Buccaneers has been solid, while their offense has simply not been up to par.
Despite the deserved reputation of Tom Brady, Tampa Bay has scored just 18.2 points per game this season. That ranks 27th in the NFL heading into this contest, and is a legitimate concern even if the Buccaneers do find their way into the playoffs. While the Bucs are favored by 3.5 points going into this matchup, the fact that they have struggled to score at a high volume makes laying points with them a difficult ask at this point in time.
Keys To The Game
The biggest key of the game for the Saints is their running game, as that will determine how their entire offense performs today.
Alvin Kamara and the rest of the Saints running game has the potential to make life easier on Andy Dalton. The question for the Saints is whether they can open up the running lanes for their backs to accomplish that.
On the Tampa Bay side, the number one key to this game is going to be the accuracy of Tom Brady. Brady has not looked like himself for much of this season, missing short throws short of his targets and lacking the accuracy that has made him one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.
He needs to be more precise to lead his team to a much-needed win on Monday night.
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