Struggling New Orleans Saints A Road Favorite Over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
October 12th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

A big NFC South showdown takes place on Sunday in Week Six of the 2010 NFL Season when the New Orleans Saints visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with each experiencing different-than-expected outcomes early in the year.

For the Buccaneers, they have jumped out to a 3-1 start, rebounding from a blowout loss to Pittsburgh by defeating Cincinnati.  For the Saints, they dropped one to Arizona and will need win over Tampa Bay to avoid a two-game losing skid.

The Buccaneers used an effective combination of rushing and passing on offense to get past the Bengals on Sunday afternoon, and now are a surprising 3-1, compared to analysts and preseason predictions which picked them to finish third or last in the NFC South division.  Quarterback Josh Freeman completed 20 of 33 passes for 280 yards, one touchdown and an interception.  Running back Earnest Graham carried the ball just three times, but managed 65 yards and a touchdown.

For the Saints, it was a 30-20 lost to the Cardinals in which turnovers continued to plague the team.  Quarterback Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes, but also tossed three interceptions on the afternoon, which was a large contributing factor to the loss.

For the New Orleans offense in this one against the Buccaneers, Brees will have to avoid turning the ball over.  Interceptions give the opposing offenses short fields to work with and puts pressure on the Saints defense.  New Orleans is missing Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas in the run department and have struggled to find consistency in the ground game.  Ladell Betts led the Saints with 44 yards rushing last week.

Against the Saints offense, the Buccaneer defense can watch the film on how the Cardinals were able to force those New Orleans turnovers.  The Buccaneers  surrendered only 209 yards last week through the air, not allowing the Bengals to score in the last 12 minutes of the fourth quarter.

For the Buccaneers on offense, Freeman continues to develop, and the run game is helping balance and keep defenses honest.  While Cadillac Williams managed just 33 yards on 11 carries, Graham was able to pick up the ground game.  Look for Tampa Bay to try and keep balance on offense, and not put too much on Freeman.

For the Saints on defense, getting after the young Buccaneer quarterback will be an important factor in this one.  The Saints secondary played well against Max Hall and the Cardinal offense defending the pass, not allowing a touchdown and picking off a pass.

Game Line-

USA Online Sportsbooks have set New Orleans as a five-point favorite in this Week 6 NFL Match up.  The over/under for the contest is set at 44 points.

ATS Betting Trends-

The Saints are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games against the NFC.  The Buccaneers are 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games at home.  The underdog in is 11-5 ATs in the last 16 match ups between these two.

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