NFL

NFL Week 9 betting preview: Saints to run the Buccaneers close as Drew Brees and Tom Brady meet again

November 6, 2020

AFTER so many of the favourites failed to cover the spread in Week 8, we're hoping for a much more straight forward week in the NFL this time around. Worse case scenario, we at least get to watch the second installment of Tom Brady vs Drew Brees this season, as the Buccaneers take on the Saints in this Sunday's prime time clash. Here to help you pick the bones out of this week's betting, is Nat Coombs.
 

Buffalo Bills vs Seattle Seahawks

Sunday November 8, 18:00 GMT
 

Seattle blew the 49ers away last week with another dominating performance from the offense, DK Metcalf being Russell Wilson’s go to guy (161 yards, 2TDs) following fellow WR Tyler Lockett who popped for 200+ yards the week before. Wilson has had 26 passing TDs so far this season, unsurprisingly ranking him first in the league, and there’s every reason to think he’ll add to that tally against the Bills, whose pass defense is unlikely to cause him undue distress.

Buffalo edged New England in a game that on paper shouldn’t have been close at all, given how abject the Patriots have been for weeks now with Cam Newton struggling to regain his early season form post Covid-19, and the lack of depth on either side of the ball proving too challenging even for the great Bill Belichick and his heir-apparent Josh McDaniels. That said, New England had a shot to win it, with Newton failing to close, and his counterpart Josh Allen couldn’t really get any kind of passing game going, despite going up against a Patriots secondary that was missing star corner Stephon Gilmore, with only Bills star WR Stefon Diggs doing any real damage (six catches for 92).

That’s an issue for Buffalo in this matchup, given the passing game is where this Seattle D can be exploited. Against New England, the Bills went to the ground game – with Allen, plus RBs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss both having big games, the pair averaging 6.1 and 5.8 yards per carry respectively. Seattle’s run defense is made of tougher stuff though than their secondary though, holding San Francisco to just 2.4 yards per carry – albeit a rushing attack missing Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert – and keeping opponents to just under 4 per carry all season. Seattle are legit, and as the cap is under the key number of three, they’re my lock of the week.

Match odds: Bills (13/10) Seahawks (13/20)
Handicap: Bills +3 (17/20) Seahawks -3 (19/20)
Total points: Over 55 (10/11) Under 55 (10/11)
Tip: Seahawks -2.5 (4/5)

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Indianapolis Colts vs Baltimore Ravens

Sunday November 8, 18:00 GMT
 

Lamar Jackson struggled against the Steelers last week, as he did last season, and his turnovers cost the Ravens the game. Pittsburgh did a fine job of shutting down the middle of the field as an option for him, forcing him to look outside, and his accuracy issues were exploited. The loss also came at a cost – with blindside tackle Ronnie Stanley out for the year. But the suggestion that Jackson – or Baltimore – is in crisis is overstated. 

Conversely, the Colts offense hummed against the Lions in Week 9, with Philip Rivers putting up another strong performance to silence the doubters who have called him washed up and suggested Indy should move on. He's still prone to making mistakes, but it's a strong line that he's behind, and Indy should contend for the playoffs. Homefield advantage has in many respects been negated this season, and I think there's recency bias in the line here, and while I suspect this will be close, I like the Ravens for a narrow bounce back win. 

Match odds: Colts (21/20) Ravens (41/50)
Handicap: Colts +1.5 (10/11) Ravens +1.5 (10/11)
Total points: Over 48 (10/11) Under 48 (10/11)
Tip: Baltimore to win (41/50)

 

For all NFL Week 8 betting markets, click here

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints

Monday November 9, 01:20 GMT
 

Brady vs Brees in primetime is the must watch game of the weekend. Tom Brady has been getting more attention than his counterpart and comes into this game in red hot form, having thrown 17 TDs and just 1 INT in the last six games. His old tag team partner Rob Gronkowski may not be vintage era Gronk, but he’s getting stronger every week, and the range of weapons at TB12’s disposal, when all fit, is amongst the strongest in the league, a far cry from the threadbare offensive roster Brady left behind in Foxboro.

Brees has had to hustle without his key receiver Michael Thomas for much of this season, yet has made do, with Head Coach (and offensive play caller) Sean Payton working in lockstep with his QB to dial up a smart, varied offensive playbook, albeit one that’s tangibly minus the deep ball – not an issue seemingly for Brady.

Thomas should return for this one, ditto veteran WR Emmanuel Sanders – vital players to have against Todd Bowles’ impressive and organised Tampa D. Alvin Kamara has shouldered the load effectively in Thomas’ absence. He’s explosive, tough and versatile, and expect him to feature early and heavily as the Saints, with a strong line in front of Brees, will be amongst the toughest tests this Tampa D has had since week one, when New Orleans put up 34 points on the Bucs.

The Saints have a decent run defense, and can neutralise the Bucs’ backfield of Fournette and Jones which will put more emphasis on Brady to air it out. He’ll fancy his chances against a lacklustre Saints secondary, so I like the over here with the Saints keeping it close. 

Match odds: Buccaneers (4/9) Saints (37/20)
Handicap: Buccaneers -4.5 (10/11) Saints +4.5 (10/11)
Total points: Over 51.5 (23/25) Under 22.2 (22/25)
Tips: Over 51.5 (26/25), Saints +5 (17/20)

 

Treble odds
 

Seahawks -2.5 (4/5), Baltimore to win (41/50), Over 51.5 (26/25), Saints +5 (17/20) – 12/1

Check out the Nat Coombs Show podcast on ESPN right here.