NFL Football Las Vegas Odds and Picks: New Orleans vs Tampa Bay
Friday, October 19, 2012
by Frank Martin
With their season hanging in the balance the desperate New Orleans Saints came from behind to defeat the San Diego Chargers for their first victory of the season last time out.
A week after its bye, New Orleans may get back embattled linebacker Jonathan Vilma as it tries to make it two in a row when it visits the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Vilma is getting a one-week reprieve from the bounty scandal before the commissioner rules on the appeal of his suspension.
Josh Freeman and the Bucs set season highs with 145 yards rushing and 318 yards passing in last week’s win 38-10 over Kansas City.
Freeman has flourished after a dismal start, completing 60 percent of his passes for 627 yards with four TDs and two picks in his last two games. He’ll have to maintain that pace to change the Bucs’ fate. Tampa Bay has lost 13 of its last 15 games.
New Orleans Saints (1-4): Drew Brees set the NFL record by throwing a touchdown pass for the 48th straight game in the Saints’ latest outing. Brees finished with four scoring passes, three of them to Marques Colston. But while New Orleans remains an offensive machine and ranks first in the NFL in passing, its defense has been atrocious. The return of Vilma to practice during the week lit a fire under several of his mates on the defensive unit, which is ranked dead last in the NFL.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3): The Bucs shut down Jamaal Charles in last week’s rout. Charles, one of the league's top runners, finished with just 40 yards and Kansas City managed just 260 total yards in Tampa Bay's most complete game in a long time. But Brees presents more problems than Brady Quinn did and the Bucs will certainly miss cornerback Aqib Talib, who began serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.Tampa Bay would like to control the ball but rookie running back Doug Martin is off to a disappointing start with 320 yards and one touchdown.
1. The two teams split the season series last year, each winning at home.
2. Saints tight end Jimmy Graham is questionable with an ankle injury.
3. Tampa Bay is without DE Adrian Clayborn, who was placed on injured reserve.
NFL Football Prediction: Buccaneers 24, Saints 21.
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