New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+4)
There are no two polar opposites in the field of public perception squaring off on Sunday more than the Saints and Buccaneers.
Finally, after sixteen weeks of torture, the Saints have officially been eliminated from playoff contention, and appear to finally have fallen out of the good graces of onlookers. By now, everyone believes they are nothing more than a bad team this year.
In Tampa Bay, no one has ever thought otherwise.
In what is always an intriguing aspect of any late-season game, the Buccaneers ‘control their own destiny’ for the first overall pick in next year’s draft, as counter-productive as that looks on the surface. If the Buccaneers lose on Sunday, they basically ‘win’ the draft order.
That hasn’t stopped the team from playing three one-possession games in their last five contests. The players on the field have no personal gain from any draft position and, therefore, should compete with as much effort as they have all season.
The truth is, Tampa Bay just isn’t any good. While the Saints aren’t either, they are a hair better. New Orleans wins by a single point but Tampa Bay beats the spread.