Monday Night Football Betting: Will Either of These Underwhelming Offenses Get Going?

Week 13 ends with an NFC South matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A Saints win would pull them within a half-game of the division lead at *checks standings* 5-8. If Tampa Bay can rebound from last week’s loss in Cleveland, they’ll steady their ship at an even 6-6, with a 1.5-game division lead heading into the final five weeks of the regular season.

Here is how numberFire ranks each team heading into tonight’s game using our nERD metric and Net Expected Points (NEP):

TeamnERDnERD RankRush Off NEP RankPass Off NEP RankRush Def NEP RankPass Def NEP Rank
Tampa Bay Buccaneers2.2310329136
New Orleans Saints-3.652321211618

Inside the Standard Bets

Our model likes the Buccaneers to get the W, expecting them to win outright 68.5% of the time. They are 3.0-point favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook, and our model also gives them the edge against the spread (ATS), with the likelihood they’ll cover at 55.2%, per our numbers.

FanDuel has set the odds for Tom Brady and the Bucs to come put on top tonight at -180 (64.3% implied) with their odds to cover at -115 (53.5% implied probability).

Our model finds value in taking the Buccaneers on both the moneyline and the spread, as each bet has a one-star rating (one-unit recommendation), with Tampa Bay winning outright at a slightly higher expected return.

The point total is 41.5 with odds for the over at -104 (51.0% implied) and the under at -104 (54.1% implied). numberFire’s model likes the over, setting the likelihood we see 42 or more points tonight at 61.4%.

The return for taking the over is enough for the over to be rated a two-star wager. Let’s cheer for some points, folks.

Team and Player Prop Value Bets

Neither team has been a prolific offense this season -- New Orleans ranks 20th in points per game, and Tampa Bay ranks 27th. But they both improve from the first half to the second half of games. The Saints are 8th in second-half points per game, and the Buccaneers rank 20th.

On the defensive side, Tampa Bay has given up the 2nd-fewest first-half points per game and 12th-fewest second-half points per game. The New Orleans' defense ranks 20th and 21st in first- and second-half points, respectively.

All of this points to a higher-scoring second half. That’s why I really like taking the over on the second-half total of 20.5 points, particularly at the +100 odds.

Tampa Bay’s defense ranks 4th in fewest passing yards per attempt allowed and 5th in fewest passing yards per game allowed. Our player projection model has Saints quarterback Andy Dalton throwing for 201.7 yards -- well below his passing prop of 218.5 yards. The games Dalton did top this mark in 2022 were against defenses that rank 22nd or worse in passing yards per game allowed. At -110 odds, the value in the under here is too good to pass up.

Final Notes

-- Tampa Bay’s win over the Saints in Week 2 was their first regular-season victory against New Orleans since Brady took over at quarterback. (The Bucs beat the Saints in the 2020 Divisional round.)
-- The Bucs are 3-8 ATS this season, covering only once in their last nine games.
-- The under was won out in 9 of Tampa Bay's 11 games.
-- Since the start of the 2020 season, tonight is the sixth-lowest implied total for the Saints and the third-lowest for the Buccaneers.
-- 75% of the spread money and 73% of the spread tickets are on the Buccaneers' side.