A week after suffering a 48-3 defeat against the San Francisco 49ers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2) return to Raymond James Stadium this Sunday, Oct. 16, to host the New Orleans Saints (4-1), with first place in the NFC South on the line. They'll do so as the underdogs, according to SB Nation partner Oddsshark. Betting opened with the Saints holding a 3.5-point edge, but it's gone up to five in some places.
The oddsmakers have soured on Tampa Bay, likely due at least in part to injury news about LeGarrette Blount. The Bucs' leading rusher (328 yards, thrree touchdowns) will miss at least a month because of an MCL sprain.
Tampa Bay's already meager offense--the team ranks No. 27 in the NFL in scoring--becomes more suspect without Blount, but nobody's mistaking the Saints' defense for that of the 1985 Chicago Bears, either. New Orleans ranks a modest No. 20 in points allowed. When the Bucs have the ball, it'll be a case of stoppable force meeting moveable object.