|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NFL In the final week of the 2010 NFL regular season, the reigning Super Bowl Champs, the New Orleans Saints, will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints are second in the NFC South with an 11-4 record, compared to the Bucs who are third in the NFC South with a 9-6 record going into Week 17.
The Buccaneers do not have much of a chance at the plaoffs at this point, so coach Raheem Morris’ plan for this weekend is simply to beat the Saints, or at least put up a good fight. A win would not necessarily guarantee a wild card for the Bucs, but a loss will definitely mean the end of the season, so Tampa Bay has no choice but to put it all on the line the day after New Years. Coach Morris is calling the game their playoff game.
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The Bucs kept their hopes alive with a 38-15 victory over Seattle, clinching a winning record after going 3-13 in their first season under the 34-year-old Morris. With last Sunday's victory over the Seahawks, the Bucs became the first team since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970 to start 10 or more rookies during the course of a non-strike season and finish with a winning record. Also note that the Saints have won an earlier matchup against the Bucs at 31-6 on Tampa Bay’s own turf.
Odds makers are calling this game very close due to the difficultly levels within the NFC South. If the Saints do win this weekend they will take the home field advantage during the playoffs since they recently took down the Atlanta Falcons this week in Monday Night Football.
Sportsbook odds may be effected by the following injuries: For the Bucs James Lee (ankle), Sammie Stroughter (hamstring), Myron Lewis (hip), and Dekoda Watson (ankle). For the Saints: David Thomas (knee), Chris Ivory (hamstring), Charles Brown (back), and Danny Clark (hamstring). When comparing the two teams quarterback stats, Drew Brees has 32 touchdowns, while Josh Freeman has only 23. Total yards for Freeman at 3196, while Brees has racked up 4424.