Sunday night's NFL playoff action takes place with the NFC Divisional round, and it is the third time around for the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season. The Saints pretty much had their way with the Bucs in the two meetings thus far, winning by margins of eleven and 35 points. Clearly Tampa Bay wants to do something different in order to affect the outcome.
And that might have an impact on what we do with a couple of props that are available from the people at BetAnySports, which offers plenty of wagering opportunities, including the ability to get reduced juice for a better deal on the pointspread and total, in addition to real-time wagering through Sports Betting Prime, so that you are never out of the action.
Here's our Drew Brees prop:
Drew Brees - Pass Attempts
Over 36.5 Attempts -130
Under 36.5 Attempts +100
In two games against the Saints this season, Brees has thrown the ball 67 times. He has completed 55 of those, so quite obviously the Bucs have had an awful lot of trouble stopping his short passing game. That has been a trademark of Brees while working with coach Sean Payton, and if you look in the passing statistics, particularly that of Intended Air Yards, Brees is last in the National Football League.
Let's explain what that means. When a quarterback throws the football, that statistic measures how many yards, on average, it is going beyond the line of scrimmage. Essentially this separates those guys who are more "Dink and dunk" from the ones who throw it "downfield," so to speak. And Brees has done just fine dinking and dunking throughout his career. This season he has completed 70.5% of his passes, and by getting rid of the ball quickly, he minimizes the sacks he suffers. This year he went down only 13 times.
We are pretty certain that he is going to make more use of Michael Thomas this week. Thomas set an NFL record with 149 receptions last season, but he suffered a couple of injuries, got in a fight with a teammate, and as a result he only played enough to catch 40 passes. Towards the end, the Saints figured he would rest him until they got to the playoffs, and last week against pretty good Washington defense, he caught five passes for 73 yards and a touchdown.
You have to remember also that even though Alvin Kamara is a great running back, and in fact had six rushing touchdowns against Minnesota a few weeks ago, he is also a proficient pass-catcher, so much so that he had 83 receptions this season. So we know that as far as Brees is concerned, putting the ball in his hands on a pass play that goes only a few yards in the air is just as good as him running with the football.
That's one reason why we believe that there is potential for this particular prop to reach "over" territory. We also keep in mind that both of these teams are excellent in defending the Rrun. Tampa Bay, in fact, is best in the NFL, surrendering only 81 yards per game and 3.6 per carry. The numbers for New Orleans are not much worse, at 91.2 and 3.8, respectively.
So if you're really looking to grind things out, they might be some unpleasant surprises. To keep that very much in mind when examining the prop involving Brady and the number of passes he might throw.
Tom Brady - Pass Attempts
Over 40.5 Attempts -110
Under 40.5 Attempts 120
He has put it in the air 40 or more times on nine different occasions, so he be no stranger do these kinds of numbers. And considering that his ground game, with Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones, is probably a little less lethal at this moment then it might have been earlier in the season, we figured that if the Bucs are going down, they're going to go down with what they do best, which is with Brady getting the ball into the hands of the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Mike Evans, Antonio Brown and the rest of his receivers as much as possible.
Sure, they were very unhappy with having only eight yards rushing the last time they played New Orleans, and we are sure that they will run more than five times, but we can't promise they're going to have a lot of success going that route, so they are simply going to have to let it all hang out.
So it is an "over" for Brady as well. Because these defenses are good, all those throws might not result in a heck of a lot of yards, or even a heck of a lot of points. But it's what they do. And they are going to keep doing it.
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