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MNF: Buccaneers vs Saints Prediction and Game Thread

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football

NFL: SEP 18 Buccaneers at Saints Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Monday Night Football, Week 13. Tonight we have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosting the New Orleans Saints in a matchup of NFC South contenders.

NFC South contenders is a term that sounds better than the reality of the situation. Every team in the NFC South is currently a contender for the division title, but every team in the NFC South is also under .500 on the season.

The 4-8 New Orleans Saints should not be a contender for a playoff spot with that record, but they are, thanks to the abysmal NFC South. A victory tonight gets the Saints to within a game of first place in the division. A loss puts them three games back with just five games left to play. This is clearly a very big game for the Saints. The Saints are actually a better team than their record indicates, if it weren’t for a huge turnover problem. The Saints have the #15 ranked offense in the NFL and the #11 ranked defense by yards gained and allowed. What has made the Saints a losing team is their terrible turnover differential. The Saints rank 31st in the NFL in offensive turnovers with 21 and 32nd in the NFL in defensive turnovers with just 7. That gives the Saints the worst turnover differential in the NFL. It’s difficult to win when you’ve won the turnover battle just three times all season. Clean up the turnovers and the Saints are a dangerous team, but that’s easier said than done.

The 5-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL. They are a losing team that is nonetheless in first place in the NFC South. The Buccaneers, unlike the Saints, have been great at avoiding offensive turnovers. They have turned the ball over on offense less than any other NFL team. While the Saints have only won the turnover battle three times all year, the Buccaneers have only lost the turnover battle three times all year. If it weren’t for the turnover issues these two teams would be evenly matched.

The Saints have won three of the last five meetings between these two teams, but the Buccaneers won the last time they met, back in September. At home tonight I’m going with the Buccaneers. I have submitted my pick using the widget from our partners at Tallysight. You can follow all my picks throughout the season, as I prove for another season how I’m not made to be a gambler. Seriously, I cannot stress enough how bad an idea it would be to bet real money based on my picks. Don’t do it. Don’t even consider it. Make your own picks, and good luck. And if you do bet, consider using our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.