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Can Tom Brady snap winless streak vs. division rival Saints?

New Orleans owns a 4-0 record over Tom Brady in the regular season since he signed with Tampa Bay in 2020.

Action Network Use Only - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) is 0-4 against the Saints in four regular-season meetings since 2020. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images/TNS)
Action Network Use Only - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) is 0-4 against the Saints in four regular-season meetings since 2020. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images/TNS)Read moreChris Graythen / MCT

Since Tom Brady joined the Buccaneers ahead of the 2020 season, he still hasn’t beaten the division rival Saints in four tries in the regular season. Oddsmakers expect that to change Sunday.

Tampa Bay is a slim road favorite against New Orleans, which has won seven straight regular-season meetings and is a live ‘dog this weekend after a thrilling win over the Falcons in Week 1.

Here’s how we’re betting Sunday’s contest, which kicks off at 1 p.m. ET on Fox.

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Saints vs. Buccaneers Odds (via BetMGM)

  1. Buccaneers -2.5 (-110), moneyline -145

  2. Saints +2.5 (-110), moneyline +120

  3. O/U 44.5 (-110)

Saints vs. Buccaneers Prediction: The Analysis

Few teams have foiled Brady better than these Saints, who have made the Hall of Fame quarterback look downright pedestrian since he joined the NFC South. And Sunday’s matchup seems primed to follow a similar script.

It’s hard to overstate just how masterfully New Orleans has frustrated Brady in the previous four regular-season meetings. The three-time MVP has thrown a combined six passing touchdowns and eight interceptions in those four losses, and he’s been sacked an incredible 13 times – by far the most against any opponent over the last two years.

Some of that is a function of playing twice a year, but Saints coach Dennis Allen – who was the defensive coordinator in those previous four meetings – knows how to dial up pressure against Brady, which is famously the best way to fluster the seemingly unflappable passer. New Orleans has registered at least three sacks in all four of those contests, leading to some of the worst results in Brady’s career.

If that seems like hyperbole, check the box scores. In their second meeting in 2020, Brady threw three picks and posted the third-worst passer rating (40.4) of his career. In their most recent meeting in 2021, he was shut out for the first time since 2006 and just the third time in his illustrious 23-year career. Even in his best showing last October in a 36-27 loss, he still turned it over three times, including a game-sealing pick-six in the final two minutes.

Clearly, this is a tough matchup for Brady and the Bucs even at full strength. They’ll be far from that on Sunday. Tampa Bay’s injury woes along the offensive line have been well-documented by this point, and now starting left tackle Donovan Smith (elbow) is questionable to suit up, too. That’s especially troublesome given Brady’s issues staying upright in this matchup.

He’ll also have to contend with the potential loss of his top three targets in Mike Evans (calf), Chris Godwin (hamstring), and Julio Jones (knee), all of whom missed practice this week and are iffy to play on Sunday. That’s to say nothing of the minor ailments affecting seemingly this entire Buccaneers offense, including leading rusher Leonard Fournette (hamstring) and star tackle Tristan Wirfs (abdomen).

Even if the Saints are without top back Alvin Kamara (ribs), there’s enough receiving talent on this new-look offense for New Orleans quarterback Jameis Winston to extend his undefeated record against his old team. This has “trap game” written all over it for the road favorites, who are simply too banged up to trust in a matchup that’s historically given them trouble.

Saints vs. Buccaneers Pick

Saints +2.5 (-110 BetMGM)

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