Week 13 of the 2022 NFL season is nearly complete, and what a week it was. We saw a potential early AFC playoff preview, as the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in a thriller. The San Francisco 49ers survived the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo and defeated the Miami Dolphins. There was also a spirited interconference contest between the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings. It was a busy Sunday of football.
This week’s Monday Night Football matchup has significant NFC South implications. With the Atlanta Falcons falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday, it’s no longer really relevant to Atlanta’s playoff hopes. The Falcons have between a 4% (Bucs win) and 10% (Saints win) chance to make the playoffs at this point, and only one 5-8 team in NFL history has gone on to make the playoffs.
Tonight’s game could go a long way in helping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tighten their grip on the division, as a win over the New Orleans Saints tonight would give them a multiple-game lead over every other divisional opponent and the head-to-head tiebreaker over New Orleans. If the Saints were to pull off the upset, they’d move into a tie with the Falcons for second place and improve to just half a game behind Tampa Bay.
Let’s get right to tonight’s picks, which I’ll be making on a straight moneyline (aka picking the winner) basis. I’ll still provide the information on the spread and over/under, for those interested. At the bottom, I’ll show the rest of the staff’s picks for the game.
Monday Night Football: New Orleans Saints (4-8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6)
The pick: Bucs -180
Spread: Bucs -3.5 | Over/Under: 41 | Moneyline: Bucs -180, Saints +155
The 2022 NFC South is really an abomination, and the sad truth is that somebody is going to make the playoffs out of this group. Tampa Bay is playing very uninspired football, but in terms of talent, they’re far ahead of the rest of the division. I expect this to be a hard fought game between two rivals, but when the dust clears, I think the Bucs come out of Monday Night Football as clear favorites in the NFC South for the first time this season.
What are your picks and predictions for tonight’s Monday Night Football matchups?
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.