Betting the Bucs is a new segment that focuses on the gambling lines for each Bucs game during the season. We’ll take a look into different aspects of the game to help make your decision on whether to bet for or against the Bucs. We’ll also take a brief view at the slate of Sunday games around the rest of the league.
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The Line: Saints -3, Over/Under 52
What a showdown we have as the Bucs and Saints meet for the third time and Tampa Bay looks to finally get a win over New Orleans this season. Tom Brady has seen what the Saints will throw at them on defense, and vice versa for Drew Brees. What could be a different component? Antonio Brown was playing his first game with the Bucs when Tampa Bay lost 38-3 in a debacle. At lot has changed since then, and the Bucs’ offense in particular is ascending at the right time as Brown has five touchdowns in his last four games. That’s another weapon the Saints have to account for.
I really think the over in this game comes down to what defense Todd Bowles wants to implement for the Bucs. Playing zone would be the wrong move, but it’s what Bowles likes playing. Will they stay with it, or play press-man against Drew Brees and force him to throw it downfield a bit more? The Bucs’ secondary has blown more coverages than they should lately, so anther issue like that will help the over.
Tampa Bay is 5-0 both against the spread and 5-0 straight up on the road. Now they have the GOAT in the playoffs in a game where many are doubting them. The over has also hit in five of the last six Bucs’ road games, and in five of seven between these two teams. While it didn’t hit in their last match-up, I’m quite sure that the Bucs will score more than three points. Between the Saints propensity to choke lately in the postseason and the fact that the Tom Brady will refuse to lose to anyone three time in a row, I like the Bucs to make some noise while the points keep going up.
The Pick: Bucs +3, Over 52
It’s great watching the playoffs, but that means there’s less to bet on. I’ve been solid getting the picks right for the Bucs, though my wild card round was a little shaky. Here’s what I have for this week in the divisional round of the postseason.
Bills -2.5 vs. Ravens
The Bills are so exciting to watch and I don’t think they played their best game last week, so they come out stronger this time around. Baltimore shouldn’t be taken lightly, but it’ll be tough for Lamar Jackson to carry the entire offense once again. Buffalo is most equipped to beat their opponent in different ways, which we’ll see as they move onto the AFC Championship.
Chiefs-Browns Over 57
The Chiefs know how to turn it up another notch when it comes to the postseason. You could see that by how they’ve come back from 15+ point deficits multiple times. The Browns will be able to run very well against them, helping to get the amount of points needed to hit the over on such a high number.