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: Bucs -8, Over/Under 44.5
This is quite the interesting match-up from both a game standpoint and with betting factors. The Bucs really do enjoy playing on the road as proven by their 6-2 record away from home this season. Washington has had mixed results playing at home, but have significant betting trends opposite of the Bucs. The big contest in this one comes down to the Bucs offense vs. Washington’s defense, and that’ll come down to deciding the spread and the over/under. I see two scenarios unfolding.
On the one had, the Bucs have been dominating on offense over their last three games, scoring at 122 points total with their last two games going over 40 points. Should the Bucs continue to protect Tom Brady so he can get the ball to Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, the Bucs’ offense has been in rhythm. And if they get to the 30 point-mark in this game, Washington won’t be able to catch them. Tampa Bay has hit the over in four out of their last five road games, and covered in four of five on the road as well. They really do like scoring more when they’re away from their own stadium.
But on the other hand, there is that doomsday scenario in which Washington’s defensive front led by Chase Young and Montez Sweat overmatch the Bucs’ offensive line and get to Brady. Maybe Donovan Smith has an off today and it puts the offense under duress. Say what you will about Washington’s 7-9 record, but they play stout defense. They’ve allowed 20 points or less in 7 straight, which includes games against playoff teams such as the Steelers and Seahawks. You could argue that the Steelers were beginning their decline when facing Washington and the Seahawks have constantly been a streaky team on both sides of the ball, but they were able to limit them both at home, where the Bucs will be up next. Remember how I said the betting trends were polar opposites for these two teams? Washington’s games have gone under in five straight while also going 5-2 in covering over their last 7.
You can make another argument as well that a weakness for the Bucs on offense is playing against teams with a better defenses. The last two above-average defenses that the Bucs faced were the Rams, where they scored 24 points, and the Saints two weeks before that, in which they scored a total of three. I tend to think those days are behind them, and the high end production continues for the Bucs as they peak at the right time.
The Pick: Over 44.5
After grinding out some good weeks to get a winning record, I finished 31-29-1 to wrap up the regular season. It’s always nice to see when you have more wins than losses, but we’re not done yet. Here’s what I’m looking at for the rest of the Super Wild Card round.
Bills -6.5 vs. Colts, Over 51.5
We’re starting off by doubling up in this game. The Bills have not had a home playoff game in 25 years and they’re letting fans into the Stadium. It is going to be an absolutely wild atmosphere there in Orchard Park. Revved up by the crowd noise, the Bills put up a ton of points while the Colts get some of their own to reach the over, but it’ll be more than 7 points.
Seahawks -3 vs. Rams
It was better for the Rams when they had their backup quarterback face another backup quarterback against Arizona last week, but no such luck this time. Jared Goff is listed as questionable, so the Seahawks either go up against a backup or banged up starter that they beat less than a month ago with the division at stake. Seattle has bigger expectations for this season.
Titans +3 vs. Ravens
The Titans, who knocked the number one seed Ravens out of the playoffs last year at their place and beat them again at their stadium this season, are home underdogs? Is that really correct? Lamar Jackson hasn’t played well in games on the big stage yet in his career and that won’t change this week, leading the whispers to start about what type of quarterback he is and if can win when it’s most important. Don’t let one bad loss to the Packers make you think that the Titans aren’t ready for another playoff run.