Betting The Bucs is a weekly segment that focuses on the gambling lines for each Tampa Bay game during the season. We’ll take a look into different aspects of the game to help you make your decision on whether to bet for or against the Bucs. We’ll also break down various prop bets to take before you watch on Sunday.
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The Line: Bucs -7, Over/Under 52.5
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Seeing your team play earlier in the week is fun for the fans, but tough to ask of players with so little time for recovery. It gets more difficult when you’re on the road, and having just three days to prepare levels things out between both opponents, even when you have one team that’s much better than the other. That’s not what Bucs fans want to hear, but that’s just the nature of Thursday night games. A lot of strange things go down, not to mention we’re right in the middle of Halloween season. Just look at the Bucs loss to the Bears last year.
Certainly, the Bucs offense can be the exception to all of this. If they connect like they did on Sunday, I highly doubt the Eagles can match that production. Philadelphia’s defense presents a bigger challenge, especially with their interior pass rush. You can’t slow down Tom Brady, Antonio Brown and company for too long, but if the Eagles can get home with four pass rushers, things won’t come as easily.
Road trips have not been all too kind for the Bucs, as they’ve gone 1-1 and averaged 21.5 points in their two games. That’s a far cry from their overall average of 33.4. They’ve stepped up defensively over the past two weeks, allowing 17 points. They face a mobile quarterback in Jalen Hurts, who will look downfield for big plays. He also has two good running backs at his disposal. Having Lavonte David out is going to hurt, as the Bucs were already having trouble defending backs in the passing game.
The Bucs have failed to cover the spread on the road and are 2-3 ATS on the season. The biggest stat I’m looking at overall is a surprising and somewhat appalling statistic about Brady. In his last 10 regular season games on primetime, Brady is 0-10 against the spread. That’s a pretty shocking revelation. I do think the Bucs come away with a win on the road, but I’m not going against a streak like that.
The Pick: Eagles +7
Bucs 1H -4 (-110)
I may have picked the Eagles to cover the whole game, but that doesn’t mean the Bucs won’t be ahead at the half. I’ve picked them to cover in the first half twice this season and so far both have hit. Much like Brady’s crazy stat, I’ll keep riding this one until they prove otherwise.
Chris Godwin Touchdown (+120)
Last week it was Antonio Brown and Mike Evans that went off with two touchdowns each. Godwin still had a pretty good game with seven catches for 70 yards, but now it’s his turn to reach the end zone. The Bucs have been using him in a variety of different ways, and if the Eagles play a lot of zone defense, Godwin can win over the middle.
Tom Brady Under 2.5 Touchdowns (+100)
No quarterback has been better at home than Brady, who’s thrown for 14 touchdowns in Tampa. It’s been a different story on the road as he has just one touchdown pass in two games. It’s pretty good value at +100 given the Bucs’ offensive trend on the road. The hope is that they’ll continue to run it when reaching the red zone.
Ronald Jones More Rushing Yards Than Miles Sanders (+133)
Tampa Bay’s run defense has been the best in the league for three years and counting. Against opposing starting running backs the past two weeks, the Bucs held Damien Harris to -2 rushing yards and Myles Gaskin to 25. Teams just refuse to run the ball against the Bucs, so with the Eagles choosing to throw the ball all game, the Bucs will have a good shot at bottling up Sanders with the few attempts he gets.
Jones has been the backup running back for the Bucs, but he’s picked it up lately, rushing for over four yards per carry. He may only get 25 yards, but that could be enough because of the Bucs defense. Jones is also due for a big run, so this a low risk, high reward bet, with the value to take a chance on.