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NFL Playoff Updated Odds & Preview: Washington vs. the Bucs Expert Analysis and Predictions

NFL Wild Card: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Washington Football Team game preview, odds and picks

The Washington Football Team has been quite a story from the beginning of the NFL betting season. They have had to change their name. Washington has gone through an ordeal with a coach who has cancer. They have had to say goodbye to their “quarterback of the future.” And they have said hello again to one of the great comeback stories in NFL annals.

They have also made the playoffs with a losing record

Will any of this factor into how they might do as they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday night? We think maybe it will.

By virtue of the “WFT” winning the NFC East, they will host this game. And it will kick off at 8:15 PM ET at FedEx Field in Landover, MD.

Please keep in mind that if you are a BetAnySports customer, you can get better odds on this game with reduced juice. And after the contest begins, you can place wagers on it in real-time through Sports Betting Prime.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Washington Football Team Odds

TeamSP/RLTOTALML
Buccaneers-9 (-105)45 (-110)-450
Washington+9 (-115)45 (-110)+350
Bet Now on this Game

Let’s go ahead and make a case for Washington against Tom Brady and the Bucs.

Let’s start off with…..

The saga of Alex Smith

It’s not just the idea that Smith has come back from 17 surgeries on his leg that makes him important here. And it’s not that it makes for good press that he’s made this miracle comeback after sitting out so long. He has also given this team its best chance to win.

Dwayne Haskins started out this season getting a chance from coach Ron Rivera, who had been undergoing chemotherapy. And Haskins made a great inspirational speech after the game was over and the WFT beat Philadelphia.

But the luster wore off Haskins over time, and he not only lost his starting job but got released. Into the story stepped Smith, who has simply guided Washington to five victories in the six games he’s started.

His stats are nothing to write home about. This year he has thrown six TD passes with eight interceptions. But he’s a steady hand, which Haskins wasn’t. And he was inspirational, which Haskins isn’t.

Smith has a few weapons to turn to as well

Terry McLaurin is a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver. He caught 87 passes this year for 1118 yards. Tight end Logan Thomas had 72 catches. Some people may remember him from his days as a QB at Virginia Tech, when he was considered a decent prospect.

The backfield hasn’t done a bad job at all. Rookie Antonio Gibson, drafted in the third rounds out of Memphis, had 795 yards and averaged 4.7 per carry. JD McKissic caught 80 passes out of the backfield, which is critical because Smith doesn’t throw it far down the field.

And the defense is the best part

Washington would not have been in this situation, even with a 7-9 record, if they didn’t have an elite defense. After allowing 30 points or more in four of their first five games, they have really gotten their motor running. And now they have permitted just 14 points per game over the last seven.

In terms of yards and points allowed per drive, Washington ranks third in the NFL. Washington has forced opponents into punting on 40% of all occasions. They are fourth in Sack Percentage, which means they can pressure Brady. Washington is fifth in “Stuff Rate,” which designates running plays they hold to a loss or no gain.

They are third in the NFL in preventing touchdowns in red-zone situations, allowing them only 53.5% of the time. And they have held the opposition to 300 yards or less on eight occasions.

That’s a lot of evidence. And take note that the Bucs have been held below 340 yards by a number of teams with capable defenses. This includes the Saints, Bears, Rams and even the Packers.

So what do you think? Can this incredible story continue?

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