Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Washington Football Team NFL Odds & Analysis
BetOnline pro football betting patrons may remember that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Football Team met in the NFC playoffs last season. The WFT had won their division (NFC East), while Tampa Bay was a wild card. So the game had to be played at FedEx Field. The Bucs had 507 yards in a 31-23 win. And the margin could have been higher if (a) the Bucs didn’t have four drives stall for field goals, and (b) Taylor Heinicke hadn’t been able to throw for 306 yards.
Now the WFT is back, with a not new and not improved defense. They are 2-6 straight-up and just 1-7 against the pointspread.
Tampa Bay is 6-2 (3-5 ATS),and they come off a bitter 36-27 defeat to New Orleans. Both these squads are coming out of a bye week.
Sunday’s game will kick off at 1 PM ET at Raymond James Stadium on Dale Mabry Boulevard in Tampa. And this is a big division game for the Bucs. Because if they lose and the Saints win (against Tennessee), there’s a tie in the NFC South. And that would mean a lot of pressure to beat New Orleans when those two meet again on December 19.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Washington Football Team
In the pro football betting odds posted at BetOnline on this game, the Buccaneers are the solid favorites:
|Buccaneers||-10 (-105)||50½ (-110)||-490|
|WA Football Team||+10 (-115)||50½ (-110)||+365|
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Bucs’ Receiver Update
It was common knowledge that Tampa Bay had a banged-up receiver corps. The suspicion that wideout Antonio Brown and tight end Rob Gronkowski wouldn’t be able to play has been confirmed. However, Chris Godwin, whose participation had been highly questionable because of a foot injury, is expected to be in the lineup.
This is good news because Godwin has more catches than anyone else on the team (50). He had eight grabs for 140 yards last time out against New Orleans.
Godwin has found the end zone four times, but the guy who Tom Brady has really been able to hit paydirt with is Mike Evans, who has scored nine TD’s.
It doesn’t end there. A couple of others may be able to make some contributions. Breshad Perriman, who was Baltimore’s first-round draft pick in 2015, was signed off the practice squad. So was veteran tight end Darren Fells, who is a load at 6-7 and 280. Cyril Grayson caught a 50-yard TD pass vs. the Saints and can outrun just about anybody.
That Washington defense ain’t what it used to be
Just last year, the WFT became the default winner of the NFC East. And they did so on the strength of their defense, which tied for second in the league in the important category of yards-per-play allowed.
This season they are all the way down to 25th. In the drive stats assembled by the analytics people at Football Outsiders, they are 30th in yards and points allowed on a per-drive basis. And they are dead last in the NFL, yielding 287 passing yards per game.
Mr. Brady is thanking them already.
Washington isn’t horrible against the run,but there is no particular propensity to stop it. And they haven’t gotten the same kind of pressure against quarterbacks. Chase Young, last year’s rookie sensation, has only 1.5 sacks. And Montez Sweat (jaw injury) is on injured reserve.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Washington Football Team – Our Conclusion
Brady is the current NFL leader in passing yards and TD passes. He is 44 years old. He is not slowing down. And we are relatively certain that he can do something with whatever receiver group is in front of him.
He’s also got a 1-2 punch in the backfield (Leonard Fournette and Rodney Jones) who can balance things out if necessary. And we say that knowing that the Bucs have the NFL’s highest percentage of passing plays.
Tampa Bay can slow down just about anyone’s run game. And Heinicke’s numbers (11 TD’s,9 INT’s) are pedestrian. If he had the great defense to get him field position, it would be a different story. But he doesn’t. And thus, this is a game with decisive matchup advantages for the Bucs. So we will lay the points.
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