Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Pick
- Raymond James Stadium
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday for an NFC Wild Card playoff showdown. The Buccaneers earned the #2 seed in the NFC with last week's 41-17 victory over Carolina. I encouraged bettors to back Tampa Bay for multiple reasons in the game against the Panthers, and the Buccaneers were able to cruise to an easy victory. For this Sunday's showdown, the Buccaneers will have a more legitimate challenge against an Eagles team that has won four of their last five games. Despite being rather sizable 8.5 point betting favorites, the Buccaneers may very well be the play for the 2nd straight week.
At first glance, the Eagles have been riding a wave of momentum throughout the 2nd half of the season. After starting the season 2-5 SU, the Eagles have rallied to win seven of their last ten games, which includes a throwaway loss to Dallas in week 18 stemming from Head Coach Nick Sirianni deciding to rest the majority of Philadelphia's starters. With so much momentum, it may be questionable that the Eagles are getting 8.5 points against a Buccaneers team that has suffered several losses on the offensive side of the football. However, I would argue that the majority of Philadelphia's late-season success has been paved by a tremendously easy schedule. In fact, I would back up that statement by making the claim that the Eagles are far from a legitimate playoff contender.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Trends
- The Eagles are 4-1 SU in the last five games
- The Eagles are 4-1 SU in the last five games on the road
- The Eagles are 5-0 ATS in the last five games against NFC South opponents
- The Eagles are 4-2 ATS in the last six games against Tampa Bay
- The Eagles have hit the "over" in four of the last five games
- The Bucs are 6-2 ATS in the last eight games
- The Bucs are 7-1 SU in the last eight games
- The Bucs are 10-1 SU in the last 11 games at home
- The Bucs have hit the "under" in five of the last six games against NFC opponents
- Get more details: Philadelphia vs. Tampa Bay Wildcard Betting Stats
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Analysis
Aside from the Eagles' late-season rallying deception, I also believe their match-up against Tampa Bay will be an extremely difficult stylistic challenge. QB Jalen Hurts still has some obvious limitations as a true passing quarterback, which is compensated by his gifted athleticism and ability to run the football. Hurts actually leads the Eagles in rushing with 784 yards and ten touchdowns on the ground. RB Miles Sanders trails slightly in yards with 754 yards but has failed to find the end zone all season. Collectively, Philadelphia leads the NFL, averaging 159 yards per game on the ground. While impressive, it is also representative of the team's rushing mentality as Hurts has been far less accurate throwing the football despite having some solid talents in WR DeVonta Smith and TE Dallas Goedert.
I believe Philadelphia's reliance on the run-game will be costly against a Tampa Bay defense that led the NFL in rush-defense for the majority of the season. The Buccaneers have a very stout defensive line that should put Hurts into more vulnerable and obvious passing situations. If that happens, expect Tampa Bay's defense to feast on the opportunities. On the other side of the ball, QB Tom Brady has an MVP-style season despite the recent losses of receivers Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. WR Mike Evans and TE Rob Gronkowski have picked up the slack in recent weeks, and the return of RB Leonard Fournette should provide a needed boost in the run game. Even down on potential weapons, Brady is still playing at an elite level and will likely capitalize on the opportunities, especially if the defense has the success that I expect.