- BetOnline has Tampa Bay as 8.5-point home favorites over the Eagles on Sunday
- Tom Brady is 34-11 in the postseason with a 20-4 record at home
- The Buccaneers won 28-22 in the year’s earlier meeting in Philadelphia
Isn’t about time that poor Tom Brady caught a break? Despite leading the league in touchdown passes and passing yardage this season, the 44-year-old isn’t even the favorite for NFL MVP. And his Buccaneers head into the playoffs with Chris Godwin out with a season-ending knee injury and Antonio Brown out of the building altogether.
Are the defending Super Bowl champions too beat up to cover against the underdog Eagles on Super Wild Card Weekend? Or will Brady begin his quest for an eighth Lombardi Trophy with a bang? Let’s examine the latest odds for Sunday’s early game and be sure to check out the top betting sites for NFL football in 2021.
Buccaneers vs Eagles
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Philadelphia Eagles||+8.5 (-112)||+320||Ov 49.0 (-110)|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-8.5 (-108)||-400||Un 49.0 (-110)|
Can Philadelphia win on the ground?
The Eagles rank first in the league in rushing. And while bottling up backs used to be a strength of Tampa’s defense, Todd Bowles’ boys were only 21st in DVOA against the run in the season’s second half. With linebacker Lavonte David still on injured reserve, dual-threat quarterback Jalen Hurts and Philly’s rotating stable of RBs could find open lanes behind a stacked, newly healthy offensive line.
Of course, the Birds have a few defensive weaknesses of their own. They rank last in the NFL in opponents’ completion rate (69.4%), giving up a NFL-high 107 receptions and 14 TDs to tight ends this season. With 14 spikes in 20 postseason games, including two in last year’s Super Bowl, Rob Gronkowski will be busy on Sunday afternoon.
— USA TODAY Sports+ (@USATSportsPlus) January 11, 2022
The Bucs set a franchise record with 13 regular-season victories and captured the club’s first NFC South title since 2007 after winning seven of their last eight games. Their offense and defense also both rank in the top 10 in the league in scoring.
While receiving corps losses make the defending champs appear vulnerable, they are expecting some key contributors (running back Leonard Fournette and linebackers Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul) back this weekend.
Eagles to cover 8.5-point spread. After starting the season 2-5, Nick Sirianni’s troops won seven of their last nine games to secure a playoff spot before resting against Dallas in Week 18. While they only have one win over a team that finished above .500 all season, Philly should be rested and ready to take advantage of Tampa’s newfound weaknesses in the run game.
So, why are we not predicting an upset or advocating for a +320 moneyline bet on the Eagles? Tom Brady has appeared in 10 of the past 20 Super Bowls, winning seven of them.
Jalen Hurts is 23
First playoff start
Youngest Eagles QB to start a playoff game
Tom Brady is 44
This will be his 46th playoff game pic.twitter.com/Y7N2jtbPTI
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 11, 2022
Bet the UNDER on 49 points. If Philadelphia finds success behind their maulers on the offensive line, the clock could tick off faster than OVER betters would hope. With cornerback Darius Slay in Mike Evans’ hip pocket, Brady may also struggle to connect with his secondary options early in the game.
While the Eagles could give Bruce Arians’ crew a first-round scare, expect Brady to exorcise some demons from his Super Bowl 52 loss to Nick Foles and orchestrate a late-game comeback to reach the Divisional Round.
Final Score Prediction: Tampa Bay 26, Eagles 20.
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