Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Philadelphia Eagles Betting Preview

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Philadelphia Eagles Betting Preview

Sunday’s Wild Card action gets underway with the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers beginning their quest to repeat by hosting the Philadelphia Eagles. These teams met in Philly back in October, with the Bucs holding on for a 28-22 win after leading 28-7 in the third quarter. For this game, the Bucs are favored by 8.5 points at home with an over/under of 46 points.

Tampa enters the postseason with a lot of momentum. The Bucs are riding a three-game winning streak after crushing the Panthers 41-17 last week. They have also won seven of their last eight games, finishing the regular season 13-4.

On the other hand, the Eagles decided to take it easy last week and rest some key players with a playoff spot already secured. The result was a 51-26 home loss at the hands of Dallas. The hope is that the Eagles can quickly get back on track after winning four in a row and six of seven prior to Week 18.

Run, Eagles, Run

Philly’s hopes in the playoffs all hinge on the ability to run the ball. The Eagles finished the season with the best rushing attack in the NFL despite a revolving door at running back due to injuries. It almost doesn’t matter what running back plays because Jalen Hurts will help move the ball on the ground, although Hurts was a little uneven as a passer late in the season.

The Eagles also head into the playoffs with some defensive concerns after giving up 51 points last week, albeit with some starts missing. Before the loss to Dallas, the Philadelphia defense had held six of seven opponents to 17 points or less. However, the Eagles played mostly subpar offensive teams during that stretch, so they will be challenged this week, especially since the Eagles are average at best in creating turnovers and pressuring the quarterback.

The Old Man

At age 44, Tom Brady still put together the kind of season that should have him near the top of the list of MVP contenders. But Brady’s problem could be his surrounding cast with Chris Godwin hurt, Antonio Brown out of the picture, and Ronald Jones listed as doubtful. On the other hand, Brady had seven touchdown passes and just one interception over his last three games, with the Bucs averaging 33.7 points per game during that span following a shutout loss to the Saints.

On the other side of the ball, the Tampa Bay defense looks read to be an equal partner in another Super Bowl run. The Bucs finished the season fifth in the NFL in scoring defense, conceding just 20.8 points per game. The only caveat is that the Tampa defense is a little banged up, including Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul, although they remain strong at all three levels, even if a couple of players aren’t full strength.

The Quest Continues

It’s going to take more than a few missing players and a good running team to knock Brady and company out of the playoffs. The Eagles aren’t quite a complete team, and they don’t have a quarterback who can overcome their shortcomings the way Tampa does. Bet on the Bucs to win and cover against the Eagles on Sunday.

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