NFL Betting Analysis and Predictions: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will start their quest to defend their Super Bowl title on Sunday when they host the Philadelphia Eagles.
This Wild Card matchup is a rematch from Tampa Bay’s Week 6 win over the Eagles, 28-22. Philadelphia managed to cover the 7-point spread in that contest, and the Eagles find themselves as underdogs once again at +8 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Here is a breakdown of the first NFC playoff game.
Playoffs weren’t on the radar during the Eagles 3-6 start. There were questions about Jalen Hurts’ ability as a starting quarterback in the league and a disgruntled fan threw a bouquet of flowers at first-year head coach Nick Sirianni following the sixth loss of the season.
Earlier in the year, Sirianni used a bad metaphor, comparing “growth under the soil” and using a flower to show his young players there’s progress during difficult moments. So yeah, that was interesting.
Since that flower incident, the Eagles won six of their next eight games by adopting a run-first approach. They have the highest run-pass ratio (52% to 48%) in the NFL and rank third in Football Outsiders’ rushing DVOA.
But a look at their closing schedule makes the 6-2 record appear not as impressive. One win was against the Detroit Lions, while another was over the New York Jets. Another came versus the New York Giants and two others were from beating the Washington Football Team, which lost four of its last five games.
Tampa Bay’s Repeat Journey
Similar to last season, the Buccaneers start their postseason run with an NFC East opponent. Tampa Bay defeated the Washington Football Team 31-23 in the Wild Card round before eventually beating the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
Tampa Bay also closed the season on a run, winning seven of its last eight games. This season, the Buccaneers also went 5-1 against playoff teams, including the regular season win over the Eagles, where Tampa Bay dominated much of the game and led 28-7 in the third quarter.
Tom Brady will deservedly receive most of the attention in the postseason, but it’s Tampa Bay’s defense that will be key to the Buccaneers repeating, especially against the run-oriented Eagles. The Buccaneers allowed the third-least rushing yards this season at 1,573 and is fifth in Expected Points Added per play against the run while giving up a 38.1% success rate.
Who to Bet on in the Buccaneers vs. Eagles Game
Before the season started, DraftKings gave me a free $100 bet on any NFL futures wager. I decided to throw $100 on the Eagles to win it all at +10000, so for that reason, I’ll personally be cheering for the Eagles to win outright.
But the stats and Tampa Bay’s dominance points towards the Buccaneers covering the 8-point spread.
Pick: Tampa Bay –8.
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