NFL Point Spread Picks - NFL Wild Card
PHILADELPHIA @ TAMPA BAY -8.5
The Bucs are at it again and after a roller coaster ride, Fournette is back to boost the offense and last week we saw Evans. Lavonte David, JPP, and Shaquil back so the defense is definitely healthier. This defense ended the season ranked #9th and for the most time was never completely healthy and now will benefit greatly against the #3 rush offense of the Eagles.
Here's why I'm backing the Bucs. The Eagles went on a 6-2 run at the end of the season to sneak into the playoffs but who did they beat? Lions, Jets, Giants (2), WFT (with covid). Their competition was terrible but it did hype up the team. Now they are getting over 70% of the money and bettors forget who's on the other side. I think people are also looking at last year's Bucs game vs Washington with a similar spread. The Bucs won of course but didn't cover.
These two teams faced each other in October and although the final score was 28-22, Tampa dominated that game. The first fourteen points for the Eagles were on 50+ yard penalties. The defense was rushing Hurtz but at the same time preventing him to run for big yardage. No Gronk. Again, a much healthier defense now. In this game, the Bucs were 7 point favorites on the road.
This year home favorite over a TD but less than double digits went 11-6 ATS (64.7%). My models don't have the Bucs covering by much more than the spread likely a more fair price for this game is 9.5 or 10 so there's some value at 8.5.
When the Bucs take a double digit lead, the run offense for the Eagles goes away making it very difficult to make a comeback.
The Pick: Bucs -8.5
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