Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons Betting Preview

Sunday, December 20, 2020, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia, 1 p.m. ET

Buccaneers at Falcons Betting Preview: Buccaneers (-5.5/-114), Falcons (+5.5/-106)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It’s safe to say that no team needed a bye week more than Tampa Bay two weeks ago. The Buccaneers had the rare, unwanted distinction of playing 12 straight weeks before getting their bye. They and NFC South-rival Carolina joined the 2016 Titans and Browns in getting the latest bye weeks in league history.

The rest couldn’t have hurt Tampa Bay last week in a 26-14 win over Minnesota. The Buccaneers played a clean game with no turnovers and only five penalties, taking advantage of a bevy of missed chances and mistakes from the Vikings.

But Tampa Bay may be shorthanded this week if Ronald Jones II, the fourth-leading rusher in the NFL with 900 yards, is sidelined after going on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. Leonard Fournette is likely to start if Jones, who also has a fractured left pinkie, can’t go, and Tom Brady may have to carry a bigger load.                            

Atlanta Falcons

The offseason surprise in Atlanta would be if big changes didn’t occur. A third straight losing season, coupled with the firing of coach Dan Quinn after an 0-5 start, means the status quo isn’t going to cut it for owner Arthur Blank or the fans.

All the Falcons can do now is impact someone’s postseason. They get two cracks at Tampa Bay in the season’s final weeks, sandwiched around a trip to 12-1 Kansas City. If misery loves company, as the old cliché goes, Atlanta has a chance to take a division rival with it.

For the Falcons to haunt the Buccaneers’ offseason, they have to protect quarterback Matt Ryan. He’s been sacked 33 times and is facing a team that has bagged 40 sacks. If Atlanta can keep Ryan upright, he could enjoy a big game, particularly if wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) can return from injury.     

Buccaneers at Falcons Betting Pick for Week 15

Tampa Bay needs to be ready to play. The worst thing it can do against a 4-9 team three weeks away from the offseason is to stumble around, let them take an early lead and allow them to believe they can pull the upset.

The Buccaneers’ ability to pressure Ryan will be critical, because if they don’t, Jones and Calvin Ridley are capable of lighting up a suspect secondary. In the end, Brady moves a step closer to a playoff berth with his new team.           

Buccaneers at Falcons Betting Pick:

Buccaneers 30, Falcons 24.

Buccaneers at Falcons Best Bet for Week 15

Go to the tool kit, take out the hammer and use it on the over without hesitation. Recent trends point in the direction of a high-scoring game. In seven of Atlanta’s last eight games against Tampa Bay, the over has been the correct play. So don’t be stunned when Tom Brady finds Rob Gronkowski a time or two in the end zone, and bet on Ryan teaming up with Jones and Ridley for a couple of scores.          

Buccaneers at Falcons Best Bet: OVER 50 total points (-110)

Minnesota Vikings at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Preview

Sunday, December 13, 2020, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida, 1 p.m. ET

Vikings at Buccaneers Betting Preview: Vikings (+6.5/-105), Buccaneers (-6.5/-115)

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings (6-6) are shooting for their sixth win in the past seven games as they ride a hot trio of offensive players. Kirk Cousins has topped 300 yards and thrown three touchdown passes in each of the past three games. He has 14 touchdown passes against two interceptions during the team’s 5-1 stretch. Running back Dalvin Cook had 179 scrimmage yards (120 rushing, 59 receiving) on a career-best 38 touches against the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday and ranks second in the NFL with 1,250 rushing yards.

The most surprising efforts have come from rookie receiver Justin Jefferson, who ranks fourth in the NFL with 1,039 yards while scoring seven touchdowns among his 61 catches. Five-time Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith is exhibiting his customary strong play, and he leads the Vikings with four interceptions. Linebacker Eric Kendricks (team-best 107 tackles) is over 100 for the fifth straight season and is expected to play despite missing practice Wednesday due to a calf injury.

Tight end Kyle Rudolph (foot) sat out Wednesday. His status is one to watch as he has started 97 consecutive games. Backup running back Alexander Mattison (appendectomy) missed last week’s game and likely will sit out again.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers (7-5) return from a well-timed bye that followed a stretch of three losses in four games. Tampa Bay is three games behind New Orleans in the NFC South, so the focus is on earning a wild-card spot, which is certainly helped by their final three contests coming against the Atlanta Falcons (two) and the Detroit Lions. Tampa Bay will rely on the likes of outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul (8.5 sacks) and cornerback Carlton Davis (four interceptions) when it comes to slowing down the Minnesota offense.

Quarterback Tom Brady appeared to be finding his stride when he went four games without an interception, but he has been picked off seven times over the last four games. Brady has passed for 3,300 yards, 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions but hasn’t fully clicked with the methods of coach Bruce Arians. Wideout Mike Evans has 11 touchdown catches. Tight end Rob Gronkowski had his best outing of the season with six receptions for 106 yards in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that preceded the bye.

Receiver Chris Godwin, a Pro Bowl selection last season, had the pins removed from his fractured left index finger earlier this week and is expected to be fine by Sunday. Cornerback Jamel Dean has cleared the concussion protocol but is dealing with a groin injury that leaves his status in doubt.

Vikings at Buccaneers Betting Pick for Week 13

The Buccaneers are rested and refreshed after the bye and focused on finishing strong. The Vikings have been hot but were pushed into overtime by the lowly Jaguars last week.

Cousins has been on a roll, but you never know when he will revert to being the quarterback who was picked off multiple times in three of the first six games of the season. Brady is well aware he needs to raise his level of play, and this game looks to be the time to start.

Vikings at Buccaneers Betting Pick:

Buccaneers 34, Vikings 28

Vikings at Buccaneers Best Bet for Week 13

Playmakers are all over the field with Cook, Jefferson and wideout Adam Thielen (12 receiving touchdowns) for the Vikings and Evans, Godwin, Gronkowski, wideout Antonio Brown and running back Ronald Jones II for the Buccaneers. Expect the scoreboard to be busy.

Vikings at Buccaneers Best Bet: OVER 51.5 total points (-110)

OddsUSA’s NFL Best Bets for Week 12: A Young Buck vs. the Old G.O.A.T

Happy Wednesday football fans and welcome back to our weekly edition of best picks for the upcoming slate of NFL games. Last week, I predicted close wins for the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Additionally, I picked that the Steelers would win big.

The Chiefs edged the Las Vegas Raiders by a 35-31 margin, while the Steelers beat up the Jacksonville Jaguars to the tune of 27-3. Unfortunately, the Packers prevented me from earning a perfect week as they fell to the Indianapolis Colts 34-31 despite leading by a 28-14 margin at halftime.

On the heels of another 2-1 week, my record stands at 25-7. Not too shabby, but I’m still somewhat disappointed because I was so close to a 3-0 week. Now that I’m done ranting a bit, here’s a look at my top outright picks for Week 12.

Week 12 NFL Best Bet No. 1: Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I have to admit not having the defending champs as my absolute safest pick feels a bit strange, to say the least. Out of all the times I’ve gone with KC this season, this is the slimmest point spread, which makes me a little bit hesitant.

On the other hand, as is the case with most matchups, I’m going to ride the hot hand. And although the Chiefs needed a late-game scoring drive to edge the Raiders, they have won five straight since a 40-32 loss in Week 5 against, you guessed it, the Las Vegas Raiders. That being said, I’m going to go with the reigning champs to push their win streak to six games.

James’ pick: Chiefs win by less than a field goal

Week 12 NFL Best Bet No. 2: Seattle Seahawks (-5) at Philadelphia Eagles

The Seattle Seahawks have dropped two of their previous three and three of their last five games overall following a 5-0 start. Furthermore, while the Seahawks are a formidable home team, they are just 2-3 on the road.

On the other side of the coin, the Eagles are in first place in the NFC East. But don’t be deceived as they are 3-6 -1 in the worst division in the NFL. Given the fact that the Eagles have dropped their last two games, scoring 17 points in both contests, they won’t be able to keep up with one of the highest-scoring teams in the league.

James’ pick: Seahawks win by a field goal

James’ NFL Best Bet of Week 12: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)

James’ NFL Best Bet of Week 12: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)

Yes, the Packers squandered a golden opportunity despite jumping out to a 14-point lead against one of the better defensive units in the league. Yes, they did keep me from posting a perfect mark in Week 11.

However, there are a few reasons why Aaron Rodgers and Co. are my safe pick this time around. As a guy that was born and raised in the Windy City, I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on the Bears this season. Sure, they got off to a 5-1 start. However, that proved to be fool’s gold as they have dropped their last four games.

Meanwhile, the Packers are 3-3 in their last six games following a 4-0 start. When it comes to the Bears, though, betting against the green and gold would not be a good call. Not only are the Packers the better team this season, they always seem to be the better team when these rivals square off.

In fact, dating back to 2015, the Packers have won eight of the previous 10 meetings between these two teams. While the Bears’ defense has played well, they continue to struggle on offense. Having said that, look for the Packers’ dominance to continue against their division rival. At the same time, I’m a bit cautious about the point spread given the fact that their margin of victory exceeded 10 points just twice in those eight wins.

James’ pick: Packers win outright in a close one

Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Preview

Kansas City Chiefs

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs (9-1) own the second-best record in the NFL as they look to boost their winning streak to six games. Mahomes has passed for a league-best 3,035 yards and also owns a superb ratio of 27 touchdowns to two interceptions, helping Kansas City lead the NFL in scoring with a 32.1 average.

Wideout Tyreek Hill had a season-best 11 receptions last Sunday in a 35-31 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. He has topped 100 yards in back-to-back games and scored six touchdowns over the past four contests. The Chiefs have been soft on defense the past two games, allowing 31 each time while beating the Carolina Panthers and Raiders by a combined six points. Kansas City has experienced consistency issues from its pass rush with just 19 sacks total. defensive ends Chris Jones (31 sacks the previous three seasons) has 5.5 and Frank Clark (40 from 2016-19) has four, but the two haven’t been as solid as recent campaigns.

Safety Daniel Sorensen is enjoying a stellar season with team-best totals of 61 tackles and three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) while sharing the lead with two forced fumbles. Tight end Travis Kelce, who is just 104 yards away from his fifth straight 1,000-yard season, was a full practice participant on Wednesday despite having a pectoral injury. Jones (groin) also practiced in full and should be fine for the contest.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Veteran quarterback Tom Brady looks to bounce back from a lackluster performance in which he threw two costly interceptions during a 27-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday. The Buccaneers (7-4) likely need a strong effort from Brady (2,955 yards, 25 touchdowns) to keep pace with the Chiefs as opposed to getting the version of Brady who has three multi-interception games and nine picks overall this season.

Receiver Antonio Brown is getting comfortable in the offense that averages 29.1 points, hauling in 15 receptions over the past two games. The Buccaneers totaled just 42 yards on the ground against the Rams with Ronald Jones II (754 rushing yards on the season) getting only 24. Consistency issues have plagued Jones all season as he has four outings of more than 100 yards and five of 34 or fewer.

Outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul recorded his fourth career interception with a pick against the Rams and also has a team-best 7.5 sacks while standout inside linebacker Devin White ranks third in the NFL with 97 tackles. Cornerback Jamel Dean (concussion) likely will miss the contest after getting injured on Monday.

The offensive line is ailing with left tackle Donovan Smith (ankle) and center A.Q. Shipley (neck) both hurt while standout left guard Ali Marpet (concussion) isn’t certain to be cleared. Marpet could miss his fourth straight contest.

Chiefs at Buccaneers Betting Pick for Week 12

Mahomes vs. Brady feels like a mismatch, and that might best describe where the two quarterbacks currently stand in their careers. Mahomes is clicking on all cylinders all the time. Brady is still trying to get accustomed to the Bruce Arians way of offense, and ill-advised throws directly to defenders amplify the issues.

Kansas City has lost five straight games to the Buccaneers since the Joe Montana-led 1993 team posted a 27-3 win over Steve DeBerg and Tampa Bay. That streak should end in this one as the Buccaneers will need to thrive in a shootout to slay the Chiefs.

Chiefs at Buccaneers Betting Pick: Chiefs 45, Buccaneers 35

Chiefs at Buccaneers Best Bet for Week 12

Points will be scored … and scored … and scored … as the Chiefs will keep the scoreboard busy. Brady’s receiving arsenal will see many balls come their way as the Buccaneers will have time to throw against a sagging Kansas City pass rush.

Chiefs at Buccaneers Best Bet: OVER 55.5 total points (-115)

Week 12 Super Bowl Odds: Did Another Steelers’ Win Move Them Ahead of KC?

Hello NFL fans and welcome back to our weekly column where we’ve been discussing the list of teams that are considered legitimate title contenders. A week ago, the Kansas City Chiefs, the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, and New Orleans Saints rounded out the coveted list.

Since all three of these teams won last week, there wasn’t too much of a shakeup in where they rank from a betting standpoint. However, being that two teams currently share the second-best odds; I’m going to include four teams on the list instead of three. With that said, here’s a look at the teams with the best odds to win the big game in 2021.

Third-Best Super Bowl Odds: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1100). Last Week (NR)

It has been a while since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in the discussion as a potential title favorite, but here we are. Thanks, to a few additions – namely Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski – the expectations for this team increased dramatically from a season ago. And the Bucs have lived up to those expectations, for the most part, posting six wins through their first eight games.

However, they’ve hit a rough patch recently, dropping two of their last three outings. This includes a poor showing in a 38-3 loss against the Saints in Week 9 and a 27-24 loss against the Rams on Monday Night Football.

Things don’t get any easier for Tampa Bay as they will face off against the Chiefs in Week 12. On the other hand, their last four games are against sub .500 teams, which means that the Bucs could still be in the hunt for a playoff berth with a strong finish down the stretch.

Second-Best Super Bowl Odds: New Orleans Saints (+550). Last Week (+650)

Let’s give a huge shoutout to the Saints. After posting a 1-2 mark in their first three games, they’ve reeled off seven straight victories to improve to 8-2 on the season. Not only that, but they’ve done so without the services of Drew Brees, who has been sidelined with an injury over the last six quarters and is expected to miss a few more games.

Second-Best Super Bowl Odds: Pittsburgh Steelers (+550). Last Week (No Change)

Despite the Saints’ impressive 8-2 mark, though, the Steelers should get the nod as the team with the second-best odds, if not the odds-on favorite altogether.

The Steelers are the lone undefeated team in the NFL. They are ranked fourth in total defense (306.9 yards per game); third in passing yards allowed per outing (203.5) and seventh in rushing yards allowed (103.4). Furthermore, the Steelers are allowing just 17.4 points per game and their last three opponents have scored a total of 32 points combined. Given the fact that Brees will be on the shelf for the foreseeable future, look for the Steelers to solidify their hold on the No. 2 spot.

Super Bowl Odds Favorites: Kansas City Chiefs (+300). Last week (+350)

The Chiefs have been considered the odds-on favorite for quite some time now and that trend continues going into Week 12. KC started the season with victories in each of their first four games before a 40-32 setback against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5.

Since that little hiccup, the Chiefs have rattled off five straight wins and have the second-best record in the NFL at 9-1. While the margin of victory in their last two games is a combined six points, the Chiefs are one of the hottest teams in the league right now.

Additionally, the aerial attack is starting to round into form (over 340 yards in each of the last three outings), which could be a troublesome trend for opposing teams down the stretch. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, this should be a two-team race between the Chiefs and Steelers the rest of the way.

Reports: Jameis Winston To Sign With The Saints

Former Buccaneers’ QB expected to sign a one-year deal with New Orleans

After an off-season of QBs moving all over the place, it appears that Jameis Winston will be continuing his NFL career in the NFC South. Earlier today, sources told Yahoo Sports the former number one overall draft pick is finalizing a deal with the New Orleans Saints. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the deal between Winston and New Orleans is for only one year. The details of Winston’s salary for this upcoming season have not yet been released.

Previously, Jameis Winston had been serving as Quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since the start of the 2015 season. After Tampa Bay signed QB Tom Brady this off-season, the Bucs decided to let Winston’s contract expire, allowing him to become a free agent. After more than a month of trades and acquisitions, Winston finally has a new home.

Sources told Yahoo Sports that Winston’s role in the Saints’ offense is not yet clear. Furthermore, the sources are saying that Winston is not guaranteed the back-up job behind starting QB Drew Brees. It appears that Winston will have to compete with QB Taysom Hill for the number two spot on the Quarterback depth chart. New Orleans also selected Mississippi State Quarterback Tommy Stevens in a later round of this year’s NFL Draft, so Winston will likely have to compete against Stevens as well.

Jameis Winston has played in the NFL for five seasons after being taken with the number one overall pick in the 2015 Draft by Tampa Bay. Over the last five years, Winston has completed 61.3% of his passes for 19737 Passing Yards and 121 Passing Touchdowns. Winston earned Pro Bowl honors in 2015 and also led the NFL in passing yards last season as well as interceptions thrown. He turned 26 this past January.

Update: Gronkowski Traded To Buccaneers

We have new information regarding the trade between New England and Tampa Bay

An NFL legend is coming out of retirement and returning to the football field. According to Adam Schefter’s sources, Tight End Rob Gronkowski officially passed his physical, which means he is now officially a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gronkowski will now be reunited with former teammate Tom Brady.

Around 4:00 PM EST earlier today, Adam Schefter reported that sources told ESPN the Pats were trading Gronk to the Buccaneers. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that the Patriots will receive the Bucs’ Fourth-Round pick in the NFL draft in exchange for Gronkowski and a Seventh-Round Pick. The trade was later confirmed by Gronk’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

Rosenhaus also told Schefter that “he [Gronkowski] will honor his current contract at this time.”‬ The Five-time Pro Bowler currently has one year remaining on his contract and is owed $9 million. He is set to turn 31 next month.

Rob Gronkowski initially retired in March of 2019 following nine years with the New England Patriots. In his time off, Gronk joined Fox Sports as an analyst and also signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment. While with the company, he hosted Wrestlemania 36 and won the WWE 24/7 Championship.

This will be just the second team Rob Gronkowski has ever played for in the NFL. During the first part of his career with the Patriots, he won three Super Bowls and was named a First-Team All-Pro four times.

Report: Gronkowski Traded To Buccaneers

Patriots and Buccaneers have reportedly agreed to a trade involving Rob Gronkowski

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Patriots have agreed to trade TE Rob Gronkowski to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Pats are expected to send Gronk and a Seventh-Round pick to the Bucs for Tampa Bay’s Fourth-Round pick. The trade will become official once Gronkowski passes a physical.

Earlier, Schefter’s sources told him that the teams had been discussing a trade ahead of the NFL Draft on Thursday. Rob Gronkowski is currently under contract for one year and $10 million. He will be turning 31 next month.

Rob Gronkowski initially announced his retirement from the NFL in March of 2019 after a nine-year career. He was named to five Pro Bowls and was a First-Team All-Pro four times during his time with the Patriots. He was also an integral part of three New England Patriot Super Bowl wins.

Gronk had an exciting career outside of football, even though it was brief. He served as an analyst for Fox Sports’ NFL Programming team. He also signed a contract with the WWE in 2020. He went on to host Wrestlemania 36 which aired earlier this month. He also became the WWE 24/7 Champion during his time with the WWE.

Gronkowski never ruled out a return to football during his time away from the game. ESPN says that Gronk always indicated he wanted to reunite with former teammate Tom Brady, who signed with Tampa Bay in March. Now, he will get that opportunity.

This upcoming season will be Gronk’s tenth in the NFL and his first with a team besides the Patriots. He has recorded 521 career receptions for 7861 career receiving yards and 79 Touchdowns during the first nine years of his career.