The matchup sounds sexy, but “Monday Night Football” in Week 8 pits two teams currently going in opposite directions.
The week ends with the New York Giants hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium. It’s the latest showdown between Tom Brady and the team that beat him twice in the Super Bowl as a member of the New England Patriots and the first for Brady in a Bucs uniform.
However, this one doesn’t have the same sizzle, in large part because the Patriots aren’t involved, but also because the Bucs are one of the NFL’s best teams while the Giants looked destined for a last-place finish.
Here’s the betting preview for Monday night’s game. The line, props and total are provided via consensus data.
(-12.5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants
Tampa Bay has kind of been all over the place this season as oddsmakers try to get a better idea of what the team will look like with Brady under center. The 12.5-point spread is by far Tampa’s biggest of the season. In fact, the Bucs haven’t been favorites of 12 points or more since 2007 when it beat Atlanta 37-3, at home, as 12.5-point favorites. Obviously, that has nothing to do with Monday night, but it does illustrate how much respect there is for Brady and this revamped team in this situation. Perhaps Brady’s time with the Patriots would provide some more context, no? In Brady’s final two seasons with the Patriots, New England went 8-1 as 12-point favorites or better, covering six times. However, that one straight-up loss came in the most recent instance of such a large spread when the Miami Dolphins knocked off the Patriots 27-24 in Week 17 last season, a game in which Brady completed just 55 percent of his passes while throwing an interception. This also marks the fourth time Tampa Bay has been a road favorite in 2020, with the Bucs covering in two of those three previous contests.
Betting the Giants at home this season, however, has been a losing proposition. New York’s lone win of the season did come in the Meadowlands, but the G-Men are 0-3 ATS at MetLife (as opposed to 4-0 ATS on the road). That continues a recent run of 1-8 ATS at home in the last nine games. Despite the Giants’ struggles in recent years, they’ve been getting double digits just twice since the start of last season. The offense typically hasn’t fared very well in those games, as they have just 23 points in those two contests, both losses, but they did cover one of two — a 17-9 road loss to the Los Angeles Rams earlier this season. The other time they were double-digit dogs? A 35-14 loss to Brady and the Patriots a season ago, a Thursday night game in which New York was severley banged up.
First-half line, total
Bucs -6.5, 22.5
First touchdown scorer
Mike Evans +550
Ronald Jones +750
Rob Gronkowski +1100
Wayne Gallman +1100
Darius Slayton +1800
Golden Tate +2000
Tom Brady over/under 261.5 yards
Daniel Jones over/under 220.5 yards
Ronald Jones over/under 61.5
Leonard Fournette over/under 46.5 yards
Wayne Gallman over/under 37.5 yards
Mike Evans over/under 50.5 yards
Scotty Miller over/under 47.5 yards
Darius Slayton over/under 48.5 yards
Sterling Shepard over/under 43.5 yards
Really, the only team in the NFL that looks better than Tampa Bay right now is the Pittsburgh Steelers, and that’s probably up for debate. But this comes down to the Giants more than anything; what do they do well? It’s hard to find much of anything, as they’re near the bottom of the NFL in all the encouraging stats and near the top when it comes to the bad analytics. New York turns it over way too much, while the Bucs have forced 12 turnovers already this season. The one thing the Giants do that is (barely) better than league average, it’s run the ball. Unfortunately for them, Tampa Bay’s run defense ranks No. 2 by Football Outsiders’ DVOA (and No. 1 overall). It’s hard to see where the points come from for New York, while Brady and the Bucs offense is humming along.