Tampa Tom is ready for postseason play.
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will travel to FedEx Field on Saturday night to face the NFC East champion Washington Football Team as part of the NFL’s Super Wild Card Weekend.
The No. 5 seeded Buccaneers enter the NFC playoffs with an 11-5 record after concluding their regular season with four consecutive wins. The Football Team will look to make a name for themselves this postseason, entering with a 7-9 record after a division-clinching Week 17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Here’s a betting preview ahead of Tampa Bay-Washington:
(-8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team
The Buccaneers are one of two road favorites this weekend and possess the second largest line behind the New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay opened as a seven-point favorite.
Tampa Bay was 9-7 against the spread this season, including a 4-4 road clip. It was the same story against the total, too. Brady’s Bucs cashed in on the over in nine of their 16 games, but did so just five times in eight away games.
Washington measures in eerily similar. The Football Team is an identical 9-7 against the spread on the campaign, including a 5-3 record at home. The total hasn’t been as favorable to Washington as the no-name team beat the total in just five of its 16 games with two wins in six home games. It’s a mixture that makes even a low total like 45 rather intriguing.
First-half line, total
Tampa Bay -5.5, 23.5
First touchdown scorer
Ronald Jones +750
Antonio Gibson +900
Antonio Brown +900
Chris Godwin +900
Mike Evans +900
Rob Gronkowski +1050
JD McKissic +1400
Leonard Fournette +1400
Terry McLaurin +1500
Tom Brady over/under 292.5
Terry McLaurin over/under 68.5
Logan Thomas over/under 38.5
JD McKissic over/under 31.5
Antonio Gibson over/under 12.5
Ronald Jones over/under 56.5
Antonio Gibson over/under 47.5
JD McKissic over/under 21.5
Leonard Fournette over/under 20.5
PICK: Tampa Bay -8
Doesn’t this just feel like a spot where Brady goes off in front of the national audience? Apparently Washington defensive end Chase Young didn’t get that memo, further fueling a fire which has never burned brighter. Young, as you may recall, offered a little trash talk to Brady. And while the 43-year-old did his usual Tommy Two Step and deflected about the topic, he won’t forget it.
Brady has propelled the 11-5 Buccaneers to finish as the second best passing attack in yards and touchdowns. It helped Tampa Bay to the third best scoring offense which was seventh in total yardage. Oh yeah, and they’re not too bad on the other side of the ball either. The Buccaneers have the league’s best run defense, which has propelled them to finish sixth in yards allowed and eighth in points allowed.
On the other sideline, the reality is Washington barely won the worst division in football. The Football Team was the only playoff team to finish below .500, claiming the NFC East over three other teams who recorded six wins or less. The Football Team, which has been led by its pass defense (second fewest yards allowed) this season, just doesn’t feature an offense — 25th in points scored, 30th in yards — that can keep up.