The underdog masks are back. It’s the Eagles vs Bucs… who you got?
The Philadelphia Eagles weren’t supposed to be here, that is, if you go by the season win totals posted over the summer. The Eagles had a win total of just 6.5 this season on most PA sports betting apps, but finished the season 9-8 and secured themselves a playoff spot.
Their reward? Facing Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round of the 2022 playoffs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their regular season contest between the two teams this year, 28-22. The Buccaneers controlled the ball, with almost 40 minutes of possession, while the Eagles had the ball for just 20 minutes. Tampa also outgained Philadelphia by almost 200 yards. Jalen Hurts scored two rushing touchdowns for the Eagles.
How The Eagles Stack Up vs The Bucs
In this Eagles vs Bucs game, Philadelphia is getting +8.5 at DraftKings with an over/under of 49. The sports betting lines in PA make sense when you consider the Week 6 result in Philadelphia and the three-point home-field adjustment for Tampa.
Philadelphia started the season 2-5 straight up, but finished strong, going 7-3, with their final loss of the season coming at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys starters, while Philadelphia rested most of their starters. Philadelphia also had a slew of players added to the COVID list last week and would have been unavailable anyway.
So how did the Eagles get here? It’s really as simple as winning the games they were supposed to win. Philadelphia went 8-1 against teams who finished the season with a losing record. Their lone blemish was when they traveled to East Rutherford to play the New York Giants in Week 12, falling 13-7, in what was their ugliest performance of the year.
On the flip side, the Eagles only went 1-7 against teams with winning records. That lone win came in Week 11, a 40-29 route of the New Orleans Saints, who finished the season 9-8.
Hurts led the Eagles in rushing this year with 784 yards, followed closely by Miles Sanders who ran for 754 yards. Boston Scott was a nice change of pace down the stretch. Jordan Howard and Scott have both been activated from the COVID list.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds
BIRDS vs GOAT
If the Eagles can run the ball successfully and keep Tom Brady off the field, it’s not that far-fetched that they can knock off the Bucs. They’ve beaten Brady before on a bigger stage.
Philadelphia is relatively healthy, as healthy as an NFL team can be in a 17-game season. Dallas Goedert and Fletcher Cox have also been activated from the COVID list and will be available this weekend.
Tampa Bay on the other hand is dealing with its share of injuries. Leonard Fournette, who injured his hamstring in the third quarter of Tampa’s Week 15 loss to New Orleans has returned to practice and is trending towards playing. Getting Fournette back would be a big boost to the Bucs offense and give Brady another weapon.
Chris Godwin, also injured in the Saints game, underwent knee surgery last week and is done for the year. Despite missing the last three games, Godwin led the Bucs with 98 receptions and 1,103 yards. When you factor in the recent release of Antonio Brown, Tampa is thin at wide receiver. Also injured for Tampa on the defensive side are linebackers Shaquil Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Lavonte David.
The Eagles will most likely have Darius Slay shadow Mike Evans and hope that the Pro Bowl corner can keep Evans in check.
Rob Gronkowski should get his share of targets this week with Tampa thin at linebacker. Philadelphia has struggled to cover the tight end this year.
The Eagles have allowed an average of six receptions for 60 yards per game this season to the tight end position. Philly has also allowed 13 total touchdowns to tight ends, so if you can find Gronkowski Anytime Touchdown at plus money, it may not be a bad angle.
Eagles vs Bucs Betting Odds
From a betting perspective, it’s difficult to bet against the GOAT in the playoffs.
- He is 34-11 in the playoffs
- You can lay the -380 juice on the Bucs to just win outright.
- Eagles in the underdog role again this year: +290 on the moneyline to win outright.
It’s difficult to bet on coaches in their first career playoff game. While Nick Sirianni does deserve some consideration for NFL Coach of the Year, it’s hard to make a case for a guy with no playoff experience, especially when he’s up against Tom Brady.
Taking a look at the forecast for Sunday, the weather shouldn’t be a factor, which could mean that the two teams who combined to score 50-points in Philadelphia back in October, might not have a difficult time reaching the posted total of 49 this week. The Eagles were 10-7 to the over this year, while the Bucs were 9-8.
With all the injuries the Bucs are dealing with, this game would make for a good teaser leg.
- Teasing the Buccaneers down to -2.5 or the Eagles up to +13.5, whichever way you lean, and pairing them with a team like the 49ers up to +9.
- (A two-leg six-point teaser is juiced to -120 on DraftKings).
Hammer The Over at DraftKings
- The game featured is the over in the Bills/Patriots game on Saturday night.
- For every 5,000 customers that bet the over, DraftKings will move the line down half a point.
- So you can get a little extra money to spend on the Eagles game Sunday afternoon.
The kickoff between the Eagles and Buccaneers is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday and can be seen on your local Fox affiliate.
Image credit: Matt Rourke & Michael Perez – AP