The Buccaneers are the defending Super Bowl champs. There has not been much of a hangover, either, as they followed that up with an NFC South Division-winning season. Tampa Bay has not had a smooth ride with injuries and more drama of late than any team would like. There is still more than enough talent for the Bucs to be a force in the playoffs, though.
Philadelphia was supposed to be in a development year this season. I am still not sure the Eagles totally believe in QB Jalen Hurts, but they have found a way to win with him. They are first in the NFL in rushing and play good enough defense most of the time. A win this weekend is a tall ask, though, especially on the road.
This game is likely to be a pretty easy win for the Bucs. I think we will know for sure after the first drive for each team whether the Eagles have enough to really compete. They are ahead of schedule, which is encouraging.
Philadelphia Eagles (9-8) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4)
Sunday Jan. 16, 2022
1:00 PM ET
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Betting Odds (as of Thursday, Jan. 13th)
Spread: Eagles +8.5 (-110), Bucs -8.5 (--110)
Moneyline: Eagles +330, Bucs -405
Bets I Like
Jalen Hurts Under 0.5 Interceptions (+115)
I am sure you will notice that all of these bets are on the Philly side of things. That does not mean I think an upset is brewing, that is just where the values look better. For this one, the Eagles know that the less Hurts has to throw the better. He has been much better down the stretch, too, with just one interception in his last four games. Tampa is good at taking the ball away but getting this kind of payoff for something that happens more often than not is good value.
Josh Sweat To Record a Sack (+400)
For Philadelphia to have any chance against Tampa it has to put pressure on Tom Brady. Sweat closed the season strong with multi-sack games in two of his last three starts. He did not play in the Eagles' final game of the season, though, due to illness, so watch the injury reports. He will not get as much attention as some of the other Eagles defensive linemen, and I like the payoff for him to breakthrough and bring down Brady at least once.
Eagles Over 17.5 Points (+105)
The Eagles are not at the same level as the Bucs on offense, but they have been a consistent scoring team down the stretch. They have scored more than 20 points in all but two games this season. I think Tampa's defense is overrated this season. The Bucs are fifth in scoring defense (20.8 PPG) but just 13th in yards allowed. They have not faced a team with a functional offense in more than a month, too.