The Washington Football Team (Redskins) won the lottery in the NFC East, escaping as the division champion with just seven wins. It doesn’t matter how you get to the playoffs as long as you get there, and the team formerly known as the Redskins will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday in a Wild Card round game. You could say the WFT has been playing playoff football all season battling division members for the title, and a win over Philly in a do-or-die regular season finale has them prepared for Tom Brady & Co. But, they did win just seven games making them a big underdog on the NFL betting line.
The Wild Card matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Football Team will take place on Saturday, January 9, 2021, at 8:15 p.m. ET at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. The game will be televised nationally on NBC.
Tampa Bay vs Washington NFL Wild Card Odds
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -9
Washington Football Team +9
The Bucs made a run for the NFC North title winning their final four games to finish a game back of the Saints at 11-5. They covered the spread in the last two games and went 4-1 ATS over their last five games. Tampa hit the board as an 8-point road favorite with that number wagered as high as -9.5 before settling at its current -9. The Bucs are a strong play with the public based on Brady’s postseason success and the fact that Washington won only seven games. And because of that we could see the line climb even higher
The Football Team isn’t going to scare opponents, but their late season surge to capture the NFC East and their first playoff berth in five years has to be noted. Winning five of their last seven games allowed Washington to claim the division thanks to the ineptness of every other team. They went 5-2 ATS during that stretch that coincided with the return of Alex Smith at quarterback. Washington is the third team in the last 11 seasons to qualify for the postseason with a losing record. The previous two won a wild card game before getting bounced in the next round.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
You want to be playing your best football at the end of the season and the Bucs are doing that. They won their last four pasting Atlanta and Detroit by a combined score of 91-34 over the last two. Brady was brought in to end Tampa’s 12-year playoff drought and he delivered. Now the Bucs are leaning on his playoff experience and six Super Bowl rings for bigger and better things. The road wasn’t always smooth. Brady tossed two interceptions in a season-opening loss to New Orleans and the questions started swirling. He finished with a flourish, though, throwing for 1,137 yards and 10 touchdowns over the last three games.
Brady directed the second-best pass offense by throwing for 4,633 yards and tied for second in the NFL with 40 touchdowns. An injury to leading receiver Mike Evans in the finale could impact the passing game. Evans hyperextended his knee and his status for Saturday is up in the air. Evans had 70 catches for 1,006 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Bucs are loaded at receiver, though, with Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin having over 100 yards and two touchdowns after Evans left the Atlanta game.
Washington Redskins Football Team
The defense better be at its best since the Football Team is unlikely to win a shootout. The late season surge was fueled by a defense that didn’t allow more than 20 points in any of its last seven games. And the unit ranked among the best in the NFL over the course of the season in several statistical categories. They will have their hands full with Brady and the Bucs, but the group proved disruptive all season led by rookie Chase Young. And for a team that went 7-9 they actually finished with a plus-6 scoring differential.
One of the better pass rushing teams, the Football Team was the best at limiting ‘chunk’ plays, allowing just 36 pass plays of 20 or more yards. They had the fourth-highest pressure percentage and registered 46 sacks with Young and Montez Sweat combining for 16.5 sacks. While the offense isn’t a juggernaut the group has done enough with Smith at the helm. The former No. 1 overall pick is 5-1 as a starter this season and 11-5 since joining the club.
Bucs vs Redskins Prediction
Best Bet: Tampa Bay -9 and UNDER 45
Washington’s defense is for real, and the Bucs are pretty good on that side of the football too, which is why I’m leaning toward the UNDER. The difference is obviously on offense where Brady and the Bucs have a big edge. They may not score a lot of points, but the Football Team won’t be able to match them. Take the visitors minus the points.