The Las Vegas Raiders are coming off the biggest win in team history. Of course it’s not much since the historical data goes back less than two months. But Vegas was able to do something the team by the Bay couldn’t in its last five tries: beat Kansas City. That win launched the Raiders into the thick of the AFC West race and it was more impressive because of how they did it. Derek Carr outperformed Patrick Mahomes in that one and he faces another former NFL and Super Bowl MVP when Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit the Nevada desert on Sunday Night Football.
The matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Las Vegas Raiders will take place Sunday, October 25, 2020, at 8:20 p.m. ET at Allegiant Stadium. The game will be broadcast nationally on NBC.
Bucs vs Raiders NFL Odds
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3
Las Vegas Raiders +3
Following their near flawless performance in a dismantling of the previously unbeaten Packers, the Bucs hit the board as a 2-point favorite for this rare interconference battle. Action on the visitors moved the line up a point to -3 despite the Raiders huge win over KC in Week 5. The off week may have cooled some bettors as did the news that several Vegas offensive linemen were sent home during the week due to COVID protocols. As of now the game is still on schedule. The total dipped a half-point to its current 53. The Bucs romped to a 38-10 win over Green Bay in Week 6 easily covering the 3-point line to improve to 3-3 ATS. Vegas stopped a two-game losing streak beating KC outright 40-32 as an 11-point dog. The Raiders have played over the total four times with a push going 3-2 SU.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Even with the GOAT behind center, the Bucs’ offense has been inconsistent at best. Brady lost track of downs in a 20-19 loss to the Bears where he threw for 253 yards in the team’s lowest scoring game of the season. Sandwiched around that contest were 38-point efforts in wins over the Chargers and Packers. The persona of Brady takes all the attention away from Tampa’s defense, which has been one of the best in the NFL through six weeks.
The Bucs put on a stifling performance last week holding Aaron Rodgers to 160 yards passing and the Packers to 201 total yards. They sacked Rodgers four times and picked him off twice. The interceptions by Mike Edwards and Jamel Dean were the first of the season for Rodgers, who hadn’t thrown multiple interceptions in a game since 2017. Tampa has the NFL’s best total defense surrendering 282 yards per game while surrendering just over 20 points per outing.
Brady didn’t do much last week throwing for 166 yards and a pair of scores yet the Bucs still put up 38 points. Dean’s interception was returned for a touchdown starting an avalanche of points after the Bucs fell behind 10-0. Ronald Jones helped take care of the rest. Running for 113 yards and a pair of scores, Jones hit triple-digits for a third straight game. Brady and Jones could have a big night against a Raiders defense that allows nearly 400 yards and over 30 points a game.
Las Vegas Raiders
Every team looks forward to its bye week though that probably wasn’t the case for the Raiders, who had momentum from a win over the Super Bowl champs interrupted. Vegas overcame a 21-10 first half deficit getting 347 yards and three touchdowns from Carr in the passing game while racking up 490 total yards. Coming off a bye, though, the Raiders have struggled losing their last three games following a dead week by a combined 57 points with none closer than 14 points.
Carr has faced an excruciating amount of criticism for his injury issues and turnover problems over the years. Right now he’s among the best in the NFL directing a productive and efficient offense. He’s completing over 73 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns and just one interception. He has the second-best passer rating behind only Russell Wilson at 115.9.
Defense has been another story allowing nearly 400 yards per game while conceding an average of 30.4 points. They were able to stop the Chiefs long enough for the offense to make a charge, but still gave up 340 yards to Mahomes. And they haven’t been able to create turnovers with a league-low three takeaways on the year. The Raiders are next to last in the NFL with a minus-4 turnover margin.
Buccaneers vs Raiders Prediction
Prediction: Buccaneers -3 and UNDER 53
Despite the presence of Brady the Bucs are winning with a relentless defense, something Carr and the Raiders will have a tough time penetrating. Tampa’s balance on offense makes them tough to defend and with Gronk getting more involved he’ll be a matchup problem for Vegas. Like many I’m not sold on Carr and would rather have Brady leading my team, which is why backing the visitors minus the points is a smart play