Believe it or not there is a football game being played in Foxboro this weekend. While all the pregame talk swirls around Tom Brady and his return to the northeast, his Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off their first loss of the season.
Brady looks to get things right against the team he won six of his championship rings with, the New England Patriots. All the hype will focus on the Brady vs. Bill Belichick relationship, but when the game kicks off all that matters is between the lines. And the Bucs have moved to a significant 7-point road favorite for the Sunday Night Football showcase.
The Week 4 NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots will take place at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA at 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 2 and will be televised on NBC.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New England Patriots Odds
Buccaneers -7 | Patriots +7 [BET NOW]
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New England Patriots Money Line
Buccaneers -320 | Patriots +260 [BET NOW]
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New England Patriots Over/Under
Over/Under 49 [BET NOW]
I can’t recall the Patriots ever being a 7-point home dog when Brady was their quarterback. I guess that’s just the Brady effect. The Bucs hit the board laying 5.5-points, which was a significant number. But the public jumped on Brady and the Bucs with the line wagered to TB -7.
Seeing how things have gone since the QB/coach split ahead of last season, it’s easy to see why the Bucs are getting so much love. Tampa suffered its first loss last week, 34-24, to the Rams as a 1-point favorite falling to 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS. They cashed the OVER in all three games. The Pats fell at home 28-13 to the Saints last week and are 0-2 SU and ATS inside Gillette Stadium. The total has been wagered down to 49 after hitting the board at 50.5.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Points haven’t been an issue for the Bucs until last week when their streak of scoring at least 30 points a game ended at nine in the loss to the Rams. Still the Bucs are second in the NFL averaging 34.3 points and Brady leads the second-ranked pass attack with 1,087 yards. It’s hard to imagine Brady not wanting to light up the scoreboard against his former team and especially against his former coach. As long as he doesn’t over think it he probably could.
The offense will need to get more from the run game, though. Brady tried to do it all by himself last week throwing for 432 yards on 55 pass attempts. Falling behind by two touchdowns early in the second half and the Rams stuffing the run, Brady had no choice but to throw the ball. And when your mid-40s quarterback is the leading rusher you know you’re in trouble. The Bucs managed only 35 yards with Brady getting 14 and a score on his three carries.
The Bucs never had a chance since their defense couldn’t slow down LA’s attack. The Rams averaged 6.5 yards per play and converted 10 of 15 third down chances. Tampa’s NFL worst pass defense allowed Matthew Stafford to throw for 343 yards and four touchdowns. The club reached out to Richard Sherman earlier this week in an attempt to bolster the secondary.
New England Patriots
Mac Jones had his welcome-to-the-NFL moment last week when he tossed three interceptions in a loss to the Saints. Jones and the offense are still a work in progress and more games like what we saw last week are expected. The hope for Belichick and Josh McDaniel is that the pick rate goes down. Granted they weren’t all Jones’ fault, but that stat goes next to his name.
And until the offense starts to come around, and there’s no guarantee that it will, the Pats will rely on the guys manning the other side of the football. The defense actually did a nice job holding the Saints to just 252 total yards, but the rookie mistakes proved fatal. Jones’ first two picks led to New Orleans touchdowns and the third ended the game. It’s easy to say the quarterback matchup is heavily skewed in favor of Brady, but don’t count Jones and the Pats offense out yet.
New England’s second ranked pass defense will certainly have its hands full. Brady hasn’t slowed down at his advanced age and he has playmakers all over the field. There are just too many to successfully eliminate them all. And the Pats haven’t seen the best at the QB position yet having faced Tua Tagovailoa, Zach Wilson and Jameis Winston. Going against Brady is a different animal entirely.
Buccaneers vs Patriots Prediction
This game has been circled on Brady’s calendar since the schedule came out and you know his mates are going to be amped for him. The Pats will be equally geeked up and it should be a good one even if the Brady/Belichick narrative didn’t play a part. Still, the Bucs are the more talented team and I like their defense to befuddle Jones enough for the victory, but the spread is bit high for my liking.
Our Prediction: New England Patriots +7 and UNDER 49
Check out the latest NFL Week 4 odds.