The 7-9 Washington Football Team gears up to host the 11-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday night in primetime! Tom Brady & Co. enter as eight point favorites as they travel to FedExField and the veteran looks to make another run at a title in his first season with the Bucs. On the flip side, Riverboat Ron Rivera and Washington clawed their way into the playoffs and are basically playing with house money in the playoffs. Logan and I are going to break down our best bets as seemingly no one is giving the Football Team a chance in this one.
Spread: TB -8 (-110) | WFT +8 (-110)
Money Line: TB (-415) | WFT (+335)
Total: 45 (O -105, U -115)
Kickoff: 8:15 ET | FedExField | Landover, MD
Trent’s Best Prop Bet
I’m taking it to the prop sheet on Saturday night for an angle on the first quarter. I’m taking the under 9.5 (-115) for the first quarter. I feel very confident that Washington is not going to be able to move the ball down field early in this game. With Alex Smith at the helm we’ll get the traditional west coast offense that we’re usually accustomed to with him. I don’t anticipate Rivera to play too aggressively so we’ll see a lot of dink and dunk from Smith early in the game. On the flip side, yes, the Bucs have been lighting up the scoreboard in recent weeks. But look who it’s been against: Atlanta twice, the Lions, and the Vikings. All of those teams are awful against the pass. Washington is great against the pass, ranking second in terms of passing yards allowed. So I still expect Tampa Bay to be able to move the ball moderately but I don’t believe they’ll be throwing the ball around the field like it’s nothing. Additionally, I’m huge on efficiency numbers. Washington is sixth and fourth in the league in third down and red zone efficiency, respectively. They get stops on third down 60.9% of the time and hold opponents to field goal attempts 42.6% in the red zone. That’ll be key for our under in the first quarter and I think this game is going to be a lot closer than people think. Which is why I also agree with Logan’s best bet for this one.
Logan’s Best Bet on the Side
I’m on the Footballers in this one. I think that this is the proper play on anything over a touchdown, but if we can get a full 8, even better. Sure, no man has ever gotten rich betting against Tom Brady, but this is a great spot for Washington. Tampa Bay won their last 4 games of the regular season, but, like Trent said, it came against the dregs of the NFL, especially on defense: Detroit, Minnesota and Atlanta twice; those were the 32nd, 29th and 27th ranked defensive units in yards per play this season. There is some fool’s gold to them, and Washington (2nd in opponent yards per play and opponent yards per pass attempt) is a significant upgrade in competition for TB12 and company, who have struggled in night games this year too, by the way (0-4 ATS).
Washington will do enough to keep it close: They are 5-1 with Alex Smith as a starter, and have not lost by more than a field goal with him at the helm. This will be a close game, as WFT games have had an average of 37.5 points this season, 2nd-lowest in the NFL. I like Washington +8 to cover comfortably.
Other NFL Wild Card Previews & Best Bets
Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans: 1:05 ET (Coming soon)
Chicago Bears vs. New Orleans Saints: 4:40 ET (Coming soon)