Philadelphia at Tampa Bay Pick ATS: Bucs Look to Upset Struggling Eagles
It didn't take long for the Eagles to fall from the top spot in the NFC to No. 6 but that's where they find themselves heading into this Monday night wild-card weekend capper at Tampa Bay.
Philadelphia started 10-1 this season, then lost five of its last six games.
The Buccaneers started 4-7, then won five of their last six.
How much will Big Mo affect this game? And who do we like for our free wild-card betting pick?
NFL Playoffs Betting Odds
The wild-card weekend betting market opened the Eagles as three-point road favorites for Monday night, with an over/under of right around 43.5. Both numbers were holding steady in the early betting action.
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Eagles Betting Preview
Philadelphia stumbles into this postseason after going 1-5 SU, 0-6 ATS over its last six games. The Eagles started 10-1, so they didn't blow a playoff berth, but still.
Philly opened 5-0 this season, with a 25-11 win at Tampa Bay in Week 3, then blew a game against the Jets. The Eagles then won five more in a row, beating some good teams in Miami, Kansas City, Dallas, and Buffalo. However, they were living a bit of a charmed life through that stretch, considering they got out-gained by four of five opponents and had to come from behind three times.
Philadelphia then lost badly to both San Francisco and the Cowboys, then lost a tough one to Seattle. A win over the Giants kept the Eagles in first place in the NFC East, but a home loss to Arizona and a season-ender at the Giants dropped them to second.
On the whole, Philadelphia got out-gained by eight of its last ten opponents.
Buccaneers Betting Preview
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay closed its regular season with a 5-1 run to win the NFC South, finishing with a 9-0 victory at Carolina last Sunday. The Buccaneers didn't exactly impress offensively last week, managing just 228 yards of offense, but we'll point out that the Panther's defense is pretty good. And the Tampa defense, good over the last month or so, did its job, pitching a shut-out, albeit against a bad Carolina offense.
The Bucs opened 3-1 this season, with that home loss to these Eagles, then stumbled through a 1-6 stretch to fall to 4-7. But the schedule got a little easier and Tampa Bay won four straight, putting up some good offensive numbers along the way. The Buccaneers then laid an egg in their first opportunity to clinch the NFC South in Week 17 against New Orleans but did so last Sunday at Carolina.
Tampa Bay out-gained five of its last six opponents.
On the injury front, Philadelphia lists QB Hurts, RB Swift, and WR's Brown and Smith all as questionable for Monday night. Which is kind of amazing. Our guess is at least a couple of those guys will play, but we wonder how close to 100 percent they'll be. Meanwhile the Buccaneers seem amazingly healthy.
Eagles-Buccaneers Recent History
Tampa Bay, with help from some guy named Brady, beat Philadelphia twice two seasons ago, 28-22 in the regular season, then 31-15 in a wild-card game. Then, back in Week 3 of this season, the Eagles beat the Bucs on a Monday night in Tampa 25-11.
Philadelphia out-rushed Tampa Bay that night, 201-41, and covered at -5.5.
Somehow, we get the feeling Monday night's game will play out a little differently.
NFL Betting Trends
Home dogs played 44-52 ATS in the NFL this season.
- The Overs played 9-8 in Eagles games this season, which averaged 51 total points.
- The Unders played 11-6 in Bucs games, which averaged 40 points.
- The Unders played 147-125 (54 percent) in the NFL this season.
- The Overs played 5-1 on wild-card weekend last season.
Eagles at Bucs Free Wild Card Betting Pick
Momentum means a ton at this point in the season, and Philly's got none. Something clicked in the wrong direction with this team. Then again, the Eagles won a whole bunch of close games over the last two seasons - maybe they just weren't that good. Anyway, now they're really banged up at some key positions. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is playing winning ball as of late, getting good QB play and some good defense. These teams met back in Week 3 of this season, but Tampa is a better team now than it was that night, while the Eagles are certainly not the same. We like the Bucs for the win on Monday night.