The NFL playoffs have finally arrived and the field of 14 teams vying for a Super Bowl is set. Super wild-card weekend continues on Sunday with three exciting matchups.
Here are our best bets for the Philadelphia Eagles-Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bengals matchup, along with 49ers-Cowboys and Steelers-Chiefs.
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5, 46)
1:00 p.m. ET
Burke: The Eagles and Bucs have the worst weather game of the week, as we’ll see gusts up in the 30-mph range and some rain. These two teams played earlier this season and the Bucs led 28-7 in the third quarter before the Eagles scored a couple of cosmetic touchdowns to make the game look better.
In that game, Tampa Bay went on the road and had a 186-yard edge. The Bucs had 27 first downs to 16 for Philadelphia. It was a pretty thorough beating, especially when you consider that Tampa Bay ran 26 more offensive plays.
The Eagles are a better team now. At the time, the win bumped the Bucs to 5-1 and dropped the Eagles to 2-4, but Tampa Bay failed to cover the 7-point spread. This line sits at 8.5. If the weather was better, the Buccaneers would be the pick for me, but they do need to throw the ball to be as effective as possible and that may prove to be difficult.
The total has already fallen on this game, but the awful weather conditions and the concerns about the Philadelphia offense still leave enough meat on the bone to take it. The Eagles are a pretty one-dimensional offense because Jalen Hurts isn’t much of a passer. Philadelphia will hit the occasional deep ball, but that is unlikely to happen here with the wind.
The Bucs aren’t as stout against the run as we’ve seen in the past, and the Eagles had 5.3 yards per carry in the first meeting, but I see Tampa Bay playing keep-away with the same effectiveness that it did in Week 6; the Bucs had the ball for just shy of 40 minutes in that game.
This looks like an under to me, both by the weather and the flow of the game.
Pick: Under 46.5
Tuley: The Buccaneers beat the Eagles 28-22 in a Thursday nighter to start Week 6 but failed to cover as 6.5-point road favorites. The line is now up over a touchdown for this rematch, so it’s tempting to take the Eagles and hope for another backdoor cover. Tampa Bay was playing that game short-handed, but it still outgained the Eagles 399 yards to 213 as Hurts was confused by the Bucs’ schemes but was effective running the ball. We expect the Bucs defense to contain him better and the game to play out in a similar fashion with Tampa Bay building a comfortable lead and holding on.