Super Bowl LV betting profile: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Like everyone else, we’re excited here in the Tuley’s Takes home office for the Super Bowl matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Our underdogs split in Sunday’s conference championships, as we won with the Bucs and lost with the Bills. We also won with our Bucs Over teaser but lost our bigger play on the Bucs + 9.5/Bills + 9. In next week’s Point Spread Weekly, we’ll give our official takes on the Super Bowl side and total — leaning to Buccaneers at + 3 or better and the Under, though I’m sure that surprises no one — as well as my favorite proposition wagers.

In the meantime, here are my betting profiles for both teams as we look at how the Chiefs and Buccaneers have treated gamblers this season, including our betting recaps of every game they played.

Let’s break down the Buccaneers’ season from a gambling perspective, including their future-book odds, Over/Under season win total and game-by-game breakdown. This is basically everything you should know if you're considering backing the Bucs.

Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl LV future-book odds (plus odds to win NFC South and NFC championship)

When the Westgate SuperBook posted the first Super Bowl LV future-book odds on Jan, 13, 2020, the Buccaneers were listed at 30-1 to win the NFC and a whopping 60-1 for the Super Bowl in a group that included the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. Yes, seriously. During the early part of the offseason, most books were offering them around 50-1, but then rumors started circulating that Tom Brady could sign with Tampa Bay. Some speculative bettors scooped up the higher odds as some books dropped the odds a little, but then when it was clear that Brady was signing with them on March 17, the odds were lowered to 13-2 win the NFC and 14-1 to win the Super Bowl. By the time the regular season started, the Bucs were still about 6-1 to win the NFC and 14-1 to win the Super Bowl along with being the 8-5 second choice to win the NFC South behind the Saints. With the early wagers at big odds and continued backing from Brady fans, the Buccaneers were the worst-case scenario for many sportsbooks’ future books.

Season win total: 10

This was the most debated win total in the NFL. For every expert or bettor you’d hear say that Brady (and Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette) made Tampa Bay an instant contender that would fly Over 10 wins, someone else was saying it was too high and the Bucs would be a .500 team again. Even though the Bucs looked like they would be a wild-card team for much of the season, they were just 7-5 heading into their bye in Week 13. That meant they would have to run the table to go Over 10 and 3-1 to push on 10. But the Bucs closed strong by beating the Vikings, Falcons, Lions and Falcons again to finish 11-5 and win for the Over bettors.

Regular season

Record: 11-5 (second place in NFC South, No. 5 seed in NFC playoffs)

ATS record: 9-7 ATS, net profit of 1.3 units

Over/Under: 9-7 with the Overs, profit of 1.3 units with Overs

The Buccaneers were a hit-or-miss team to bet on through the first 12 weeks before their late bye in Week 13 as they were 6-6 ATS and didn’t have a streak of more than two covers or non-covers. After losing the Week 12 matchup with the Chiefs to fall to 7-5 SU (though they improved to 6-6 ATS after covering as 3.5-point home underdogs), they went 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS down the stretch to make a small profit for backers. The Bucs started 2-0 with Overs and continued to mostly trend that way, though they were never more than two games over .500.

Postseason

Record: 3-0 (NFC champions, all three wins on the road)

ATS record: 2-1 ATS, profit of 0.9 units

Over/Under: 2-1 with the Over, profit of 0.9 units on the Over

As a wild-card, the Buccaneers had to play all three playoff games on the road, starting as 10-point favorites at NFC East champion Washington. The Bucs won 31-23 but didn’t cover. They then avenged two regular-season losses to the Saints by beating them 30-20 as 2.5-point road underdogs and then beat the Packers 31-26 in the NFC championship game as 3-point road underdogs at Lambeau Field. The Bucs-Saints game stayed Under, while the other two went Over.

Splits and trends

Tampa Bay as underdog

SU record: 3-2 (including playoffs)

ATS record: 4-1 ATS, profit of 2.9 units

Over/Under (as dog): 2-3, profit of 0.8 units on Unders

Brady and the Bucs were rarely underdogs during the regular season but lost the opener 34-23 to the Saints as 4-point dogs. However, that was their only ATS loss, as they routed the Packers 38-10 in Week 6 as 2.5-point home underdogs and covered as 3.5-point home dogs in their 27-24 loss to the Chiefs in Week 12. Then, of course, they beat the Saints and Packers as road dogs in the playoffs.

Tampa Bay at home

Home record: 5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS for profit of 1.7 units

Over/Under (home games): 4-4, loss of 0.1 units either way

Home-field records are usually irrelevant in Super Bowls, but the Buccaneers are the first team to play the Super Bowl in its own stadium, so it has to count for something, right? The Bucs were 5-3 SU and ATS at Raymond James Stadium, with a non-covering 38-31 win over the Chargers in Week 4 but covering as 3.5-point dogs in the 27-24 loss vs. the Chiefs in Week 12. As a wild card, the Bucs didn’t get to play any of their playoff games at home.

Game-by-game breakdown

For those who want a closer look at all of the Buccaneers' games from this season, these are our betting recaps from each week.

Week 1 (wrong side, loser): Buccaneers (+ 4) in 34-23 loss at Saints

In a game between Hall of Fame-bound quarterbacks, Brady gave the Buccaneers a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter with a rare rushing TD, but that was the last time the Bucs looked in control. The Saints led 17-7 at halftime and then went up 24-7 on Janoris Jenkins’ 36-yard interception return off Brady. The Saints pretty much coasted from there with a balanced attack. They covered as 4-point favorites after being bet up from -3.5, though there were plenty of backers of Brady and the Bucs.

Week 2 (right side, cover): Buccaneers (-8) in 31-17 home win vs. Panthers

The Buccaneers jumped to a 21-0 lead as Brady earned his first win in Tampa Bay, but the point spread was in doubt until the end. The Panthers rallied in the second half and got within the spread at 24-17 on Joey Slye’s 23-yard FG with 1:57 left. After Tampa recovered the onside kick, all the Carolina defense had to do for its backers was to stop the run, but Leonard Fournette broke through the line and rambled 46 yards for the covering TD, and the Panthers’ last drive came up short of getting in the back door. Fournette’s score also put the game Over the closing total of 47 points.

Week 3 (right side, easy cover): Buccaneers (-6) in 28-10 road win at Broncos

In a game in which Denver backers were hoping the defense would keep the Broncos in the game, the Buccaneers had the better defense, holding Denver to 226 yards and 10 points while also registering a safety. Special teams blocked a punt to set up Brady with a short field, as he hit Chris Godwin with a 10-yard TD pass to cap a three-play, 10-yard drive just over five minutes into the game. The closest the Broncos got was 10-3 as Brady threw two TD passes to Mike Evans in the second quarter to give the Bucs a comfortable 23-3 edge, and they coasted from there.

Week 4 (wrong side, non-cover): Buccaneers (-7.5) in 38-31 home win vs. Chargers

We should know by now that no lead is safe in the NFL, but the Chargers seemed in control with a 24-7 lead and the ball with under a minute left in the first half. But then Ndamukong Suh stripped Los Angeles RB Joshua Kelley, and the Bucs recovered to set up a 6-yard Brady-to-Evans TD pass to make it 24-14 at halftime. Brady, who threw five TD passes on the day, methodically picked apart the Chargers’ defense from there, taking a 28-24 lead late in the third quarter. And although rookie QB Justin Herbert hit Jalen Guyton with a 72-yard TD pass to put the Chargers ahead 31-28, Brady threw his fifth TD pass to regain a 35-31 lead with 11:05 left. Ryan Succop added a 26-yard FG with 2:40 left to make the final score 38-31. Chargers backers at 7.5 still got their cover, though the late FG made winners of those Tampa Bay backers who were able to get -6.5 (including Circa Sports Million players) and gave everyone at + 7 a push (including Westgate SuperContest players).

 

Week 5 (wrong side, loss): Buccaneers (-3.5) in 20-19 road loss at Bears

The Bucs jumped to a 13-0 lead with Brady’s 2-yard TD pass to Evans sandwiched between a pair of Succop FGs, but the Bears came back to lead 14-13 at halftime. The game was on pace to go Over 44, but both defenses stiffened in the second half as Succop and Chicago’s Cairo Santos traded FGs. Santos’ 38-yarder with 1:13 left proved to be the game-winner. The Bucs had a chance to pull out the victory and to push the game Over if they scored a TD, but they turned the ball over on downs with Brady apparently not realizing they already had run their fourth-down play. 

Week 6 (wrong side, easy loss): Buccaneers (+ 2.5) in 38-10 home loss vs. Packers

The Packers grabbed a 10-0 first-quarter lead on a Mason Crosby 39-yard FG and an Aaron Jones 1-yard TD run, but that was it for the highlights. Aaron Rodgers was picked off for the first time this season early in the second quarter by Jamel Dean, who returned it 32 yards for the Bucs’ first TD.

Rodgers was intercepted again as the Bucs’ defense took over, harassing him all afternoon, sacking him five times and limiting him to just 160 yards passing and no TDs. Brady threw two TD passes and Ronald Jones II ran for three more as Tampa Bay ran off 38 unanswered points to pull off the blowout.  

Week 7 (right side, easy cover): Buccaneers (-4) in 45-20 road win at Raiders

The Raiders forced a three-and-out on the Buccaneers’ first possession, and then Derek Carr hit Nelson Agholor with a 20-yard TD pass on the Raiders’ first possession to go ahead 7-0. Brady (369 passing yards, 4 TD passes) opened the Bucs’ scoring on a 1-yard QB sneak and then threw TD passes to Gronkowski and Scotty Miller to put them up 21-10 at halftime. The Raiders rallied within 24-20 on Daniel Carlson’s 36-yard FG with 12:43 left, but Brady hit Godwin with a 4-yard TD pass, Jones had a 1-yard TD run (putting the game Over 51.5) and Brady added a 1-yard TD pass to Tyler Johnson to complete the rout. 

Week 8 (wrong side, non-cover): Buccaneers (-12.5) in 25-23 road win at Giants

The Bucs were the biggest favorite of Week 8 in this Monday night matchup, and everyone expected them to rout the 1-6 Giants, but it was a battle from start to finish. The Giants led 14-3 late in the second quarter after TD runs by Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman. The Bucs scored 15 unanswered points on Succop’s 40-yard FG just before halftime and a 43-yarder on the opening drive of the second half, plus a 3-yard TD pass from Brady to Gronkowski for a 15-14 lead. After a Graham Gano FG, Brady hit Evans on an 8-yard TD pass and Succop added another FG to give the Bucs their biggest lead at 25-17 with 3:41 to play and give hope to chalk players. But the Giants drove right down the field, and Daniel Jones hit Golden Tate on a 19-yard pass. That put the game Over the closing total of 47 points and set up a two-point conversion attempt to possibly send the game to overtime. Jones threw the ball in the flat to Lewis, but Tampa safety Antoine Winfield Jr. broke up the pass at the goal line to preserve the straight-up win even though the Bucs didn’t come close to covering. There was a lot of debate on whether Winfield interfered with Lewis as he arrived early, but the call stood.

Week 9 (wrong side, loser): Buccaneers (-3.5) in 38-3 home loss vs. Saints

The Saints’ upset of the Buccaneers on “Sunday Night Football” wasn’t that big, but it was shocking in how easy it was. The Saints led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter on two TD passes by Drew Brees (26-for-32, 222 yards, 4 TDs) and poured it on in the second quarter to lead 31-0 at halftime. There was no scoring in the third quarter as it became apparent it wouldn’t challenge the betting total of 51.5 points. The Saints outgained the Buccaneers 420-194 and made Brady look like a rookie, intercepting him three times. 

 Week 10 (easy cover): Buccaneers (-6) in 46-23 win at Panthers

The Panthers were sticking around and actually leading 17-10 late in the second quarter, but Brady hit Evans with a 3-yard TD pass with :27 left before halftime to tie the score. Succop hit a 24-yard FG on the Bucs’ first drive after intermission and then, leading just 20-17 and backed up on their own 2-yard line, Jones broke off a franchise-record 98-yard TD run and busted open the game. Succop added two more FGs before Teddy Bridgewater scored on a 3-yard TD run to cut the lead to 32-23. The score also put the game Over the betting total and pulled the Panthers within one score of covering. But Brady added a 1-yard TD run and a 7-yard TD pass to Gronkowski to pull away.

Week 11 (50/50 result): Buccaneers (-4) in 27-24 home loss vs. Rams

This Monday nighter was a back-and-forth battle between two teams on pace for NFC wild-card berths. The Rams led 17-14 at halftime with the Buccaneers tying it 17-17 on a Succop 38-yard FG on the opening drive of the second half. Jared Goff hit Cam Akers for a 4-yard TD pass and Brady matched it with a 13-yard TD pass to Godwin with 3:53 left in regulation to make the score 24-24 and put it Over the betting total of 47.5 points. Goff moved the Rams into FG range, and Matt Gay kicked what proved to be the game-winner from 40 yards out as Brady was intercepted on the Bucs’ final drive. 

 

Week 12 (wrong side, lucky cover): Buccaneers (+ 3.5) in 27-24 home loss vs. Chiefs

In what was considered a possible Super Bowl preview (and turned out to be correct!), Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill stole the show with TD receptions of 75 and 44 yards. He had 203 receiving yards in the first quarter alone, third-most receiving yards in a quarter, on the way to 269 yards on 13 receptions and all three of Mahomes’ three TD passes. The Chiefs led 20-7 at halftime and extended the edge to 27-10 on the third Mahomes-to-Hill TD pass with seven minutes left in the third quarter, but Brady rallied the Bucs with a 31-yard TD pass to Evans with 12:44 to play and then a 7-yard TD pass to Evans to get within the spread at 27-24 with 4:10 left. The Chiefs picked up three first downs to run out the clock and secure the victory but not the cover as Bucs backers celebrated.

 

Week 13: Bye

Week 14 (50/50 result, cover): Buccaneers (-7) in 26-14 home win vs. Vikings

After a scoreless first quarter, Dalvin Cook put the Vikings ahead 6-0 with a 1-yard TD run early in the second quarter. Yes, the PAT was missed as kicking woes hurt a lot of teams and bettors on Sunday, none more than the Vikings and their backers as Dan Bailey was also 0-for-3 on field goals. The first two missed FGs allowed the Buccaneers to score 23 unanswered points to take a 23-6 lead less than five minutes into the second half. The Vikings pulled within 23-14 on Kirk Cousins’ 14-yard TD pass to Irv Smith Jr. with 1:36 left in the third quarter. Bailey’s third missed FG, a 46-yarder with just over nine minutes to play, could have pulled the Vikings within one score and within the spread. Succop’s 47-yard FG put the Bucs ahead 26-14 with 5:16 to play, but the Vikings still had a chance to cover. However, Jason Pierre-Paul’s strip-sack of Cousins with just over two minutes to play clinched the Bucs’ win and cover. 

Week 15 (wrong side, non-cover): Buccaneers (-6, 49.5) in 31-27 road win at Falcons

Atlanta led 17-0 at halftime, and the teams traded TDs through the first half of the third quarter to put the Falcons ahead 24-7. Of course, everyone was thinking of the Falcons’ infamous collapse against Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Right on cue, Brady hit Godwin on a 4-yard TD pass and Fournette scored on a 1-yard TD run to pull the Bucs within 24-21 before the end of the third quarter. Succop tied the game with a 27-yard FG with 11:10 to play and Younghoe Koo kicked a 52-yarder to put the Falcons back ahead 27-24 (and the game Over the total) with 8:22 to play. But then Brady hit Antonio Brown for a 46-yard TD pass with 6:19 left for Brown’s first TD of the season and the game-winner. The Bucs had a chance to cover the spread late when the Falcons turned the ball over on downs deep in their own territory. It appeared that Fournette was stopped short on third down and that the Bucs might kick the field goal to go up by 7, but the officials on the field spotted it for a first down and the replay official let it stand. With the first down, Brady took a knee to secure the non-covering win.

Week 16 (easy cover): Buccaneers (-12) in 47-7 road win at Lions

The Lions lost Matthew Stafford to a lower leg injury on the first series of the game, but it’s hard to imagine the outcome would have been much different as the Buccaneers dominated both sides of the ball in outgaining the Lions 588-186. Brady threw four first-half TD passes sandwiched around a Fournette 4-yard rushing TD as the Bucs led 34-0 at halftime. Brady sat out the rest of the rout, but it took Blaine Gabbert just one play to hit Gronkowski for a 25-yard TD pass and a 40-0 lead. Over bettors had to be feeling confident, but scoring slowed from there, with each team scoring just one TD apiece the rest of the way, and the game stayed Under 55.5.

Week 17 (right side, cover): Buccaneers (-7) in 44-27 home win vs. Falcons

The Buccaneers had already clinched a playoff spot and could have rested starters, but they wanted to keep the NFC’s top wild-card spot to assure their first road game would be at the NFC Least champion. Brady went 26-for-41 for 399 yards and four TDs and the Bucs led the entire game after he hit Godwin for a 29-yard TD pass on the opening drive of the game. But the straight-up and ATS result was still in doubt as the Bucs led just 23-20 after three quarters and only 30-27 with 8:19 left when Matt Ryan hit Hayden Hurst with a 1-yard TD pass (it also put the game Over the betting total of 51). However, Brady put the game away with TD passes to Godwin and Brown in the closing minutes to secure the win and cover.

Wild-card playoffs (non-cover): Buccaneers (-10, 45) in 31-23 win at Washington

 

Brady’s first playoff game with the Bucs started great as he threw first-half TD passes of 36 yards to Brown and 27 yards to Godwin. Succop also added two first-half FGs but had a PAT blocked and a two-point conversion failed, so the Bucs led only 18-7 at halftime. Washington rallied in the third quarter with a Dustin Hopkins 36-yard FG and an 8-yard TD run by Taylor Heinicke (though the two-point conversion failed) to pull within 18-16. The Bucs retook control with a Succop 38-yard FG and a 3-yard TD run by Fournette to gain a 28-16 lead with 9:11 to play, but Heinicke rallied Washington again. His 11-yard TD pass to Steven Sims Jr. with 4:51 left pulled them within 28-23 to cover the spread and also put it Over the betting total. Tampa Bay backers had a chance for a late cover, but the Bucs settled for a 37-yard FG by Succop to go ahead by eight points, not enough for the vast majority of backers, though Tampa Bay still covered on teasers.

Divisional playoffs (right side): Buccaneers in 30-20 win at Saints (-2.5, 53)

Scoring started slowly, as Will Lutz kicked two first-quarter FGs for the Saints and Succop kicked one with 13 minutes left in the second quarter. But then Bucs CB Sean Murphy-Bunting picked off Drew Brees and ran it back to the 3-yard line to set up Brady’s 3-yard TD pass to Evans for a 10-6 lead. The Saints answered with a gadget play from backup QB Jameis Winston to a wide-open Tre’Quan Smith for a 56-yard TD pass. Succop kicked a FG to tie the game 13-13 at halftime as the Bucs covered as 0.5-point first-half underdogs with the first-half Under 26.5 still cashing. The Saints went back up 20-13 as Smith caught a 16-yard TD pass, this time from Brees. However, the Bucs evened the score again when Brady hit Fournette on a 6-yard TD pass and then took their first lead of the game at 23-20 on Succop’s 36-yard FG with 9:52 left. They put the game away on a 1-yard TD run by Brady. The key to the game was the Bucs having a 4-0 takeaway advantage as they pulled the only outright upset of the divisional playoffs at + 125 on the moneyline. 

NFC championship game (right side): Buccaneers (+ 3) in 31-26 road win at Packers

The Buccaneers set the tone with a nine-play, 66-yard TD drive to start the game, with Brady hitting Evans on a 15-yard TD pass. Aaron Rodgers responded with a 50-yard TD pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling early in the second quarter, but the Bucs still led 14-10 late in the first half before a wild series of events. After Sean Murphy-Bunting intercepted Rodgers to set up the Bucs at midfield with 28 seconds left before halftime, it looked like the Bucs would try to get into field-goal range. But first they had to convert a risky fourth-and-4 from the Packers’ 45-yard line. After converting, there was eight seconds left, and again it appeared they would try to complete a short pass to set up a long field-goal attempt. At least that’s what the Packers were expecting, but Scotty Miller got behind the defense and Brady hit him with a 39-yard TD pass with :01 on the clock for a 21-10 halftime lead.

The Bucs extended the lead to 28-10 before Rodgers rallied the Packers with TD passes to TE Robert Tonyan and WR Davante Adams. Succop kicked a 46-yard FG to put the Bucs back up by eight points at 31-23 (also putting the game Over 53.5 points) with 4:42 left in regulation, setting up another wild sequence. The Packers had first-and-goal with just over two minutes left, but Rodgers threw incomplete passes on three straight plays. On the last one, he had a great chance to run for the TD or at least get it really close for a fourth-and-goal attempt. Instead, Green Bay coach Matt Lafleur sent in Mason Crosby for a 26-yard FG to pull the Packers within five at 31-26.

The Packers, with three timeouts and the two-minute warning, kicked off deep, but the Bucs picked up two first downs (the second on a defensive pass-interference penalty) to secure the win and upset at + 155 on the moneyline.

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