The Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin life without Tom Brady on Sunday as Baker Mayfield takes over as the team’s starting quarterback when the Bucs visit the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday with the Vikes as near TD favorites on the NFL odds.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Minnesota Vikings Odds, Analysis and Prediction | 2023 NFL Expert Analysis by MyBookie Sportsbook
NFL Regular Season: September 7, 2023 – January 7, 2024
How to Bet Bucs at Vikings NFL Odds & TV Info
When: Sunday, 1 PM ET
Where: US Bank Stadium
Stream Option: YouTube TV (NFL Sunday Ticket)
Opening NFL Lines: Vikings -6 (total 45)
The teams most recently played Week 14 of the 2020 season in Tampa and the Bucs won 26-14. Tom Brady threw for 196 yards and two touchdowns. The Tampa defense sacked Kirk Cousins six times, the last producing a fumble that ended any chance of a rally. Cousins finished 24 of 37 for 225 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Minnesota’s chances were undermined by kicker Dan Bailey who missed an extra point and field goals of 36, 54 and 46 yards.
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?
Former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield signed a one-year deal with the Bucs this offseason and he beat out 2021 second-round pick Kyle Trask this preseason for the starting job. In the week leading up to the first worthless preseason game, new offensive coordinator Dave Canales admitted that Trask may have been winning the race for the starting quarterback gig. However, then Mayfield began to dominate.
“Really leading up to that first preseason game, that’s where it was kind of neck and neck,” Canales said. Coming out of the first preseason game – and obviously not playing the starters – [with] Baker being able to get out there, command the offense, talk to the group, be in the huddle and all of that. Then we had an indoor practice one of the days after that and he launched a 67-yard post route on the money to Mike [Evans] and it was like … here is the coverage. I could see his wheels turning, he looked, he saw Mike, everything was perfect. He threw the ball way down the field on the money and Mike walked in. It was just like goosebumps. ‘Woah, that was cool.’ Then he kind of built and fed off of that.”
The Bucs recently got some bad but not surprising news in that former Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen will miss the season. He has been placed on season-ending injured reserve because of the knee injury he suffered in training camp last year. Jensen tore his ACL, MCL, PCL and meniscus and fractured his tibial head and cartilage. He missed all of the 2022 regular season but did not undergo surgery and was able to suit up for the Bucs’ wild-card game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Rookie defensive tackle Calijah Kancey, who comes off a stellar career at the University of Pittsburgh, is in some question Sunday. He is nursing a right calf strain sustained in late July. With the Bucs deciding to keep 13 rookies, Kancey is the crown jewel of them all.
“Extremely excited,” GM Jason Licht said. “He is trending in the right direction still. We still want to make sure we don’t put a player out there, especially with that kind of skill set and with that type of injury, too early. He is trending the right way. [I’m] very, very excited.”
Undrafted running back Sean Tucker has positioned himself for a key spot in the Bucs’ backfield rotation, while eight other rookies could make an impact on special teams. Tucker, who made the team as an undrafted rookie, has been moved up to the second spot behind the unquestioned starter, Rachaad White. Tucker led the Buccaneers in rushing in the preseason, gaining 81 yards on 23 carries. He also caught five passes for 22 yards.
The Buccaneers continue to boast one of the best starting receiver duos in the NFL in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but with Russell Gage suffering a season-ending knee injury the remainder of the depth chart at that position is very green. Trey Palmer and Rakim Jarrett are rookies, as a sixth-round pick and an undrafted free agent, respectively. Palmer appears to have the edge for the No. 3 spot that previously belonged to Gage.
Bet Buccaneers to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
Why Bet on Minnesota?
This will be the second season in a row the Vikings open at home, after kicking off the 2022 campaign by hosting the Packers, and sixth overall since U.S. Bank Stadium opened in 2016. The Vikings are 6-1 in home openers at U.S. Bank Stadium, with the only loss occurring in 2020 when fans were not in attendance.
Minnesota has opened their season against the Buccaneers four previous times: 1981, 1982, 1998 and 2005. Minnesota and Tampa Bay shared the NFC Central Division from 1976, when the Bucs entered the league through 2001. The Vikings will also see a familiar face in Buccaneers outside linebackers coach George Edwards, who served as Minnesota’s defensive coordinator from 2014-19.
The Vikings won the NFC North last year and were the No. 2 seed in the playoffs but were upset at home by the Giants in their playoff opener and then said goodbye this offseason to four-time Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook. Alexander Mattison takes over the featured role. He got a two-year contract extension this offseason. There were some opportunities for Mattison who started six games across the 2020 and 2021 seasons. There were no starts last season in Coach Kevin O’Connell’s new-look Vikings offense and Mattison had his lowest numbers in terms of carries (74) and yards (283), but he turned that into a career-best five rushing touchdowns.
Minnesota is also very high on rookie WR Jordan Addison even though the first-round pick is listed as a backup to K.J. Osborn and Justin Jefferson on the Vikings’ first unofficial depth chart. Addison should still see the field a reasonable amount, as the Vikings run a lot of three-wide receiver sets. It is also worth noting that in Justin Jefferson’s rookie season, he was listed as a backup to Bisi Johnson and went on to break the rookie receiving yards record.
Jefferson was named the 2022 NFL Offensive Player of the Year and is the best wideout in the NFL. Jefferson caught 128 passes (seventh-most in a season ever) for 1,809 yards (sixth-most in league history) and eight touchdowns in 2022. He also caught a two-point conversion, rushed four times for 24 yards and a TD and completed both of his pass attempts for 34 yards, leading the Vikings to a five-win improvement under O’Connell and the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2019.
This could be the final season with the Vikings for QB Kirk Cousins. He tied an NFL record last season by leading eight four-quarter comebacks as Minnesota surprised everyone by winning 13 games and its first NFC North title since 2017. Cousins will be entering the season as a lame duck for the first time since signing a three-year, fully guaranteed $84 million contract in 2018.
Star tight end TJ Hockenson got a big extension recently and should be good to go despite battling some back troubles this summer. Hockenson finished second among tight ends in targets (129), receptions (86) and receiving yards (914) last year, setting a career high in each category. He was traded by Detroit during the season.
Bet Vikings to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
Vikings 24, Bucs 20
NFL Odds to Win this Season
|San Francisco 49ers||+420|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+430|
|New Orleans Saints||+6200|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+8000|
|Green Bay Packers||+14000|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+15000|
|Los Angeles Rams||+17000|
|New York Jets||+18000|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+26000|
|New England Patriots||+90000|
|New York Giants||+95000|
2023 NFL Calendar by Week
I have read enough, I need to place my bet now. What to do?