NFC Wild Card Playoffs Eagles vs Bucs

NFC Wild Card Playoffs: Eagles vs Bucs | NFL Odds, Preview and Analysis

The defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers officially begin their title defense Sunday as they host the Philadelphia Eagles in a regular-season rematch. The weather is expected to be a major factor with wind and rain. Tampa Bay is a solid favorite on the NFL odds.

How to Bet Eagles at Bucs NFL Odds & TV Info

  • When: Sunday, 1 PM ET
  • Where: Raymond James Stadium
  • TV: FOX
  • Radio:
  • Stream Option: Fox Sports App
  • Opening NFL Lines: Bucs -8.5 (total 46)

Last Meeting

In Week 6, the Eagles lost 28-22 at home to Tampa Bay but nearly rallied from a 28-7 deficit. Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes and Leonard Fournette ran for two scores. Late in the fourth quarter and facing a third-and-7 from Philadelphia’s 45, Brady rolled away from pressure and threw a perfect pass to Antonio Brown for a 27-yard gain to extend the drive and the Bucs ran out the clock. Eagles QB Jalen Hurts’ second TD run and a 2-point conversion pulled Philadelphia within six points with 3:05 left in the fourth. Passing-wise Hurts was 12 of 26 for 155 yards, one TD and one interception.

Why Bet on Philadelphia?

The Eagles had nothing to play for in Week 18 and acted like it in a 51-26 home loss to Dallas. The Eagles treated the game like a preseason finale. QB Jalen Hurts, with 3,144 yards passing and a team-high 784 yards rushing, got the night off. So did tackle Lane Johnson, cornerback Darius Slay and 11 more players on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni defended his decision to rest Hurts, who missed a game this year with a sprained left ankle, ahead of the playoffs. Sirianni is the only first-year head coach in these playoffs.

“We thought it was an opportunity to get him back to 100%. We need to be able to have our full arsenal of offense going into the playoffs,” Sirianni said.

Hurts entered the year as a question mark. While he didn’t blossom into a clear-cut franchise quarterback, he did improve and flash some excellent games, keeping that possibility of him becoming the Eagles’ long-term solution very much in the cards. Hurts ranked 24th in QBR in Weeks 1-8 and fifth from Week 9 on. He led all quarterbacks in total EPA on designed carries and was second only to Josh Allen on all rushes. He scrambled on 10% of his dropbacks, the third most in the league.

His five career games with two-or-more rushing touchdowns are the most by a quarterback in his first two NFL seasons during the Super Bowl era. No other team had more rushing yards than the Eagles (159.7 yards per game). Philadelphia became the first team since the 1985 Chicago Bears to record at least 175 rushing yards in seven consecutive games (Week 8-15 this season).

Running back Miles Sanders is likely to return from a broken hand for this game. He missed the previous two. The Eagles will need Sanders’ ability to get outside on the edge and pick up yards against the Buccaneers, especially with the Buccaneers being stout in the middle of their defensive line. A balanced approach — with runs punctuated by Hurts making big plays through the air — worked as Philly was mounting a comeback on Tampa Bay late before losing in Week 6.

Why Bet on Tampa Bay?

The Bucs closed the regular season with their third straight win, 41-17 over Carolina to earn the NFC’s No. 2 seed. Earning the No. 2 seed ensures a second home game weeks if the Bucs beat the Eagles. The 13 regular-season wins set a franchise record.

Tom Brady completed 29-of-37 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns in the finale. Playing with no Chris Godwin (knee), Antonio Brown (released) and then losing Cyril Grayson to a hamstring early in the first half, Brady had no problems. He hooked up with Rob Gronkowski seven times for 137 yards and found Mike Evans for 6-89-2. Brady’s third touchdown was a one-yarder to Le’Veon Bell.

Brady led the NFL in passing touchdowns (43) and passing yards (career-high 5,316, the third-most passing yards in a season in NFL history). His 485 completions this year were a single-season NFL record. Brady joined Drew Brees as one of two players all-time with multiple 5,000-yard passing seasons, and joined Aaron Rodgers as one of two quarterbacks ever with three seasons of 40-or-more touchdown passes. Jameis Winston also led the NFL in passing yards in 2019 but this is the first time a Buccaneer has won the touchdown pass crown in any season.

Evans, who ranked second in the NFL with 14 receiving touchdowns in 2021, became the first player in NFL history to reach 1,000 yards in each of his first eight seasons. Running back Leonard Fournette was activated off injured reserve. Fournette led the Bucs with 812 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. He also chipped in with 69 receptions and 454 receiving yards this season, plus another two touchdowns. Edge rushers Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul also will play Sunday after each missed the past two games.

Under Arians, who owns a 5-2 career postseason record, the Buccaneers in 2021 ranked second among NFL teams in both scoring offense (30.1 points per game) and total offense (405.9 yards per game), and led the NFC by allowing only 92.5 rushing yards per game on defense.

Game Trends

  • Eagles are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 playoff games as an underdog.
  • Eagles are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games as a road underdog.
  • Eagles are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. NFC.
  • Buccaneers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
  • Underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.

Expert Prediction: Bucs 30, Eagles 24


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