Much was made of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers becoming the first Super Bowl championship team to bring back all 22 offensive and defensive starters. However, when the playoffs begin, injuries and illness will likely result in a much different team than the one that won the Super Bowl as a wild card team.
The New York Jets won’t need to be worrying about their health when the playoffs start since they will miss the postseason for the 11th season in a row. This will be a chance for some younger players and, in particular, rookie quarterback, Zach Wilson to gain confidence by playing against the defending champions.
The Jets are 4-4 in one-score games, which isn’t a bad mark, but it pales in comparison to Tampa Bay’s 5-0 record in games decided by seven points or less.
Tampa Bay (+275) still has the best odds to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The Buccaneers (+550) have the third-best odds to win the Super Bowl behind Kansas City and Green Bay.
Tampa quarterback Tom Brady has the best odds (-450) to lead the NFL in passing yards and is second only to Matthew Stafford of the Los Angeles Rams in the odds to lead the NFL in passing touchdowns.
Game: Tampa Bay (11-4) at New York Jets (4-11)
Location: MetLife Stadium
Day/Time: Sunday,1 p.m. ET
|Tampa Bay||-14 (+110)||-720||45½ (-110o)|
|NY Jets||+14 (-130)||+520||45½ (-110u)|
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were listed by the NFL picks against the spread as one-point favorites against the visiting New York Jets when the teams played on Nov. 12, 2017.
Three Patrick Murray field goals and a touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Charles Sims lifted the Buccaneers to the 15-10 win, snapping an eight-game losing streak to the Jets. Tampa Bay’s previous win over the Jets came in 1984. The Buccaneers failed to cover in each of those previous eight games.
The game went well under the 44-point title and was the third straight game in the series to go under the total.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Next game: vs. Carolina Panthers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went on the road to clinch the franchise’s first division title since 2007. The Buccaneers were listed by the NFL betting lines as 11-point favorites against the Carolina Panthers.
Touchdown runs by Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Ronald Jones helped Tampa Bay cruise to the 32-6 win.
The game went under the 44½-point total and marked the third time in the last four games that a Tampa Bay game went under the total.
Linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) and punter Bradley Pinion (hip) are questionable. Linebacker Shaquil Barrett (knee) and running back Leonard Fournette are out. Receiver Mike Evans’ status is to be determined. He was running routes at practice on Thursday. He has been dealing with a hamstring issue as well as COVID-19.
Defensive backs Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting, linebacker Lavonte David, receiver Jaelon Darden and defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches are on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Mike Evans returned after practice to run some routes for practice squad QB Ryan Griffin as trainer Bobby Slater looked on. Evans had been on the COVID-19 list since Monday. pic.twitter.com/c27rLG18hL
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) December 30, 2021
Running back Giovani Bernard (hip), receiver Chris Godwin (knee), offensive lineman Aaron Stinnie (knee) and defensive lineman Patrick O’Connor (knee) are on injured reserve
New York Jets
Next game: at Buffalo Bills
The New York Jets were favored by 2½ points against the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars according to the Las Vegas odds. It was the first time all season that the Jets came into a game as the favorite.
Wilson ran for one touchdown and threw for another and Braxton Berrios returned a kickoff 102 yards for a score as the Jets outlasted Jacksonville 26-21. A field goal by Eddy Pineiro with 1:47 left allowed New York to cover for the second game in a row.
The game went over the 43-point total on a scoring run by Jacksonville’s Dare Ogunbowale with 5:25 remaining. It was the third time in the last four games that a Jets game went over the total.
Receiver Jamison Crowder (calf) and defensive back Elijah Riley (concussion) are questionable. Running back La’Mical Perine (foot) is out.
Defensive backs Ashtyn Davis, Bryce Hall and Sharrod Neasman, defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, linebacker Jarrad Davis, offensive linemen Alijah Vera-Tucker and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers, tight end Tyler Croft are on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Offensive linemen Mekhi Becton (knee) and Connor McGovern (knee), linebacker Blake Cashman (groin), receivers Corey Davis (groin) and Elijah Moore (quadricep), tights end Ryan Griffin (knee) and Trevon Wesco (knee), defensive back Lamarcus Joyner (tricep) and Marcus Maye (Achilles) are on injured reserve.
Betting on the Game
Tampa Bay joins Dallas as the only NFL team averaging more than 400 yards of total offense and the Buccaneers lead the league in passing yards. The Buccaneers have 44 sacks, one off the NFL lead.
The Jets are last in the NFL in total defense (391.3 yards per game) and scoring defense (29.9 points per game). That is not the ideal matchup to be facing Tampa Bay even if the Buccaneers will be without leading rusher Fournette and perhaps both of their top two receivers.
Tampa Bay has won 13 of its last 16 road games and with all four NFC Division leaders at either 12-3 or 11-4, there is still plenty for the Buccaneers to play for as they look to secure at least one home playoff game.
Those who bet online might be interested to know that the Buccaneers have covered in five of their last six games while five of their last seven games went under the total.
The Jets have covered in only one of their last five home games and are 0-4 against NFC teams.