Coming off a statement win against the then-undefeated Green Bay Packers, the 4-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to make it two straight as they visit the 3-2 Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday in one of Week 7’s best NFL matchups.
The 38-10 win over the Packers was more a testament to the defensive strength of this Tampa Bay team, and the unit will be looking for a repeat performance against the Raiders and quarterback Derek Carr.
Las Vegas is coming off a bye, but its last game was equally impressive, taking down the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs 40-32 in Kansas City.
|Game: Buccaneers (4-2) vs Raiders (3-2)
Location: Allegiant Stadium
Time: 8:25 PM ET
NFL Betting Lines
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
Moneyline: Buccaneers -230 | Raiders +190
While Tampa Bay has been making NFL news with the name recognition of Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette on offense, the backbone of this team is its defense.
Tampa Bay is tops in the NFL with 282 yards allowed per game, along with 20.3 points per game (eighth stingiest).
The Buccaneers’ run defense (64 yards per game) is paced by linebackers Devin White (50 tackles) and Lavonte David (47 tackles). They are equally adept at getting to the passer, led by Shaquil Barrett (three sacks) and Jason Pierre-Paul (5½ sacks).
Derek Carr and the Raiders offense has weapons of its own, but after the Bucs’ defense shut down a red-hot Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay, the expectation is a similar result in Vegas.
Pick: Bucs to win
Point Spread: Buccaneers -4½
Second-year running back Josh Jacobs leads the Raiders rushing attack but has slogged his way to just 3.6 yards per carry in five games. That won’t be helped by multiple Raider offensive linemen missing practice due to Covid-19 issues. Going against the Bucs’ run defense is going to force Carr and the Raiders to get one-dimensional through the air.
Tampa Bay’s balanced attack should be able to pull away against this soft Raiders defense. Brady (14 touchdowns, four interceptions) has all his weapons in the passing game, and running back Jones has been dynamic with over 550 all-purpose yards.
Pick: Buccaneers to cover
Over/Under: 52 points
The burden will be on Carr to deliver another big performance through the air. One positive is the developing rapport with deep-threat rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III. Athletic tight end Darren Waller has also had a strong start.
Carr should be able to find moderate success with these weapons, but the one-dimensionality we touched on above should give Pierre-Paul and Barrett the chance to pin their ears back and add to their sack total.
The Raiders will score a few touchdowns, but most of the points are going to come from Tampa Bay. Brady and the Bucs have averaged nearly 30 points per game and are in a good spot to do it again.
Pick: Over 52 points
Final Score: Tampa Bay 34, Las Vegas 20
Props Talk For Buccaneers at Raiders
This matchup will see the vaunted Tampa Bay defense against a trio of promising young Las Vegas talent in Ruggs, Jacobs, and Waller. Brady will be going up against the coach who oversaw the infamous tuck rule game, Jon Gruden, adding a layer of intrigue into this Week 7 showdown. Let’s take a look at some of the potential NFL prop bets to make for this game.
First scoring play: Buccaneers TD +130
Tampa Bay has scored first in five of its six games. Considering the Bucs defense’s capability to shut down Las Vegas off the bat and their offense being able to move the ball, this is a strong value bet.
Total TDs in the Game: Over/Under 5½
Carr has averaged a shade over two passing touchdowns per game and stands a strong chance to match his average. On the other side, Tampa Bay’s diverse offense should find plenty of success against this Las Vegas defense en route to at least four touchdowns.
Over 3½ Field Goals in the Game: -115
In a game that should see good ball movement on both sides, let’s take the over here. These kickers have combined for only three misses on the year.