NFL betting: Tampa Bay getting bettors' support on Thursday

·4-min read

Week 6 of the NFL season gets underway on Thursday night as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit the Philadelphia Eagles, where they are 7-point road favorites against Jalen Hurts and Co. The total currently sits at 52.5 points at BetMGM. 

Few players in the sport get the love and attention that Tom Brady does from the neutral observer. With the Buccaneers playing a prime-time game for the third time this season already, what action are bettors getting involved with prior to kickoff?

No surprise, Tampa Bay is the public side

In Week 5, Tom Brady threw for over 400 yards and added five touchdown passes. The craziest part is that his gaudy stat-line was barely even a topic. It's almost like we expect it at this point. At the age of 44, this shouldn't be possible. 

As a sports bettor, you've probably already learned once or twice that betting against Brady is rarely fun or a good idea. It seems like the public has taken that advice to heart this week. 

Nearly three-quarters of all bets placed and 69% of the money wagered is on Tampa Bay to cover the 7-point spread Thursday as a road favorite. The line originally opened with the Buccaneers giving just 6.5-points, but oddsmakers quickly adjusted once they saw the onslaught of action on Tampa Bay. 

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 10: Tom Brady (12) of the Buccaneers congratulates Mike Evans (13) on scoring a touchdown during the regular season game between the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 10, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Tom Brady and Mike Evans celebrate a touchdown from Tampa Bay's win in Week 5. (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Despite their 4-1 record, the Buccaneers are just 2-3 against the spread this season. They've failed to cover in both of their prime-time appearances this season. They needed a walk-off winning field goal to beat Dallas as a 9-point favorite in the season opener and then they held on for dear life in Week 4 against New England as a 7-point favorite. 

Philadelphia enters this matchup with a 2-3 record, both overall and against the spread. In their most recent performance, they beat Carolina outright as a 2.5-point road underdog. In their lone prime-time appearance of the season, the Eagles failed to cover as 3.5-point underdogs against the Cowboys in a 41-21 loss during Week 3. 

Action on the over, but total dropping

The total for Thursday night's game currently sits at 52.5 points. The Buccaneers have gone over this total in four of their first five games. 

Currently, 65% of bets placed and 75% of the money is on the game to go over the point total. Despite the lopsided action, the total has come down from its opening number of 53.5 points.

All underlying metrics point to a potential shootout here. The Eagles rank fourth in situation-neutral pace of play. The Buccaneers rank sixth. The Buccaneers lead the league in pass rate over expectation while the Eagles are third. Two fast playing teams who prefer to air the ball out usually leads to some eye-popping totals. 

Additionally, the Buccaneers defense is banged up with Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Lavonte David and Antoine Winfield all ruled out due to injury. 

Thursday's most popular props

The Buccaneers are loaded with skill position players and you never know which one will be the one going off in any particular game. Bettors at BetMGM have locked in two Buccaneers that they're backing on Thursday night.

Leonard Fournette has established himself as the lead back in Tampa Bay, leaving partner Ronald Jones in the dust. Fournette is currently +900 to score the first touchdown of the game. Usually, taking the running back of the favored team to score first is a smart play, but the Buccaneers might be an exception and the odds realize that. Of Tampa Bay's 21 touchdowns this season, only one has been scored by Fournette. Brady simply prefers throwing the ball and trusting himself. With his performance, can you blame him?

Another Buccaneers' skill position player getting love is Antonio Brown. Brown is currently +125 to score a touchdown at any point in the game. Brown scored two touchdowns in Tampa Bay's win over the Dolphins in Week 5, but prior to that he hadn't scored since the season opener. Nevertheless, Brown has received 29 targets in the four games he's played this season so he's definitely very much involved in this high-flying offense. 

If you're feeling lucky and expect a comfortable win for the Buccaneers, you might fancy a play on the Buccaneers to win the game by 13-18 points. This specific scenario pays out at +475 should it come through. Tampa Bay's margin of victory in their four wins has been 2 points, 23 points, 2 points and 28 points. 

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