This is a game that every NFL fan dreams of watching. This could potentially become one of the most entertaining homecoming games we see in a long time. Tom Brady returns to Foxboro to take on his old team, the Patriots.
Things look very different in New England right now, as they are going with rookie quarterback Mac Jones. It will take some time to establish themselves, but it’s known never to doubt head coach Bill Belichick. As for Tampa Bay, they are the reigning champs and look to be the favorite to repeat again this year.
Here’s how the bookmakers have set the lines for Sunday night’s matchup.
NFL Odds: Buccaneers-Patriots Odds
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -7 (-110)
New England Patriots +7 (-110)
Over 49 points (-114)
Under 49 points (-106)
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Why The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Could Cover
Brady and the Buccaneers should have no issue covering against the Patriots. The Bucs did lose against the Rams last week, but Los Angeles played as well as you could against a short-handed Bucs team. Antonio Brown is back after landing on the COVID-19 list and should become a matchup nightmare for the Patriots’ secondary. Brady should light up his former team, as that is what everyone is expecting to happen. Not only is the Bucs’ offense elite, but their defense is also highly capable. The defense has dealt with some injuries but recently brought in cornerback Richard Sherman to fill in for Sean Murphy-Bunting, who landed on the IR.
The lowest-scoring game for Tampa Bay this year was 24 in the loss last week to the Rams. The first two weeks they scored 31 against the Cowboys and torched the Falcons by scoring 48. With the Patriots failing to score more than 25 points in a game, the Bucs should dominate them on the scoreboard.
Why The New England Patriots Could Cover
The Patriots are not the same old Patriots. Belichick still runs the show as he should, but the offense isn’t close to where they wanted it to be. New England went out and spent more money than any other franchise over the offseason, but it’s too early to judge the acquisitions just yet. Jones is the only rookie quarterback with a win under his belt this year, so that is a good sign moving forward.
If the Patriots are to cover against the Bucs, then Jones would have to play the game of his life. The defense would have to shut down Brady (which is possible) and keep him off the field. If there is any coach who could potentially shut down Brady, it’s Belichick. The Patriots are going to have to play their style of football and win this game with their defense. They will need to do everything in their power to keep this a low-scoring game.
Final Buccaneers-Patriots Prediction & Pick
Taking the Buccaneers spread here should be a lock. Brady will be on a mission to destroy his former team, and betting against Brady usually doesn’t work out. Belichick and the Pats might throw some curveballs at Brady, but there isn’t much to do when every matchup favors the Bucs. I also like the over in this game. The Bucs have already proved they can run up the score, and the Pats will find a way to put up some points. I expect Tampa Bay to win by multiple touchdowns.
Final Pick: Buccaneers (-7) & Over (49)