NFL Wild-Card Round: Eagles vs. Buccaneers picks, predictions and player props

Zachary Cohen breaks down a Monday meeting between the Eagles and Buccaneers in the Wild-Card Round of the NFL Playoffs.

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Dec 31, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) walks off the field after loss to Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles vs. Buccaneers Wild-Card Saturday odds and predictions

On Monday, January 15, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Philadelphia Eagles as part of the NFL’s Super Wild Card Weekend. This one will kick off at 8:00 pm ET from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida. Keep reading for our Eagles vs. Buccaneers picks, predictions and player props. 

MORE: Check out our Wild-Card Round betting hub for all of this week’s best bets and content

 

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How To Watch Eagles vs. Buccaneers

Date: Monday, January 15

Time: 8:00 pm ET

Channel: ABC/ESPN

Eagles vs. Buccaneers Spread

The Eagles entered the postseason after having lost five of their last six games, and they haven’t covered a spread since November 26. This team broke down defensively down the stretch, allowing at least 33 points in four of its final seven games. And a hot-and-cold offense didn’t make things any easier. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers won five of their last six games to win the NFC South and earn home-field advantage in this game. Tampa Bay was also 11-6 against the spread in the regular season, so this was a competitive team all year. It just took a while for the Bucs to figure out how to win games, but they got there and they have some real momentum now. 

Earlier in the season, Philadelphia’s poor defense wouldn’t have concerned me against Tampa Bay, but the Buccaneers offense has shown some signs of life in the second half of the year. Prior to combining to score only 22 points over the final two weeks of the season, Tampa Bay had actually scored at least 29 points in three consecutive games. With that in mind, Baker Mayfield is capable of getting this passing game going. That isn’t all that surprising considering Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are great wide receivers, and Rachaad White is one of the best pass catching running backs in football. Assuming the weather allows it, Tampa Bay’s passing game should be rather difficult for Philadelphia to deal with. The Eagles are just 29th in the league in Defensive DVOA this season, and it’s a 29th-ranked passing defense that drags the entire unit down. 

Defensively, the Buccaneers also happen to be rock solid on both sides of the ball. In terms of DVOA, Tampa Bay is 14th in the NFL against the pass and eighth against the rush. That sets the Buccaneers up nicely against an Eagles offense that is 12th in Offensive DVOA when it comes to passing and fifth when it comes to the ground attack. Philadelphia is also a little banged up in the receiving corps, with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith both carrying some minor injuries into this game. On top of that, Todd Bowles is one of the brightest defensive minds in football. He should have an answer for the Eagles offense after having seen them earlier in the year. There’s a reason the Bucs are 2-0 both straight up and ATS when facing teams they lost to earlier in the season under Bowles. 

If you’re wondering why I didn’t go into Philadelphia’s 25-11 road win over Tampa Bay earlier in the season, that’s because these teams are in much different places than they were then. Philadelphia is significantly worse and Tampa Bay is a lot better. That game was also just way too early in the year, with the meeting having taken place in Week 3. Mayfield took some time to get going in this offense, and he’s a lot more comfortable now. That said, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t play a much better game against this weak secondary.

Eagles vs. Buccaneers Total 

These teams only combined to score 36 points in their first meeting, and the Eagles did the heavy lifting in that one. But I believe this game has the potential to be higher in scoring than people think. The Eagles haven’t been consistently winning games in the second half of the season, but they did score at least 31 points in back-to-back weeks before last week’s dud against the Giants. This is still an offense that can be very explosive, and the Buccaneers aren’t perfect defensively. So, even though I do like Tampa to get some key stops here, I don’t see the team completely slowing Philadelphia down. Also, the Buccaneers are a much better offense than they were early in the year, and they have the downfield passing game required to exploit this weak secondary. 

The Over is also 11-6 in the 17 games that the Eagles have played under head coach Nick Sirianni against teams that allow at least 235.0 passing yards per game.

Eagles vs. Buccaneers Player Props

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Mike Evans Anytime TD Scorer (+114 – Play to +100)

Evans tied Tyreek Hill for the most receiving touchdowns in football this year, as the big man found the end zone 13 times. Now, Evans will be working against one of the most burnable secondaries in the league, and he’ll be doing so with Tampa Bay’s season on the line. I just don’t see a scenario in which Mayfield doesn’t look to Evans rather often in this one, as he knows he’s his most reliable target. The Bucs also target Evans rather frequently in the red zone, as they know his size gives a lot of teams trouble. So, Evans could get looks from inside the five, even if it seems like an obvious running situation. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if he and Mayfield connect on a long one.

Eagles vs. Buccaneers Prediction

I have been looking to fade this Eagles team as much as possible in the second half of the season, and the Buccaneers have been a bet-on team for me. That’s not changing now that we’re in the postseason. I know that Philadelphia is the more talented team here, but the group has lacked purpose in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is connected and winning games. With the Bucs having home-field advantage, I’m taking the points and would also be cool with a moneyline play.

Pick: Bucs +3

Head to our Pro Picks page to see how VSiN analysts are betting Eagles vs. Buccaneers! 

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