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NFL Betting Picks — Tampa Bay Bucs vs Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Bucs

Will Run Game Be Enough For the Philadelphia Eagles vs Tampa Bay Bucs?

By Charles Jay

When compiling our NFL betting picks for BetAnySports, we must consider that the Philadelphia Eagles have been a rather hot team down the stretch, winning six of their last eight games. They have done this by going heavy with the ground game, behind an offensive line that has done a good job of pushing opponents back.

On Sunday afternoon they take on the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC wildcard playoff round, kicking off at 1 PM ET on Fox Network.

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NFL Betting Picks — Eagles doing the ground-and-pound

The Eagles had a pretty good place to start with as they have Jalen Hurts behind center. Hurts is one of the more nimble quarterbacks, racking up 784 yards with a 5.6-yard average. His passing stats aren’t bad, but he doesn’t have the kind of arm that tears up NFL defenses. But about halfway through the season, Nick Sirianni, the first-year coach who had been offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, decided to go run-first with the approach. And the results were impressive, to say the least.

The Eagles wound up rushing for more yards per game than anybody, and averaged 4.9 yards per carry. They were the only team in the NFL who ran the ball more than half the time (51.6%, in fact).

Miles Sanders is the lead running back, and after he broke his hand, he agreed to have surgery, on the condition Sirianni would let him play in the postseason. That is happening, and Sanders takes his 5.5-yard average into the action.

Support comes from Jordan Howard (4.7 ypc), Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell.

The running game helps Hurts, who is most likely to seek out the likes of tight end Dallas Goedert (830 yards) and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith (916 yards). In a previous meeting, which Tampa Bay won 28-22, Hurts had pedestrian numbers, completing 12 of 26 for 115 yards.

NFL Betting Picks — Here are the numbers…..

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In the NFL betting odds that have been posted on this NFC wildcard playoff game, Tampa Bay is the big favorite:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -7.5
Philadelphia Eagles  +7.5

Over 46 Points -110
Under 46 Points -110


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NFL Betting Picks — Bucs have receiver dilemma…. or do they?

The Buccaneers are without the injured Chris Godwin, of course, and they have had to wave goodbye to Antonio Brown, who actually waved goodbye to them first. So Tom Brady has to make things happen with the people he has.

What that meant last week against Carolina was a lot of attention paid to future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski, who caught seven passes out of ten targets for 137 yards. And we know how good the connection between him and Brady has been in the postseason.

Mike Evans knows the end zone very well; he had two touchdown catches last week and has 14 for the season. And then he’ll have to figure the rest out from among Breshad Perriman, Scotty Miller (a hero from last year’s NFC title game) and Cyril Grayson, who has superior speed.

Then, of course, there is Csmeron Brate, another tight end (30 catches) and Leonard Fournette, who’s had 69 receptions out of the backfield.

NFL Betting Picks — Our conclusion

Some of this depends on Tampa Bay’s ability to stop the run. The Bucs did allow 4.3 yards per rush, but with the capacity to stack the box, they can do better than that. Perhaps a more telling statistic is that the Eagles have allowed 69.4% completions (highest in the league), and if they’re soft they are going to make Brady’s task less problematic.

Tampa Bay had a horrible offensive outing in getting shut out 9-0 at home against New Orleans, but in every other game at Raymond James Stadium they have scored at least 30 points.We would lay the points here.


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