NFL Wild Card Betting Picks: Best Prop Bets Buccaneers at Football Team
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team, FedEx Field, 8:15 p.m. EST. Jan 9, 2021.
When the Buccaneers take on the Football Team on Saturday night in the final Wild-Card game of the day, it’ll mark the third postseason meeting between the two franchises. The two teams split the previous meetings, with the Bucs winning 14-13 in 1999 and the Redskins returning the favor in 2005. This year, these two teams come into this game in very different fashions. The Bucs nearly won the AFC South as they posted a record of 11-5 and have one of the top offenses in the league. The Football Team backed into the NFC East division title with a record of 7-9 because their division was terrible.
As of writing this, the Bucs are favorite by eight points and the total is set at 45.5. Based on what we’ve seen from these two teams over the last month or so of the regular season, I believe the total is spot on, despite how efficient and productive the Bucs’ offense has looked. The Playoffs are a different animal, and the Football Team’s defense is one of the very best units in the league, so it’ll be interesting to see which unit wins the battle. As for the spread, laying eight points on the road is a lot to ask for a postseason game. If Washington wins or covers, it’ll likely be because it’s a low scoring game, and the opposite holds true for if the Bucs win/cover. Instead, I’ve narrowed my focus to a few key props that should be profitable for us come Saturday night.
Team Total Points
Washington – “Over” 17.5 +100, “Under” 17.5, -138
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the saying “style makes the fight”. That saying can hold true in boxing, basketball, hockey, soccer, and even football. Teams who have opposite styles tend to give us great entertainment because the team that can dictate its style of play has a greater chance of having success. In this contest, we have no doubt what Washington will want to do. They’ll want to win the time of possession, keep the game as low scoring as possible with their highly skilled defensive unit and try and hang around until the fourth quarter where anything is possible. Perhaps they’ll be leading or perhaps they’ll be within striking distance of a game-winning drive. For the Bucs, they want to put points on the board every single play. They have an offense that ranks third in the NFL in points per game and second in passing yards per game. Tom Brady will likely air it out (depending on game script) 40-plus times to his many talented receivers. So which style is going to win? Well, in the playoffs, a good defense can go a long way. I believe the Washington defense will do enough to slow down the Bucs offense – who will be without Mike Evans for this game. Washington’s defense will force one or two turnovers and set the offense up with great field position. Because of that, I believe that Washington will go “over” their point total – simply because they are going to have to score at least 20 to have a shot at winning this game. The Bucs are going to get theirs, but Washington’s offense – finally fully healthy – will score points too.
Pick: “Over” 17.5 +100
Terry McLaurin - “Over” 5.5 -143, “Under” 5.5, +105
If you’ve watched any games in which the Football Team have been a part of, you’d know that Terry McLaurin is their go-to receiver. McLaurin is the team’s leading receiver by a country mile, hauling in 87 receptions this year for 1,118 yards – 440 yards more than second-place Logan Thomas. McLaurin will be a key factor in this game if the Football Team has any hopes of pulling off the upset. The Bucs defense ranks first against the run but 21st against the pass, and we’ve seen the Bucs’ secondary get torched one too many times. I expect Alex Smith to go to McLaurin early and often in this one as when the going gets tough, the best players need to step up and deliver great performances. McLaurin has had more than six catches 10 times this season in 16 games, despite dealing with an ankle injury in early December that limited him two catches in back-to-back games. McLaurin is coming off two-straight seven-catch games and we expect a similar performance this week.
Pick; Over 5.5 Receptions.
Ronald Jones - “Over” 55.5 -120, “Under” 59.5, -120
In order to have success in the National Football League, coaches like to attack the opposing team’s weaknesses. The Bucs weakness is their secondary, which is why our first prop is on McLaurin to go over his reception total. This prop focuses on the Football Team’s weakness, which is stopping the run. They are ranked 13th in doing so, and we see Ronald Jones having a solid day on the ground, which will keep the defense honest and allow Brady to work his magic through the air. Jones has topped this total in three straight games and four of his last five contests. There is no need to worry about Leonard Fournette stealing his touches as he’s an afterthought in this offense and will only come in for a snap or two in relief. This is a low line, and we believe Jones will get to the 70-yard rushing mark in this contest.
Pick: Over 59.5 rushing yards.
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