The Buccaneers and Bills are in Buffalo tonight to kick off Week 8 in the NFL! Both teams lost divisional games last week and will be looking to get back on track in this one after a short week of preparation. Josh Allen and the Bills are currently 9.5-point favorites, while the over/under sits at 43.5.
Baker Mayfield has gained the respect of his teammates, but filling Tom Brady’s shoes on this team is no easy task. 3-3 isn’t a terrible spot to be by any means, but in the three losses, this team has scored just 30 points total. The Bucs are a team that can look solid against mediocre competition, but they won’t be giving the best teams in the league much of a test. If Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are neutralized, Tampa Bay has a very hard time on offence. Now, it’s basically impossible to keep them from getting the ball at all, but limiting the damage they can do should be the number one focus for opposing defenses.
On the other side of the ball, however, Tampa Bay is still very solid. In six games this season, no team has been able to score more than two touchdowns against this defence, and the Eagles are the only team to put up more than 20 points. They’re as healthy as they’ve been in a long time, and they’re one of the best examples of the bend but don’t break mentality. Coming into tonight, Tampa’s defence sits at 20th in yards allowed, but 6th in points allowed. They also have the best takeaway/giveaway ratio in the NFL. Turnovers are certainly a possibility against Josh Allen, and if Tampa wants to win this one, they’ll have to get a few tonight.
It’s been a very rough last three weeks for the Bills. They lost to the Jags in London, barely beat the Giants in primetime, and then fell to the 1-5 Patriots last Sunday. In each game, Josh Allen has thrown two touchdowns and one interception. Those aren’t terrible numbers, but if the Bills want to be true contenders, Allen will need to be better. The whole team will need to be better. Stefon Diggs has continued to dominate from the receiver position, but once again, this team has struggled to find a good second option. Last week, it was rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid, so hopefully we’ll see more of him tonight.
On defence, the losses of Matt Milano and Tre White have been felt. Despite that, this unit has to be better than last week. The Patriots had scored 27 points in their previous four weeks combined before putting up 29 against the Bills. Tampa Bay’s strength is defence, so if Buffalo’s doesn’t bring it tonight, the team may end up in trouble once again. The run defence has been poor, and they’ll need to slow Rachaad White down early to force Baker to beat them through the air. The Bills’ offence should be able to help put Tampa Bay in passing situations as well, but that’s hardly a guarantee given how the last few weeks have gone.
Buccaneers and Bills: The Pick
This Thursday night tilt between the Buccaneers and Bills could go one of two ways. If Buffalo comes out hungry on offence and ready to prove to the world that they’re still a great team, they may just win by 30. When the Bills are playing their best, they’re very hard to beat. However, if the team stays in this mini-slump, Tampa Bay is definitely good enough to steal a win. I do think Sean McDermott’s squad will take care of business, but I doubt a perfect performance comes tonight after a short week. I’ll take Tampa Bay +9.5.
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