Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots NFL Week 4 Odds

Written by:
Phil Simon
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This game has been circled on just about everyone’s calendar since the schedule was revealed. There wasn’t much of a history between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots prior to last season. They’ve played just nine times since the Bucs joined the league in 1976 and few of the games were meaningful. Everything changed, though, when Tom Brady left for the Sunshine state, abandoning 20 years and six Super Bowl titles. Much has been said about the Brady/Bill Belichick relationship, but when the game kicks off all that matters will be between the lines. The Bucs opened as a 5.5-point favorite on the NFL betting line with action on the GOAT pushing the line to a touchdown.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots
Date and Time: Sunday, October 3, 2021, 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Opening NFL Odds: Tampa Bay -5.5, O/U 50.5
Buccaneers at Patriots TV Coverage: NBC

Odds Analysis

At this point maybe the pupil knows more than the teacher. In his first season after bailing on the Pats, Brady earned his seventh Super Bowl ring while the Pats saw their streaks of division titles, double-digit win seasons and playoff berths end. So I guess it wasn’t a surprise to see the Bucs hit the board at -5.5. According to the betting public that wasn’t enough. The Bucs were pounded pushing the line to TB -7. And while the spread went up the total came down hitting 49 after opening at 50.5. Both teams enter off losses with the Bucs snatched out of the ranks of the unbeaten with a 34-24 loss to the Rams. The Pats lost outright to the Saints, 28-13, as a 3-point favorite on the closing line.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

While a number of folks try to make this game about Brady and Belichick, the bottom line is that once the ball’s kicked off it’s a game with 11 players on each side. Brady had a monster game last week against a good Rams defense throwing for 432 yards and a touchdown while adding an additional rushing score. Unfortunately the Bucs fell behind and couldn’t run the ball forcing Brady to attempt 55 passes.

Having your 40-something quarterback throw that many passes isn’t ideal. But I’m sure Brady doesn’t mind with the talented pass-catchers he has. The group could be less imposing with Scotty Miller put on IR and Rob Gronkowski dealing with a rib injury. That puts more pressure on the running game and hopefully it’s better than last week. The Bucs managed just 35 yards on 13 carries against the Rams with Brady leading the way with 14 yards on three attempts.

The defense hasn’t quite lived up to its billing allowing 29.3 points and 402 yards per game to rank 28th and 27th respectively. And those positions are better than the league-worst pass defense. After facing some of the game’s best QBs over the first three weeks, the Bucs will try and feast on rookie Mac Jones.

New England Patriots

Brady was the guy for 20 years only missing games to injury and suspension. The Pats are now on their second starter in as many seasons with Jones taking the reins from Cam Newton. And since Brady’s departure the team is 8-11. So I guess you could say Brady made the system and that it wasn’t the other way around. The offense is a work in progress with Jones at the helm and so far the returns haven’t been good.

The Pats are taking a cautious approach with Jones but at some point the training wheels have to come off. If you didn’t want him to lead the club why cut Newton loose? The rookie was good the first two games but the attack lacked pop. Jones had his welcome to the league moment last week completing 30 of 51 passes for 270 yards and three picks. The passing game struggled last year and Jones now has more picks (3) than touchdown passes (2). And things may have gotten worse with the loss of second leading receiver James White.

Facing young QB’s Tua Tagovailoa and Zach Wilson in the first two games was a break. The defense intercepted five passes and allowed only one scoring toss in those outings. Jameis Winston wasn’t much of a threat last week and the Pats still lost. It’s troubling to know they are just 1-2 against those guys and now they face the greatest of all-time.

Bet Buccaneers at Patriots 49ers at BookMaker.eu

I think Brady might be extra motivated for this game and that’s not good news for the Pats. The old man will need some help, though. Tampa’s offense has suddenly become one-dimensional and the Pats are struggling to forge an identity so it’s hard to picture a track meet. And you can also expect the Pats will have a fire in their shorts, which is why I’m taking the points. I don’t see this game reach 50, though, so back the UNDER.

NFL Score Prediction: Buccaneers 24, Patriots 20

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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