Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head west to Denver to take on the Broncos in an inter-conference matchup on Sunday. The Buccaneers got their first win in the Tom Brady-era last Sunday as they jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 31-17 victory over the Carolina Panthers.
The Broncos, meanwhile, have lost two games by a total of seven points after their 26-21 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Tampa Bay covered the spread as a seven-point favorite in week two after failing to cover as a four-point underdog in week one. In both games, the total has gone over.
Denver has covered the spread in both of their games, losing by five points as a 6.5-point underdog to Pittsburgh, and losing by two points as a three-point underdog against Tennessee in week one. The total went over last week, while it was under in week one.
As expected, there has been some movement on the line in this one thanks to injuries for the hosts. Tampa Bay opened as a 3.5-point favorite but that line is now up to the Buccaneers -6. 80 percent of the bets against the spread back Tom Brady and Tampa Bay giving the points.
While the line has increased, the total has dropped for this one. After opening at 44.5 points, the number has been bet down to where it stands currently at 42.5 points. It's a near-even split on bets in regards to the total with 51 percent siding that this one falls short of that pedestrian number.
Game-time Weather: Temperature at kickoff for this one is expected to be in the mid-60s under sunny skies. There is less than a five percent chance of rain in the forecast. One thing that does need to be noted is there is an air quality index alert until 4 pm MT Sunday, which would be around halftime of the game. Winds are expected from the north-northeast at 10 to 15 miles per hour.
Brady gets first win as a BucAfter an inauspicious start to his Tampa Bay career, Brady got back to his winning ways in week two, leading Tampa Bay to their first win of the season. He threw for 217 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the game. Brady completed over 65% of his passes in the game. He was bolstered by a running attack that was pretty-much nonexistent in their first game. Leonard Fournette, who had just five yards on five carries in the opening game loss to the New Orleans Saints, rushed for 103 yards on just 12 carries for an 8.6-yard average and two touchdowns.
“Our execution was a little bit better. I think we're still a long way from where we need to be," Brady said on espn.com. "I think if we have the ability to make plays, consistency, dependability are going to be things that we really need. So, we've got to get back to work. Clock's ticking on next week."
Brady’s top target was Mike Evans, who caught seven passes (on 10 targets) for 104 yards and a touchdown. Devin White had 15 tackles (11 solo) to lead the defense. The Buccaneers forced four turnovers in the game (two fumbles, two interceptions). Tampa Bay was outgained in the game 427-339, as they gave up 367 yards passing, and they had the ball for nearly 10 less minutes than Carolina did. In the past week, the Buccaneers have put wide receiver Chris Goodwin and tight end Anthony Auclair on injured reserve, but they are pretty injury-free otherwise. Godwin (concussion) is listed as probable to play in this game.
Brady has gotten off to a slow start in his Buccaneers career, throwing for just 456 yards and three touchdowns through two games. He has also thrown three interceptions after throwing just eight all of last season with the New England Patriots. Fournette has 108 yards rushing in the first two games, while Evans has 106 yards receiving to lead the team. Fournette and Evans have both scored two touchdowns. White leads the way for the defense, as he has 26 tackle (17 solo), three tackles for losses, and two passes defended.
OUT: TE Antony Auclair, S Justin Evans, WR John Franklin, WR John Hurst, RB T.J. Logan, G John Molchon, T Brad Seaton, WR Justin Watson
Questionable: T Donovan Smith
Broncos lose another close one as well as starting quarterbackComing off a two-point loss to the Tennessee Titans in week one, the Denver Broncos were looking to get back on the winning track against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. Staring quarterback Drew Lock threw just five passes in the game before leaving with a right shoulder injury after being sacked and fumbling in the first quarter. His replacement Jeff Driskel nearly led an impressive comeback, but was sacked on a fourth-down play from the Steelers 15-yard line with less than two minutes remaining in the game. It was the sixth time that Driskel was sacked and the 17th time he was hit in the game. The Broncos trailed 17-3 at halftime and 26-14 almost midway through the fourth quarter, before beginning their comeback bid.
“I thought in lieu of all the circumstances, going against a good defense, I thought (Driskel) did an admirable job and he'll only get better if we have to continue with him," Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said on espn.com.
Driskel, in his first game action of the season, completed 18 of 34 passes for 256 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Melvin Gordon III ran the ball 19 times for 70 yards in the game, while Jerry Jeudy and Noah Fant caught four passes each for the Broncos. Justin Simmons (seven solo tackles) and Alexander Johnson (six solo tackles) both had eight total tackles in the game.
Gordon III has 34 of the Broncos 52 carries this season, and has 148 of the team’s 211 yards rushing this season. Fant leads the way for the receiving corps, catching nine passes for 138 yards in the first two games. Johnson has 20 tackles on defense, including 14 solo tackles.
Besides Lock, defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones and wide receiver Courtland Sutton were place on the IR this week, while running back Phillip Lindsay, wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland, linebacker Mark Barron, and cornerback Davontae Harris are all listed as questionable for the game on Sunday. Former Jaguar quarterback Blake Bortles was signed to back up Driskel.
OUT: LB Mark Barron, CB A.J. Bouye, TE Austin Fort, CB Davontae Harris, DL Jonathan Harris, NT Joel Heath, T Ja'Waun James, DE Dre'Mont Jones, RB Phillip Lindsay, QB Drew Lock, LB Von Miller, NT Kyle Peko, LB Justin Strnad, WR Courtland Sutton, DE DeMarcus Walker
Questionable: LB Jeremiah Attaochu
Trends found on oddsshark.com:
- The Broncos are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall
- The Broncos are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games
- The Broncos are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games versus an NFC South opponent
- The Buccaneers are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games played in week three
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Tom Brady has looked human (or at least old) so far this season for Tampa Bay. He is averaging less than 230 yards per game, while throwing three interceptions in the first two games. The Broncos have lost two close games this season, as they have covered the spread in each one. Jeff Driskel played fairly well in relief against the Steelers, nearly leading Denver to a comeback win on Sunday. The Broncos have won five of their last six games straight up against Tampa Bay. If Driskel can have another decent day on Sunday, look for another close Broncos game.
Prediction: Denver +6
Full-Game Total Pick
In both of Tampa Bay’s first two games, the total has gone over, while the Broncos combined for 47 points with the Steelers in their last game. The Buccaneers have averaged 27 points per game this season, while giving up 25.5 points per game. The Broncos are giving up an average of 21 points per game this season. The total has gone over in 14 of Tampa Bay’s last 16 games, while the total has gone over in 10 of Denver’s last 15 games played in September. The Buccaneers seem to have found a running game in their last game, while Driskel played better in game two than Lock did in game one. Expect a game played in the 20’s, so take the over.
Prediction: Over 43.5