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Pats-Bucs Could Close With the Highest Total in TNF History

Everyone and their mothers are expecting a shootout when the Pats meet the Bucs in Tampa Bay for Thursday Night Football and with sportsbooks opening the game with a lofty total of 54.5, line-setters are in the same boat. Since opening, however, that total has been on a steady climb and it could close as the highest in the history of Thursday Night Football.

SHARK BITES
  • The Patriots and Buccaneers have given up a combined 851.1 total yards of offense per game.
  • The biggest total in Thursday Night Football history is 56.5.
  • The last 5 games that closed with a total of 54 or higher all went OVER.

Often times when everyone agrees that something will happen in the NFL, the complete opposite happens. Considering how bad the Patriots defense has been through four weeks, though, it’s difficult to envision anything other than an offensive showdown between two teams that have combined for 606 passing yards per game.

Looking at the Pats specifically, they possess what has been by far the best ball-moving offense in the NFL. Tom Brady is up to his usual tricks, not missing a beat without Julian Edelman, and he has a passer rating of 116.6. He and the Pats – who have been shaky at best on the offensive line – have already played against three of the best defensive fronts in the league and it hasn’t seemed to faze them much at all (32.3 points per game).

After three games, the Bucs have just five sacks and while they’ve done an excellent job stuffing the run, they’ve had difficulty pressuring the quarterback. In their game against the Giants in Week 4, they failed to get to Eli Manning and it nearly cost them the game. New York’s offensive line had been awful in its first three contests and it really exposed just how mediocre Tampa’s pass rush is.

For the Bucs to win – or even cover – this game, they’ll need a solid performance from Jameis Winston. Despite good stats in three starts this season, the third-year quarterback still has the propensity to make boneheaded throws. He’ll have to play mistake-free football if he’s going to keep up with Tom Brady but luckily for him, he’ll be playing the softest pass defense in pro football.

Currently on pace to give up a total of 7,309 yards and 512 points, the Patriots could actually break the New Orleans Saints’ record for the most yards given up in an NFL season (7,042). There’s nothing to suggest that the D will be fixed by Thursday and you should probably just go ahead and bet the OVER at whatever number you can get it at.

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Opening Odds & Computer Pick

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were listed as 5-point underdogs at Bovada and other online sportsbooks, with the total listed at one point at 53.5.

OddsShark NFL prediction models pointed to a 29-26 result in favor of the Buccaneers on Thursday. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NFL matchups here.

New England Patriots vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The New England Patriots will look to cover ATS vs their hosts on Thursday, as they are 1-3 versus the spread this season, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 1-2 ATS. New England is 4-0 against the OVER/UNDER total, while Tampa Bay is 2-1 versus the number. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Tampa Bay vs New England injuries news.

The Buccaneers-Patriots odds would favor the Patriots if the betting lines were set according to power ranks. Tampa Bay is rated No. 15 in our latest OddsShark poll, while the Patriots sit at No. 2.

Statistical Matchup

The game also pits Tampa Bay's No. 12-ranked offense, averaging 23.67 PPG, against a Patriots defense that ranks No. 31 this week at 32 PPG. The Buccaneers aerial game is averaging 277.67 yards per game, less than the Patriots secondary allows through the air, 324 YPG per game.

Defensively, the New England Patriots feature the league's No. 9-rated road run defense, allowing 81 yards per game. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, meanwhile, rank No. 14 in rushing offense at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Tom Brady's 307-yard performance through the air wasn't enough last time out, as Carolina earned a 33-30 win over New England on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

In their last game, the Buccaneers got 3 passing scores out of Jameis Winston en route to a 25-23 win over the Giants on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

Betting Trends
  • New England is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games
  • New England is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of New England's last 5 games
  • New England is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games on the road
  • Tampa Bay is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
  • Tampa Bay is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games
  • Tampa Bay is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games at home
  • Tampa Bay is 4-8 ATS in its last 12 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

New England at New York, Sunday, October 15
Tampa Bay at Arizona, Sunday, October 15

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