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Tampa Bay Visits Washington In Playoff Rematch

Bruce Arians & Tampa Bay heavy road favorites against Washington in Week 10 odds.

Life on the road hasn’t been easy this season for the Buccaneers (6-2 SU, 3-5 ATS), who haven’t covered any of their four games as the visitors. Tampa Bay opened as a 7.5-point favorite at Washington (2-6, 1-7), which covered the spread when the teams met in last year’s wild-card round.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Washington Football Team
  • Date/Time: November 14, 1 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: FedExField
  • TV Coverage: Fox
  • Opening Odds: Buccaneers -7.5 | O/U 51 (Line History)
  • Tampa Bay vs Washington Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Even though neither team played last week, oddsmakers moved the point spread nearly a field goal to Tampa Bay -10 when the line reopened after Sunday’s contests. That was the spread when the Bucs beat Washington 31-23 in last year’s playoffs.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

The Buccaneers have had an extra week to dwell on their most recent performance, a 36-27 loss at New Orleans in which the Bucs turned the ball over three times and committed 11 penalties.

Tampa lost its final game before the bye last season as well, then returned as a motivated squad that won its final eight games and claimed the Super Bowl.

Coach Bruce Arians told reporters he’ll be emphasizing discipline this week in practice, but the biggest benefit of the bye week for Tampa might be time off to heal. The team was without several members of its secondary against New Orleans, while Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski also sat out with injuries.

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Washington News & Notes

Washington overcame a 2-7 SU start last year to make the playoffs, but that’s when seven victories was enough to win the NFC East. This year, Washington is four games behind Dallas for the division lead, and coach Ron Rivera has already told reporters that he plans to spend the rest of the season re-evaluating the entire roster.

That certainly includes quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who has done a decent job moving the Washington offense — until the team gets inside the opposition’s 20-yard line, at least. Washington has scored on less than 46 percent of its red-zone trips with Heinicke at quarterback this season, the worst percentage in the NFL.

“The bye week came at the perfect time,” tackle Charles Leno told the Associated Press. “(We just need to) figure out what we’re good at, figure out what we need to get better at and eliminate the things that we’re bad at.”

However, extra time to prepare hasn’t helped Washington much in recent years. The club is an ugly 3-10 SU and 2-11 ATS in games following a bye since 2007.

How Tampa Bay Will Cover

If backing the Buccaneers off a loss isn’t enticing enough, how about backing the Bucs off a loss and an extra week to think about it? Intensity and focus shouldn’t be an issue for Tampa Bay in this one, especially against a Washington team that gave the Bucs a tough time in their last meeting.

How Washington Will Cover

Washington’s defense hasn’t lived up to expectations this season, but we saw in last year’s playoff that it at least has the ability to slow down Brady. If Washington can be more productive in the red zone, it might be able to keep things close.

Computer Pick: Washington +10

For more Week 10 predictions, visit our NFL Computer Picks Page.

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Shark Bites
  • Tampa Bay is 10-2 SU in its last 12 road games.
  • Washington is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games.
  • The OVER is 28-12 in Tampa Bay’s last 40 road games.