Buccaneers-Packers Bet Tips & Picks: NFC Championship Game
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. ET. Here’s our complete guide to Buccaneers-Packers Bet Tips. Odds and lines for Buccaneers-Packers picks and NFC Championship bets are from PointsBet, current as of Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Buccaneers-Packers Bet Tips & Picks: NFC Championship
Picks in this article
TB @ GB | 01/24, 3:05 PM
TB @ GB | 01/24, 3:05 PM
TB @ GB | 01/24, 3:05 PM
Buccaneers-Packers Bet Tips
Odds & Betting Lines for Buccaneers-Packers Picks/NFC Championship Bets
- Against The Spread: Packers -3 (-120) / Buccaneers +3 (+100)
- Moneyline: Packers (-171) / Buccaneers (+145)
- Total: 51 — Over 51 (-115) / Under 51 (-105)
- Implied Team Totals: Packers 27, Buccaneers 24
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will travel to storied Lambeau Field to take on the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC, Green Bay Packers. While the Buccaneers opened the 2020 season strong, they hit a lull in the middle of their schedule.
However, since they had a late-season bye in Week 13, the Buccaneers finally had their week off to make adjustments. As a result, they came out of their bye strong while peaking at the right time. Since that Week 13 bye, the Buccaneers have been one of the hottest teams in the NFL, winning each of their past six games. With a trip to the Super Bowl representing the NFC on the line, the Buccaneers will look to become the first team to host a Super Bowl at their home stadium with a win over the Packers in the Championship Sunday opener.
The Packers, on the other hand, never hit a lull of their own. They only lost three games all season and have been victorious in nine of their past 10 contests, including seven straight.
It’s Tom Brady versus Aaron Rodgers, two of the best to ever do it. This is a game that will be talked about through the test of time.
Buccaneers-Packers Bet Tips: Key Injuries
The Buccaneers have received excellent news on the injury front this week ahead of their NFC Title bout against the Packers that, as of this publishing, will not impact NFC Championship bets or Buccaneers-Packers picks.
WR Antonio Brown exited last week’s Divisional Round win over the Saints with a knee injury and did not play in the second half. While the knee injury was initially thought to be serious, Brown underwent an MRI on Monday which returned favorable results. Although he could miss practice time, the early prognosis is that Brown will be ready to play on Championship Sunday.
If Brown suffers any setbacks or ultimately sits or is limited against Green Bay, both Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson would see an uptick in snaps and in opportunity share.
The Buccaneers finished the 2020 season as the No. 1 team in rushing yards allowed per game (80.6). They managed to accomplish that feat without one of their stud interior defensive linemen, Vita Vea, who has not played since Week 5. Vea was on the injured reserve list with a broken leg.
However, on Monday, the Buccaneers designated Vea for return from IR, which means he will likely be ready to go against the Packers. Even if Vea plays with limitations, his presence will still bolster the league’s best front against the run.
The Packers are really not dealing with any fresh injuries of significance. However, if there is one to note, it is to RB A.J. Dillon.
Dillon is dealing with a quadriceps injury suffered in last week’s Divisional Round win over the Rams. Dillon injured his quad on a play in which he fumbled the football on one of his six carries for 27 yards. Aaron Rodgers recovered the fumble.
With both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams healthy and hot, Dillon may be a non-factor injury or not. If anything, he may only see touches if one of the aforementioned top two Green Bay backs suffer an injury of their own.
Buccaneers-Packers Bet Tips: Players to Watch
Buccaneers QB Tom Brady has had his highs and lows this season, but since the team’s Week 13 bye, the goat has been goating. In his first 12 games of the year, Brady had a 28:12 TD/TO ratio with a 7-5 record. Brady had nine turnovers in those five losses, all of which were interceptions. In fact, he had 1+ turnover in four of those five defeats.
In six games since Tampa’s Week 13 bye including the playoffs, the Buccaneers are 6-0 while Brady owns a 16:1 TD/TO ratio. Brady, 43, is at the top of his game despite his age.
Brady is 4-2 in six career games against the Packers, winning his last one earlier in the 2020 season by a convincing 38-10 mark at home.
Brady isn’t doing it all by himself, however. To keep enemy defenses honest, the Buccaneers try to run the football. Despite ending the regular season 29th in team running plays per game (23.1 at a 2.31 pace), the Buccaneers can be effective in running the football. While they finished the year with the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game (94.9), they will get an exploitable foe in the form of the Packers.
The Packers surrendered the 13th fewest rushing yards per game (112.8), but quality power running teams have gotten the best of the Green Bay defensive front. With a pair of bruising rushers that include Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette, the Buccaneers could utilize their backs early and often in an effort to keep the red-hot Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines and to keep the pressure off of Brady.
In the Buccaneers’ Wild Card win over the Football Team, Jones was active but did not see a single touch. Per reports, Jones suffered a quad contusion during pregame warmups but unfortunately for the Bucs, it occurred after actives and inactive were declared.
In a featured role, Fournette flourished, going for 132 total yards with a touchdown on 23 touches (4 receptions).
In the Divisional Round win over the Saints, both Fournette and Jones were active, utilized, and effective. While Fournette managed 107 total yards with a score on 22 touches (5 receptions), Jones also went for 62 rushing yards on 13 carries in his own right, playing through his ailing quad.
The Buccaneers may not be the best running team in the NFL, but they can get it done when they need to, which does not bode well for a Packers defense that can fall hard when punched in the face.
Back in Week 6’s 38-10 win over the Packers, Jones totaled 121 yards and two touchdowns on 25 touches (2 receptions) while Fournette did not play.
We all know what the Packers do best, let Aaron Rodgers do his thing with Davante Adams. However, on Championship Sunday, the Packers must find a way to run the football against the NFL’s No. 1-ranked run defense.
While the Packers finished seven in most passing yards per game (221.2), they were also a successful running team as well. The Packers finished 13th in most rushing yards per game (112.8) behind Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, and sometimes, even A.J. Dillon.
Although Jones is the primary back, Williams also gets in some work. In fact, in last week’s Divisional Round victory over the Saints, Williams had one of his best games of the year spelling Jones, going for 63 yards on 12 carries.
Meanwhile, Jones was his usual fantastic self, managing 113 total yards and a touchdown on 15 touches (1 reception). The duo of Jones and Williams combined for 176 total yards and a score on the NFL’s No. 3 ranked run defense last week against the Rams.
As successful as they were facing a top-flight defense against the run, that was not the case in Week 6’s blowout loss to the Buccaneers. In that game, Jones only totaled 41 yards and a score on 13 touches (3 receptions) while Williams went for 34 yards on four carries.
The Packers could not run the ball against the Buccaneers the last time out and completely dismantled Rodgers as a result. In fact, Rodgers had his worst outing of the year in that loss, completing 15-of-35 passes for 160 yards and two interceptions.
It was the only game in which Rodgers failed to throw a touchdown in a season in which he threw for 48. It was also only 1-of-3 games in which Adams failed to score. Adams finished with a 6/61/0 line on 10 targets.
As outstanding as the Packers have been this season, their offense could be in trouble if they are forced to play one-dimensional football.
Buccaneers-Packers Bet Tips: Weather Report
The weather Lambeau Field calls for an overcast afternoon at the time of kickoff with 4 mph winds blowing West-NorthWest.
The temperature for the game is set at 28 degrees Fahrenheit with a 48% chance of snowy conditions.
It could have a wintry impact on NFC Championship bets and Buccaneers-Packers picks.
BEST BET: Over 51 (-115)
Head-to-head, this Buccaneers-Packers pick is difficult to project, which is why my Best Bet is wagering the Total going in the direction of the Over.
While the Packers entered postseason play as the No. 1 overall seed and currently sit with a 14-3 record, including the playoffs, the Buccaneers were not far behind. With a 13-5 mark, 11-5 in the regular season, the Buccaneers entered the postseason as the No. 5 seed in the NFC.
In terms of head-to-head team stats, here is how the two best NFC clubs match-up:
- Points scored: Buccaneers 3rd-most (30.8), Packers No. 1 (31.8)
- Points allowed: Buccaneers 8th-fewest (22.2), Packers 13th-fewest (23.1)
- Total yards: Buccaneers 7th-most (384.1), Packers 6th-most (389.0)
- Total yards allowed: Buccaneers 6th-fewest (327.1), Packers 9th-fewest (334.0)
- Passing yards: Buccaneers 2nd-most (289.1), Packers 9th-most (256.6)
- Passing yards allowed: Buccaneers 12th-most (246.6), Packers 7th-fewest (221.2)
- Rushing yards: Buccaneers 5th-fewest (94.9), Packers 8th-most (132.4)
- Rushing yards allowed: Buccaneers No. 1 (80.6), Packers 13th-fewest (112.8)
As you can see, these two clubs are very close in the most important areas.
Breaking it down even farther, here are two more categories that will impact this game, and most games as well:
- Sacks: Buccaneers 4th-most (48), Packers Tied for 9th-most (41)
- Sacks allowed: Buccaneers 3rd-fewest (22), Packers Tied for 2nd-fewest (21)
- Turnover Differential: Buccaneers 4th (+8), Packers 5th (+7)
Even in sacks, sacks allowed and turnover differential, the Buccaneers and Packers are skin-tight, making me wrack my brain on this Buccaneers-Packers pick.
If you read the Players to Watch section, I broke down why both teams must establish the run to remain potent on offense. And while the Packers were clearly the dominant running team, containing the enemy’s ground game is their forte.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneers didn’t have the greatest year on the ground, but they can pop when need-be and in the right matchup. I’ve said it time and time again for the past two seasons, “if you punch the Packers in the fact and run the ball down their throat, that defense will be exposed.”
As well as both of these defenses have played, both the Green Bay and Tampa Bay offenses are probably the bigger reason why they remain left standing in the NFC. Both sides can pop on anyone. I expect that to continue on Championship Sunday.
The last time these two teams faced-off, the Buccaneers got the best of the Packers by a wide margin, defeating them 38-10 back in Week 6. The Buccaneers’ defense shut down Green Bay’s ground attack and the Packers could not get anything going through the air. That game was played in Tampa.
From that game, we know that this Buccaneers club can not only contain the league’s top-scoring offense, but they can also score on Green Bay’s normally stout defense as well.
Since that Week 6 outing, the Packers have consistently been one of the hottest teams in football, while the Buccaneers have had their ebbs and flows, but are peaking at the right time. This will be one of those games in which the team with the ball in their hands last will likely win. The turnover battle will also play a role in a game of this magnitude with two teams that match-up so closely.
Even in snowy conditions, I will still ride the Over. Back in Week 16, it was nearly a blizzard at Lambeau Field and the Packers dominated the Titans 40-14, hitting the Over. Both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are used to playing in wintery conditions. And while the rest of the Buccaneers may not be, they are still football players. Outside of Lamar Jackson, most football players can handle the snow.
- The Over is 5-5 in the Buccaneers’ past 10 games, but 2-1 in their past three, but failing to hit last week.
- The Over is 6-4 in the Packers’ past 10 games, hitting in each of their past three following three straight games with the Total falling Under.
- The Over is 4-2 in the past six meetings between the Buccaneers and Packers, 1-2 in their past three, with the Total hitting the Under back in Week 6. Back in Week 6, the Total was set at 55 and missed by (-7) points.
- The Over is 8-0 in the Packers’ past eight games in January.
- The Over is 6-0 in the Packers’ past six postseason games.
- The Over is 6-1 in the Buccaneers’ past seven games as a road underdog.
Final score prediction: Buccaneers 30, Packers 24
CONSIDER: Buccaneers +3 (+100)
As per my final score prediction above, I believe the Buccaneers will win this game, which means they will also cover the spread. Not only is this NFC Title game featuring two teams that match-up eerily we’ll, but it also showcases two of my favorite quarterback and two of the best to ever put on a helmet.
However, when it is all said and done, I trust Tom Brady in this type of a spot slightly more than I trust Aaron Rodgers, despite the fact that selfishly, I’d like to see the latter get one more to really separate himself from the likes of Drew Brees and such.
Brady has made a conference championship game in 14 of his 20 NFL seasons. He is also the only quarterback to start a title game in three different decades. It is also Brady’s ninth conference title game in his past 10 seasons. Excluding Sunday, Brady is 9-4 in those games, all with the Patriots.
For Rodgers, this is his fifth NFC Championship game appearance as a starter and is currently 1-3 in those outings excluding Sunday of course.
- Brady is 4-2 in his career against the Packers.
- Rodgers is 2-3 against the Buccaneers in his career.
Taking the Buccaneers with the points will protect your wager just in case this is a closer game than I project and the Packers win outright. I don’t see a blowout in either direction despite what happened back in Week 6. Ideally, I would wait to see if this line moves in Green Bay’s favor and grab the Buccaneers at (+3.5) or better.
- The Buccaneers are 6-4 against the spread in their past 10 games, 3-1 in their past four, covering last week.
- The Packers are 6-4 ATS in their past 10 games, covering in three straight.
- The Buccaneers are 4-2 ATS in their past six games against the Packers, covering in Week 6.
- The home team is 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings between these two clubs.
- The Buccaneers are 4-1-1 ATS in their past six games as an underdog.
CONSIDER: Buccaneers (+145)
I could have an ulcer breaking down this game. It is that close. While I like the Buccaneers to win outright, the Packers could do so as well, which is why I can’t blame anyone for wagering in either direction. However, Tom Brady is the difference-maker for me, for reasons explained in the above blurb.
When it is all said and done, Brady shows up in these situations. He lives for it (and avocado ice cream).
Anthony Cervino is 71-56-4 on his NFL Best Bets this season.
Prepare Buccaneers-Packers Picks and NFC Championship Bets
After studying Buccaneers-Packers Bet Tips and Buccaneers-Packers Picks to decide your NFC Championship bets: