In what many had as a preseason Super Bowl matchup (and still could be), the Buffalo Bills will head south this weekend to take on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While the Buccaneers (9-3) are currently toward the playoffs, the Bills (7-5) haven’t quite lived up to expectations and are reeling after suffering a tough home loss to the New England Patriots.
With the Buccaneers jockeying for position atop the NFC and the Bills fighting to stay in the playoff hunt in an extremely crowded AFC, there are a lot of playoff ramifications at stake in this game.
Let’s take a look at how each team’s recent play will affect this matchup in our NFL pick of the day series.
Please note that all NFL gameday odds are current as of 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday, December 10.
Bills vs Buccaneers Prediction
The Buccaneers have now won seven of their last nine games (including their last three) and are still fighting for a chance at the NFC’s top seed.
Brady is somehow a top MVP candidate at 44 years old, and he’s benefitted from a rejuvenated Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette to go along with old faithfuls Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
The Bucs will again be without Antonio Brown this week, but they’ve learned to get by without him at this point.
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The Bills are coming off one of the stranger games in recent memory, and Josh Allen will be happy to not have to throw into 40 mile-per-hour winds in Tampa this weekend.
Buffalo’s offense has been struggling to find their groove this season, however, as they haven’t been able to rely on their ground game to complement a strong receiver corps in Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, Gabriel Davis, and Dawson Knox.
While both teams have strong defenses, both units have been dealing with injuries all season so the opposing offenses should be able to move the ball this week. We don’t know which Jekyll and Hyde Bills squad will show up in Tampa, but we do know the defending champ Bucs will bring their A-game. And I think that’s going to be too much for Buffalo to handle.
Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Bills 21
Bills vs Buccaneers Best Bets
Best Bet: Buccaneers -3.5 (-105) at Caesars
Wager: 0.5 Units
The simple fact of the matter is that neither of these teams have played many close games this season. To date, both teams have played in just two games each that were decided by three points or less.
That doesn’t mean that’s the outcome we’re looking at this week as we’re more likely to see a playoff-like atmosphere in Tampa Bay, but both of these teams are capable of pulling away from opponents in a hurry.
- Also check out our Bills vs Buccaneers Prop Bets
I’m dropping my confidence down a bit on this play because I think the Bills can hang. But with the Bucs coming into this matchup with an undefeated 5-0 record at home this year, the odds are pointing in their favor to be the team pulling away from the Bills in a hurry.
Best Bet: Buccaneers Moneyline (-175) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
If you’ve read the above paragraphs, it should come as no shock that I think the Buccaneers are going to win this one. They’re at home, they’re on more of a hot streak, they have a better overall roster, and they’re simply playing better football right now.
While the Bills have given Brady struggles in the past, that was on a different team with a different (lesser) cast of supporting characters. And Buffalo will be without Tre’Davious White for the rest of the season, so everything is coming up Brady leading into this one.
Best Bet: Under 53.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
Tampa Bay currently leads the league at 31.4 points scored per game, while the Bills come in fifth with a robust 28 points per game average. While those totals would make you think the over was an easy bet here, the defenses may have something to say about that.
On the defensive side of the ball, Tampa Bay is right in the middle of the pack in limiting opponents to 22.5 points per game while the Bills are second-best in the league in allowing just 16.3 points per game to opponents.
While I think both teams will be able to put points on the board, I think both defenses will be able to put the clamps on their opponents enough to make this over too high for my liking.
Nick Raducanu’s 2021 NFL Team vs Team Betting Record: 15-6, +11.5 Units