The NFL’s preseason finale is here. The final week of action will feature a bout between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
As it stands, both the Buccaneers and Colts are 0-2. Win-loss records don’t matter much in preseason, and it’s valid to wonder if either of these coaches will really be trying for a win in Week 3. Nonetheless, one of them will walk away with a tally in the win column.
How will Tom Brady look in his first preseason appearance? And what can we expect from Matt Ryan and the Colts? Continue reading our Tampa Bay vs Indianapolis best bets and predictions for more.
Buccaneers vs Colts Odds
Per our NFL odds, the Colts are expected to win this game by three points. Although they’re 0-2, the Colts have had far more success on offense than the Buccaneers thus far, so it makes sense to see them favored.
Buccaneers vs Colts Implied Score
Colts 22.25, Buccaneers 19.25
The oddsmakers have the Colts winning a relatively low-scoring game. Totals were down across the board in Week 2, too, so it’s no surprise to see the Over/Under set at 41.5 points here.
Buccaneers vs Colts Pick of the Day
Read more on this Buccaneers vs Colts bet below.
Buccaneers vs Colts Matchup
Brady is the story for Tampa Bay this week. The 45-year-old quarterback has finally returned to practice following an extended absence, and coach Todd Bowles has said that he will start in this preseason finale.
Brady clearly doesn’t need any additional practice to get going for the season, and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he only spends a series or two on the field.
As for the Colts, we should expect to see Ryan in for an extended period after he sat out in Week 2. Frank Reich is reportedly planning to play his starters for up to one half against the Buccaneers, meaning this will be our best look yet at this new Colts offense.
Buccaneers vs Colts Prediction
Colts 24, Buccaneers 20
Even with Brady playing a handful of snaps, this one feels like it’ll be a win for the Colts. The fact that we could get up to one half of play from Ryan and some of Indy’s other offensive weapons tips the scales in their favor quite a bit. The Colts have also gotten reliable play from the combination of Nick Foles and Sam Ehlinger.
Tampa Bay’s offense has been hit-or-miss so far this preseason, but I’m expecting this unit to bounce back against an Indianapolis defense that’s surrendered exactly 27 points in each of its first two contests.
This is an important opportunity for Ryan to build chemistry and consistency with his new teammates. Expect the Colts to take advantage of his increased action and generate some early offense en route to a narrow victory.
Buccaneers vs Colts Bet Tips
Betting trends hold a bit more weight during the regular season, but there are still some patterns worth noting with these two coaches.
- Frank Reich is 7-6 as a head coach in the preseason. He’s never had a winless slate.
- Before arriving in Tampa Bay, Todd Bowles had a 7-9 all-time preseason record.
Buccaneers vs Colts Best Bets
Over 41.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Totals came crashing back down to Earth after a high-scoring Week 1, and as such, we’ve been dealt a respectable 41.5-point total to work with here. I think it’ll be close to this number whether we get the Over or the Under, but I tend to lean with the Over in this matchup for a few reasons.
For one, the Colts are averaging 25 points per game thus far. Should they keep that up, the Buccaneers would only need to score 16 for the Over to hit, and they’re averaging 13.5 per game.
With Indy’s offensive starters getting more reps this week, it would make sense to see them inflate their score by a few notches. The same goes for the Buccaneers, who scored just three points last week after putting up 24 against the Dolphins in Week 1.
This is the best chance that Ryan and the Colts have had yet to showcase their new-look offense, and I think they’ll make the most of it. Look for the Over to hit here with our NFL pick of the day.