The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are flying high with a 5-2 record right now (4-2-1 ATS). They are tied with the New Orleans Saints for the NFC South lead and have a showdown with them next week.
The New York Giants are just 1-6, but they are 4-2-1 ATS as well. They are only two games behind the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East.
So here we go with Monday Night Football, with Tom Brady in the Big Apple (or reasonably near it, anyway).
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS at NEW YORK GIANTS, 8:15 PM ET
BetAnySports Monday Night Football Line: Buccaneers -12, Total 45
The Buccaneers now have Antonio Brown as part of their offensive arsenal.
As if they needed more people.
Seriously, there seems to be nothing stopping this team at the moment. We’re exaggerating a little, of course. But what more could Tom Brady ask for? He’s got two Pro Bowl wide receivers to begin with (Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin, who’ll sit out with an injured index finger). But he’s got Rob Gronkowski, and can go with the two tight ends if he wants (Cameron Brate being also on hand). Leonard Fournette was signed as a free agent, but they have actually gotten their boost out of the backfield from Ronald Jones, who has responded to the challenge with 506 yards.
Brady has 18 TD passes and a 65.7% completion rate. He has spread things around pretty good; there are four receivers with between 22 and 25 catches. Evans has six TD receptions. Scotty Miller is Brady’s “smurf,” much like Julian Edelman and Wes Welker were at New England, and he leads the team with 365 receiving yards. Now add Brown, who came to the team in such great football shape that the coaching staff was said to be “shocked.” He has caught 100 or more passes in a season six times; eventually he will work himself in, and Brady is “supervising” him (he’s staying at Brady’s house). Head coach Bruce Arians has spoken of using him as a kick returner in this game.
Brady rolled sevens in Las Vegas last time out, throwing for 369 yards and four TD’s in a 45-20 win over the Raiders.
But a big part of the Tampa Bay story is defense. These guys get pressure on passers (25 sacks) and shut down ground games (just 3 ypc allowed). They rank second in the metric of Adjusted Line Yards. They are an undisputed #1 in defending runs beyond the line of scrimmage. So BetAnySports patrons should know – they are pretty good.
The Bucs are second in the league in yards allowed per drive. And they are forcing punts 39.2% of the time. So they can get opponents off the field quickly.
The Giants have to make a couple of injury adjustments for this game. Davonta Freeman won’t play, with a sprained ankle. So Wayne Gallman will get the starting nod at running back. We’ll look out for Alfred Morris, a former 1000-yard rusher who might be activated for depth. It’s a tough break to lose left guard Will Hernandez to COVID-19; rookie Shane Lamieux has to step in for him.
The Giants are 31st in the NFL in points per drive and red zone efficiency. But they aren’t the worst in their own stadium, as the Jets trail them in both categories. We can’t say that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has failed, necessarily. He’s caught a bad break with the ACL injury to Saquon Barkley. Daniel Jones has seven INT’s and four fumbles, but we saw against the Eagles that he can run with the ball (if he can keep his feet) and you can’t say he doesn’t have receivers. Golden Tate might be trade bait, and that might affect how he’s used. But Sterling Shepard is playing through turf toe, and Darius Slayton is scary enough to get the attention of opposing defensive coordinators. Frankly, the Giants may have a three-game win streak going if they just had a little more luck.
The metric of DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) is a metric formulated by the capable advanced stat people at Football Outsiders to measure overall efficiency. Tampa Bay is #1 in the league in DVOA, and we’ve got news for you – it isn’t even close. We don’t know if they are looking to make a “statement” here, as that is an oft-beaten term. So we aren’t interested in “bucking” them. By the same token, we respect the Giants hanging in there lately. Sure, they will have a spirited effort on defense. But Jones will keep the ball in the air. And we’re thinking that might promote some scoring. We see the number as pretty reasonable, so we’ll go OVER that total.
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