"The Brady Bowl", as it's been dubbed, feels like one of the biggest NFL regular-season games in recent memory. Even Hollywood couldn't script Brady's return to Foxboro more perfectly. A place where he became the greatest player of all time with Belichick in his ear every step of the way. A place where he was also chased out of town by the same Belichick.
You know what's at stake here — bragging rights over which of the two is more responsible for the Patriots dynasty that won six Super Bowls. It doesn't get much better than this! Without further ado, let's break down how to bet the matchup, along with our free predictions and advice!
Patriots vs. Bucs Pick — Over/Under 49 Points
|Over 49 points
|Under 49 points
Both teams are coming off a loss in which the offense was incredibly one-dimensional. Brady led Tampa Bay in rushing with a whopping 14 yards in a 34-24 loss (he threw 55 times for 432 yards for what it's worth). New England was also led in rushing by its quarterback Mac Jones' 28-yard effort on the ground (he also tossed 51 passes for a more meager 270 yards and three interceptions).
Through three games, no pass defense is worse league-wide than the Bucs. They've given up an NFL-high 1,015 yards via the air. You would think that would be a recipe for success for the Pats, but we're not convinced. Jones, still a rookie in training, is a check-down king at the moment. We doubt Belichick will open up the playbook for the young starter, especially after a three-turnover effort in week 3.
We're not high on the Pats offense, but can Brady — with a burning vengeance in his heart — carry the Bucs to a high-scoring effort? Yes, but not that high either. Look, no one knows Brady more than Belichick and we're of the belief he'll draw up a game plan to contain his former signal-caller. The keyword in the last sentence is "contain", by the way. Notice we didn't say "stop."
Anyway, with emotion so high in this game, we expect a playoff game-like atmosphere. In those scenarios, defenses usually come up big. This game has underwritten all over it.
Betting pick: Under 49 points
Patriots vs. Bucs Pick — Spread
|New England Patriots
|Tampa Bay Bucaneers
We're going to go right ahead and say it, this game is coming down to the wire. There's just too much at stake for this one to be one-sided. But then again, a one-touchdown difference is a "close" game and what would ya know, the spread is conveniently at six points across online sportsbooks.
Our money is that New England covers the spread. What turned out to be the Patriots undoing in a 28-13 drubbing to the Saints in week 3 (in Foxboro, no less) was how quickly the game got away from them. At one point, they trailed 21-3. Simply put, this conservative, Jones-led offense is not built to come from behind. Neither is the Patriots' defense, which is at its best when it can play aggressively, something you can't do when trailing by three possessions.
In a close game, which we're already on record saying is happening in week 4, New England won't look nearly as inept as it did versus New Orleans. And like we said before, Brady will have his in-game moments, but he's not blowing past the Pats either — especially considering the strength of their secondary. Take the points and the Patriots here, folks.
Betting pick: Patriots (+6)
Patriots vs. Bucs Pick — Moneyline
|New England Patriots
|Tampa Bay Bucaneers
We've spent the majority of this article trying to convince you the Patriots can hang tough against the reigning Super Bowl champions. They can certainly hang in there, but they're not good enough to win the Sunday Night Football game, plain and simple.
Look, Brady is the most clutch player this game has ever seen. He has an uncanny ability to silence the noise on the biggest stage and make game-changing plays. That'll be no different in his return to New England. If we know Brady as well as we think we do, he's treating this matchup as a mini-Super Bowl (and has been prepping for it since the date was announced).
Tampa Bay wins a close game. Belichick and Brady both have their moments, but in the end, the guy who already won a Super Bowl by himself prevails again.
Betting pick: Buccaneers (-255)
How To Bet Bucs vs. Patriots?
To get action on the "Brady Bowl" (and to a lesser degree, the "Gronk Bowl"), you need to visit one of the betting sites featured underneath. These bookmakers have you covered for this game and the rest of week 4 in the NFL. Beyond traditional bets we covered here, there's also a slew of props available on this juicy matchup.
If you've never bet at one of the sites before, you could reap hundreds to thousands of dollars in free play via a sign-up bonus too. That bonus can be used immediately on the Bucs vs. Pats game (or any other of your choosing). Leverage the handy table below to earn your big-money bonus before Sunday's games!