New England Patriots (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS, 4-0 O/U) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS, 2-1 O/U)
When and Where: Thursday, Oct. 5., Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla., 8:25pmET
Line: New England -4.5
The New England Patriots have two losses in the first four games. They sit at 2-2 behind the 3-1 Buffalo Bills and tied with the New York Jets for second place. What a crazy first quarter of the NFL season! Tampa Bay is 2-1 but needed a late field goal to edge the now 0-4 New York Giants, 25-23 at home. The Patriots fell at home to the Carolina Panthers, 33-30.
Pats are defenseles
Graham Gano booted a 48-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Carolina Panthers over New England on Sunday. This was a Panthers team that came in with the 27th offense an 30th passing game. This was a team that missed their best receiver in tight end Gregg Olsen and had a quarteback in Cam Newton, who didn’t seem right coming off shoulder surgery. Yet Newton showed his MVP form against the Pats, throwing for 316 yards and three TDs, while rushing for 44 yards and a score. For one day, “Superman” was back and he was helped by playing a defense that has been dreadful this season. That defense had also given up 33 points to Houston but Tom Brady saved them in the end with a TD pass to Brandin Cooks. They gave up 42 points on opening night against Kansas City in a 15-point home loss.
Brady can only do so much and he’s been spectacular, despite not having his top slot receiver in Julian Edelman (ACL). He completed 33 of 45 for 307 yards with two TDs and no picks against the Panthers. Cooks had just three receptions for 38 yards, but Chris Hogan caught a TD pass and All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski caught four for 80 yards. That defense did force two turnovers, but they are now allowing over 450 yards of total offense per game.
Has Tampa Bay finally found a kicker?
Nick Folk nailed a 34-yard field goal as time expired to lead Tampa Bay to a come-from-behind win over the New York Giants at home on Sunday, 25-23. Before we give him the full-time job, let’s not forget that Folk also missed two field goals and an extra point earlier in the day. Quarterback Jameis Winston was able to drive the team down the field from the Bucs’ 25. The Giants took a 23-22 lead on a 2-yard pass from Eli Manning to Rhett Ellison with 3:16 left. The Giants missed a two-point conversion when Manning hit Odell Beckham Jr. in the back of the end zone but he had stepped out of bounds before making the catch. That gave the Bucs and Winston a chance to win the game.
Winston threw touchdown passes of 58 yards to a wide open rookie tight end O.J. Howard and a six-yard TD pass to Mike Evans to give Tampa Bay an early 13-0 lead. He also hit Cameron Brate for 14 yards to give the Bucs a 22-17 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Winston completed 22 of 38 for 332 yards with three TDs and no picks. Running back Jacquizz Rodgers added 16 carries for 83 yards to lead Tampa Bay. The Bucs produced 434 total yards, while allowing 379 yards and 288 in the air.
New England is:
Tampa Bay is:
- 4-1 ATS last 5 in Week 5.
- 7-3 ATS last 10 overall.
I must be drinking. How could I possibly go against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick after another loss? Well, it doesn’t help the road team on a Thursday night with very little time to prepare. Advantage: Tampa Bay. The Pats need some defensive help and maybe they’ll make a trade for one or two players. Those players won’t be there for this game. Advantage: Tampa Bay. Winston on a Thursday night with a chance to make a statement? Against a bad defense? Go with the Bucs and the cover.
Pick: Tampa Bay
The totals on the New England games could go up to 60 if they don’t improve their defense. The Patriots are 7-0 Over their last 7 overall and 5-0 Over after a SU win. Tampa Bay is 7-0 Over their last 7 Thursday games, while going 16-5 Over their last 21 in October.