Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#491 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs.
#492 Los Angeles Rams
Sunday, September 26, 2021 at 4:25pm EDT
Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles
Written by Blake V.

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It might not have garnered the Sunday Night Football time slot, but Tampa Bay’s visit to Los Angeles is the most intriguing game on the Week 3 card. The reigning Super Bowl champions are off to a 2-0 start, picking up wins over Dallas and Atlanta. The Rams are also unbeaten, taking out Chicago and Indianapolis in their first two contests.

Line Movements & Weather

The Rams opened up as favorites of 1.5, but now it is the Bucs that are favored at -1.5 at most sportsbooks, with Tampa Bay grabbing 65% of the bets.

The OU Line has gone from 54 up to 55.5 with the Over bringing in 61% of the bets.

Gametime Weather: Domed Stadium

Bucs defense off to slow start

Tampa Bay is not only the defending champion, but it is also the favorite to win another title in 2022. The Buccaneers have taken care of business through the first two weeks of the season, beating Dallas and Atlanta. Their win over the Cowboys came on a Thursday night in the first contest of the year. Tampa Bay is now on a franchise-best 10-game winning streak following its 48-25 victory over Atlanta last week. The Buccaneers have been rolling offensively, putting up at least 30 points in their last nine games. Veteran quarterback Tom Brady threw for five touchdowns in the win over Atlanta.

Mike Edwards picked off two passes and returned both for touchdowns last week. Brady has completed 65.1% of his attempts for 655 yards and nine touchdowns. He has thrown two interceptions and has been sacked twice, leading an offense that is averaging 386.0 yards per game. The Bucs have not been able to get much going on the ground, sitting next-to-last in the NFL with 67.0 yards per contest. Leonard Fournette has averaged 4.2 yards per carry on 20 attempts. Wide receiver Chris Godwin has caught 13 passes for 167 yards, while Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski are both over 100 receiving yards as well. They are facing a Los Angeles defense that is No. 12, allowing 338.0 yards per game. Brown, however, will not play this week due to COVID-19 protocols.

Injury Report

Out - LB Jason Pierre-Paul, WR Jaydon Mickens, WR Antonio Brown, LB Kevin Minter, LS Zach Triner, and DB Sean Murphy-Bunting

Rams looking to take down defending champs

Los Angeles is off to a nice start in 2021, opening the year with a 34-14 win over Chicago. The Rams followed that up with a 27-24 victory at Indianapolis last week. The Colts took a 21-17 lead to open the fourth quarter, but Los Angeles responded with a Matthew Stafford touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp. Indianapolis would tie the game on a field goal with 7:22 remaining, but the Rams had the last laugh on a 38-yard field goal from Matt Gay. Los Angeles currently sits in the middle of the NFL, averaging 378.5 yards per game.

Stafford has completed 69.6% of his attempts for 599 yards and five touchdowns. Kupp has been his top target, catching 16 passes on 21 targets for 271 yards. Wide receiver Van Jefferson has caught three passes for 94 yards, while Robert Woods has eight grabs for 91 yards. Running back Darrell Henderson Jr. has rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries. He is currently listed as questionable with an injury to his ribs. Sony Michel has added 11 attempts for 48 yards. They are going to face a Tampa Bay defense that has been susceptible, allowing 399.5 yards per game.

Injury Report

Out - OL Tremayne Anchrum Jr. and LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

Questionable - DB Darious Williams, TE Jacob Harris, WR Ben Skowronek, and RB Darrell Henderson Jr.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I’m not here to challenge Brady and the Bucs position as Super Bowl favorites, but I will challenge their results through the first two weeks. Their defense has looked very shaky, nearly allowing Dak Prescott and Dallas to pull off the upset in Week 1. There might not have been a more misleading final score in Week 2 than Tampa Bay’s contest against Atlanta. The Bucs were gifted with a pair of pick-sixes to make the score look much worse than it really was. Not having one of the top slot receivers in the league (Antonio Brown) is going to hurt. Facing Aaron Donald and that interior pass rush is never easy. Los Angeles is going to be fired up to host the defending champs and I expect them to get the job done.

Prediction: Los Angeles +1

Full-Game Total Pick

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I certainly want no part of the under with the way these offenses are playing. Stafford has breathed life into an offense that was missing solid quarterback play over the last few years. The Rams have weapons on that side of the ball and should certainly give Tampa Bay trouble on Sunday. I have not been impressed with the Buccaneers defensively, as they have allowed Prescott and Ryan to shred them in the first two weeks. Los Angeles has also not looked quite as strong on defense, so Brady should be able to do his thing in this game. Both teams have been going over the total lately and I expect that to continue.

Prediction: Over 55.5
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Written By Blake Von Hagen , "Blake V."

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Blake is also an avid sports being expert and you would not be disappointed in following him on a daily basis. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.