The Buffalo Bills (7-5 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) are in dire need of a win this week, but they will have to upset the defending Super Bowl champions to get it. As could be expected, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS) will be home favorites against the Bills. But if the spread is any indication, it should be a close game.
Toronto Sports Media takes a look at each of Buffalo’s contests throughout the 2021 NFL season. Here is the rest of the analysis with betting odds for Sunday’s game and our recommended pick for the big contest.
Sportsbook Comparison For Bills vs. Buccaneers Odds
(American / Decimal)
|BUF Spread||TB Spread||BUF Moneyline||TB Moneyline||Total|
|DraftKings||+3.5 (-120 / 1.83)||-3.5 (+100 / 2.00)||+145 / 2.45||-165 / 1.61||53.5|
|BetMGM||+3.5 (-115 / 1.87)||-3.5 (-105 / 1.95)||+150 / 2.50||-175 / 1.57||53.5|
|PROLINE+||+4.5 (-139 / 1.72)||-4.5 (+115 / 2.15)||+145 / 2.45||-175 / 1.57||53.5|
It’s All About The Run Game For The Bills
On paper, it looks like Buffalo should be one of the most dominant teams in the NFL. The offense ranks ninth in total yards per game (376 yds/gm) and fifth in points (28 pts/gm). Their defense ranks first in total yards and passing yards allowed per game. The New England Patriots are the only team allowing fewer points per game.
A team performing that well should not be 7-5, but the Bills are just that. Why?
The run defense deserves part of the blame—which may sound strange for a team that ranks 12th against the run and allows just 107.1 yards per game. But three of their losses came against teams that had no trouble running the ball on them. Tennessee ran for 146 yards, the Colts had 264 yards, and New England racked up 222 yards in a game where they only threw the ball three times.
But their inability to defend the run is not their only issue. Turnovers played a role in all five losses, interceptions, fumbles, and on downs. It certainly does not help when they can’t run the ball. In four of their five losses, the Bills offense failed to rush for 100 yards.
They ran for 100+ yards in each in their seven wins and held the other team to less than 100 in six of those. They also won the turnover battle in six of those seven games.
Also read: 108th Grey Cup Odds and Betting Preview
Turnovers Troublesome For The Buccaneers
After losing to the Patriots last week, the last person the Bills probably want to see is the guy that used to play quarterback for New England, Tom Brady. During his time with the Patriots, Brady set a record for most wins by a quarterback against a single opponent, 32 (of 35 games).
Brady, of course, leads Tampa Bay’s offense and has them playing well. The Bucs are one of two teams averaging 400+ yards per game. They lead the league in passing yards per game (311.1 yds/gm) and points (31.4 pts/gm). The offensive line has allowed Brady to get sacked 14 times on the year and just twice in the last four games.
However, if there is one flaw with Brady and the Buccaneers offense, it’s turnovers. In the loss to Washington Football Team (WFT), turnovers led to ten points for the WFT. Against the Saints, they led to 17. Brady already has ten interceptions and has thrown at least one in Tampa Bay’s last five games.
But Brady already had 11 at this point last season and only threw one over the season’s final four games.
As for their defense, it is currently tied with the Ravens for toughest against the run, allowing just 84.3 yards per game. But they rank 20th against the pass, which makes it fair to wonder if the run defense is that good or if teams are too busy throwing the ball to run.
No one ran for more than 76 yards in the first five games. Since then, five of seven opponents have gone for 100+ yards.
Bills vs. Buccaneers Sports Betting Prediction
- Bills -3.5
- -104 (1.96), FanDuel
While it is possible to run on the Bucs’ defense, it is hard to see the Bills having much success. But the Bills’ passing game is strong enough to pick apart a questionable Tampa Bay secondary.
Brady may struggle to throw against the Bills secondary, who will be dying to pick him off. However, the Bucs may take a page out of New England, Tennessee, and Indianapolis’ playbook and feed running back Leonard Fournette all day long.
It would not be shocking to see this one come down to the turnover battle. Whoever wins it will win the game.