The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have dominated NFC foes, running up 10-1 mark in their last 11 games. And its not just winning, its covering – the Bucs are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games at home and 4-1 ATS in their last five games when slated as the favorite.
The Buccaneers will host the Chicago Bears, who have not done well coming off a loss (6-13 ATS in their last 19 games in this situation after losing 24-14 to the Green Bay Packers last week).
Why Chicago Bears can cover
The Buccaneers’ defense has regressed last three weeks, ranking 22nd in EPA per play since Week 3, and the offenses they faced were the Patriots, Dolphins, and Eagles. Not exactly offensive juggernauts.
The Bears defense meanwhile has been as advertised through six weeks, rating seventh in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric and eighth in points per game. New defensive coordinator Sean Desai has this team playing exceptionally well.
The Buccaneers are also dealing with some critical injuries on the offensive side of the ball. Tight end Robert Gronkowski and wide receiver Antonio Brown are questionable to play and dealing with nagging injuries.
Why Tampa Bay Buccaneers can cover
Justin Fields has struggled since taking over the starting quarterback job in Chicago. He’s a rookie so everyone expected this, but this is a huge advantage for Tampa Bay. Out of 37 quarterbacks who have played at least 50 snaps, he is 36th in EPA per play.
The offense as a whole in Chicago has been bad at 26th in DVOA according to Football Outsiders and dead last in yards per play. They have yet to score more than 24 points in a game this season.
Bears Buccaneers Betting Pick
This is going to be a closer game than the sportsbooks think. The spread is far too high.
Tampa Bay Chicago Props
Justin Fields OVER 216.5 Passing Yards
The Buccaneers’ secondary is severely banged up. Fields will eclipse 220 yards.
Leonard Fournette OVER 62.5 Rushing Yards
Fournette has been great this season. This total is far too low.
Darnell Mooney OVER 51.5 Receiving Yards
I expect a couple of deep shots to Mooney in this game.
Chicago Tampa Bay Betting Trends
Bucs are 10-1 SU in their last 11 games against an opponent in the NFC
Bears are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games played in Week 7.
UNDER is 7-3 Chicago’s last 10 games played in Week 7.
Bears have played UNDER in 13 of last 15 games as regular-season double digit dog since Nov. 2002
Bucs covered easily both times as double-digit home chalk this season
OVER is 22-7 Tampa Bay’s last 29 conference games