Kicking off Week 8 of the NFL season are the Baltimore Ravens on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers are absolutely floundering right now, scoring just three points against the Carolina Panthers, who just traded running back Christian McCaffrey.
The Ravens are coming off a narrow win at home over the Cleveland Browns, but the Ravens are known for blowing leads this year.
What do all these variables amount to on Thursday Night Football? Let’s explore.
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Let’s be clear: The Buccaneers will likely figure out their issues soon. It’ll come back to bite bettors at some point. Still, coming off a bad loss just days before this game against a team like the Ravens with an average defense and above-average pass rush, it just doesn’t seem feasible.
So, with the Ravens giving just 1.5 points, this is a safe bet, even with their tendency to surrender leads.
The Ravens' secondary gives up the seventh-most passing yards per game for the Buccaneers. Given their weapons, this could be an excellent way for them to bounce back.
Still, the Ravens' run-heavy approach with quarterback Lamar Jackson creates problems for an opposing defense. They rank fifth in the league in rushing yards per game, and the Buccaneers allow over 118 per game. Also, suppose you include the context of allowing about 10 yards per carry to the Panthers. That doesn’t profile well against a team like the Ravens that can attack you on the ground from multiple angles.
The Buccaneers' offense could rebound here to some extent—they’ll almost certainly score more than three points—but the Ravens' offense will be productive enough—they’re averaging about 20 points per game over the last four weeks—to make up for their somewhat leaky defense.
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Taking the over on two teams where one is averaging just 20 points per game over the last month of the season and the other can’t find the end zone may seem like a lofty proposition.
As mentioned, though, the Ravens' secondary, with more prominent names and talented players, give up a lot of passing yards per game.
The pass rush could be massively detrimental to the Buccaneers' offense.
So, when taking the over, you’re anticipating that wide receiver Mike Evans catches that long touchdown instead of dropping it.
The Buccaneers have the weapons to do so, and they’re facing a Ravens defense that can allow that to happen.
The Ravens play well, significantly, when ahead because it allows them to continue utilizing the run game. Jackson can throw just fine, but the identity of the Ravens' offense is running the ball, which added Gus Edwards back to the lineup a week ago.
The Buccaneers aren’t all the way back, but they’ll do enough here to help push the total over.
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After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.More info on Richard Janvrin
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