Week 6 of the NFL regular season kicks off with an excellent matchup on Thursday Night Football. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers head north to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. The defending champion Bucs are currently listed as a seven-point favorite at most online sportsbooks (ESPN).
The Bucs are off to a 4-1 start, with their only loss being to the Los Angeles Rams a few weeks ago. The Eagles are 2-3 but pulled off a nice upset last week over the Carolina Panthers. Here’s a closer look at each team and a Best Bet for this NFC tilt.
Bucs Offense vs. Eagles Defense
This is the most important matchup of the evening, as the Bucs’ strength is their offense while the Eagles’ best unit is their defense. The ageless wonder, Tom Brady, is off to another fantastic start, as he’s thrown for 1,767 yards and 15 touchdowns already this season. Though the Bucs are averaging a respectable 6.3 yards per play, they have struggled to run the ball so far. This unit only averages 82 rushing yards per game.
Javon Hargrave has been a nightmare for offensive linemen to defend so far this year. The 28-year old has already registered six sacks so this Tampa O-line will have to find a way to slow him down. The Eagles’ defense ranks 5th in the league in yards per play allowed (5.0). Darius Slay leads the Eagles’ secondary with two picks.
Eagles Offense vs. Bucs Defense
As good as the Eagles’ defense has been, their offense has struggled at times to put enough points on the board. This unit is only averaging 23 points per game even though second-year QB Jalen Hurts is off to a decent start (1365 passing yards, 7 TDs). Hurts is also the team’s leading rusher with 256 yards and three scores. The Eagles need to get healthy along the offensive line, as several guys are listed as questionable on the injury report.
The Bucs defense has struggled at times this season, mainly because they’ve been banged up since the beginning of the season. This unit is surrendering 24.4 points per game, which ranks 20th in the NFL. Linebacker Shaq Barrett has done a great job of pressuring the QB, as he has 3.5 sacks. Corner Mike Edwards leads the team in picks with two.
Our Pick: Eagles +7
Sure, this Bucs team is one of the best in the league once again this season. However, they are missing way too many key players to be laying a full touchdown on the road. The crowd in Philly will be loud the entire evening for this national TV game.
Tampa Bay’s secondary will be without Antoine Winfield tonight and he’s the best safety on this team. Hurts may be able to have some success through the air on some deep passes. This should keep the Eagles in this one from start to finish. Take the points and best of luck!