Buccaneers vs. Eagles Prediction: Best Bets for NFL Wild Card, Jan. 15

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts throws a pass during the first half Los Angeles Rams of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif.
(Gregory Bull/AP Photo)
Nick Hennion @nickhennion Jan 15, 2024, 1:24 PM
  • The Philadelphia Eagles are 2.5-point favorites vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Philadelphia earned a 25-11 road win in Week 3 against the Bucs.
  • Since beating the Chiefs, the Eagles have lost five of their last six games.

Ahead of Monday’s NFC wild-card matchup in Tampa, I’m here to offer a Buccaneers vs. Eagles prediction. 

Tampa Bay clinched their third straight NFC South title thanks to a win over the Panthers in Week 18. 

However, in order to reach the divisional round, they’ll have to beat an Eagles side who defeated them in Week 3. 

As for the Eagles, their recent play leaves a lot to be desired. After starting the season 10-1, Philadelphia won only once in their last six games to clinch the NFC’s top wild-card spot. 

Here’s a look at NFL betting lines for Monday’s game, along with my bets for the contest. 

Buccaneers vs. Eagles Betting Odds

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers Moneyline: +125
  • Philadelphia Eagles Moneyline: -150
  • Game Spread: Philadelphia Eagles -3
  • Game Total: 43 Points

Buccaneers vs. Eagles Betting Predictions

Buccaneers-Eagles Total Under 43 Points (-110)

The first meeting featured only 36 points, and I expect Monday’s game will follow a similar trend. 

A quarter of those points came via an Eagles safety and a garbage time touchdown for Tampa Bay, who are averaging only 20.5 points per game this season. 

Although it’s difficult to place trust in the Eagles defense – they’ve surrendered at least 25 points in all but one of their last six games – this might be the buy-low spot. 

Bucs starting quarterback Baker Mayfield is banged up and he passed for only 146 yards in the last game against Philadelphia. 

If the Bucs passing offense can’t move the ball downfield, I question how they score enough to send this game over the total. 

At the same time, Tampa Bay’s home defense is incredible. 

Head coach Todd Bowles’ side is allowing only 17.1 home points per game, the sixth-best mark in the NFL. 

Against Detroit – the hardest offense they’ve faced at home – they surrendered only 20 points. Mere weeks ago against the Packers, they allowed only 20 points. 

Now they face a banged-up Eagles offense. Jalen Hurts may play through an injury while questions surround both A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. 

Accordingly, I’ll be surprised if Philadelphia replicates their offensive performance from Week 3. 

Finally, this game matches two historically profitable betting systems. 

Outdoor playoff games with minimum 10 mph winds are 65% to the under since 2003-04. Further, outdoor games played outside the division are 58% to the under over the same span. 

Take the under as a result.

DeVonta Smith Over 65.5 Receiving Yards (-115)

With A.J. Brown missing for the Eagles, Smith should receive a heavy workload Monday in Tampa Bay. 

Defending the pass already isn’t Tampa’s strong suit as they rank 14th in pass defense DVOA, per ftnfantasy.com, along with 22nd in dropback EPA per play. 

Plus, the last time these sides met, Philly passed for 277 yards, 131 of which went to Brown. 

Although Smith produced only four catches for 28 yards in that game, he’s proved a favorite target of Jalen Hurts this season, particularly against zone coverage. 

Amongst all Philadelphia wide receivers, Smith has received 24.6% of targets in zone coverage, second only to Brown, who received 25.5% of targets. 

Those targets have to go somewhere, and I expect Hurts will lean more on Smith and tight end Dallas Goedert, who also sits north of a 20% target share in zone coverage. 

Plus, in seven games this season against teams who play zone coverage at a rate of 60% or higher, Smith has cleared this number five times. 

As a result, back him in this game to go over what feels like a low number, given Brown’s absence.

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About the Author

Nick Hennion

Read More @nickhennion

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.