When the calendar flips to August, it’s time to bet on divisional odds markets at the BetMGM online sportsbook.
I’m deep in the weeds on many of these divisional NFL betting lines. But you don’t have to be a professional handicapper to notice the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a massive -300 favorite to win the NFC South.
On some level, the price makes sense. Tom Brady is still the quarterback, and the NFC South is a crappy division. New Orleans is the only team that can likely challenge the Bucs for the division title.
Still, laying -300 juice is a very steep price. For context, most other divisional favorites are somewhere between +150 and -120.
The Bucs are a deserved favorite, but it’s fair to wonder whether they’re worth buying at such a steep price.
Ryan Jensen Injury: Losing Key OL in Camp Could Affect Bucs Odds
The offensive line was one of the Bucs’ strengths heading into the 2022 season. It’s a unit that has kept Brady clean and upright for the last two years.
Tampa was slated to enter the 2022 season with one of PFF’s top-graded offensive line groups.
That took a significant hit on July 28, when center Ryan Jenson was carted off the field during an early camp practice.
From Inside Training Camp: More on #Bucs C Ryan Jensen (knee) and the fear that he’s out for the season. pic.twitter.com/qpfjs6JObO
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 29, 2022
Jensen was a Pro Bowl selection in 2021 and was widely expected to anchor the unit for the foreseeable future.
Without him, Tampa will still field a capable line. This injury won’t necessarily affect the Bucs’ odds in the futures markets, but it’s certainly not the start to the preseason Tampa backers would have wanted.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds: Laying the Juice with Brady and the Bucs
To better understand the market in the NFC South, I invited Bobby Thompson (Bucs Report) to come on this week’s episode of The Lion’s Edge – BetMGM’s top podcast for betting analysis.
I asked Thompson to contextualize the Bucs’ price in the NFC South odds market. He didn’t share my skepticism.
“I’m just as shocked as you are [about the heavy price],” Thompson said. “But look at their division. This division is extremely, extremely weak. Carolina, who doesn’t even know who its quarterback is going to be. That organization is in shambles. Atlanta, with Marcus Mariota, they don’t know what’s going to happen there. They’re in the rebuild stage.”
Thompson summarized: “That’s 4-0. That should be 4-0, right there.”
Personally, I think the post-Sean-Payton Saints are a real threat to challenge for the title, at least in 2022. I think the value is on the Saints at +375.
Thompson disagreed, saying that bettors who buy Tampa Super Bowl tickets – that’s +750 right now, by the way – should feel pretty good.
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