The Line: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+142) vs. Green Bay Packers (-168)
The Buccaneers led by Tom Brady roll into “Title Town” for a grudge match against the Packers. Both teams are hot but one team is gelling more than the other. The Buccaneers haven’t had a sole-running back break 100 yards rushing since week 10 against the Panthers. On the season the Buccaneers rank 28th in rushing yards per game. That bodes well for a Packers defense on the rise looking to get after Tom Brady today. The Packers defense ranks 13th against the run and 7th in passing yards surrendered per game.
Tom Brady and company have been on the road for the last two games and played there last four out of five on the road. That’s a lot of miles on this Buccaneers team and it doesn’t get any easier today. Aaron Rodgers has a Quarterback Rating of 84.3 which is the best in the entire NFL. In the month of January, Rodgers has eclipsed his regular season passer rating. Rodgers is on fire and the receiving core—led by (WR) Davante Adams—is stepping up big league. At this stage of Rodgers career—the earlier the game—the better.
On the Buccaneers side of the ball they have a top-notch receiver in Mike Evans. Along with two running backs: Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones; who are multi-purposed in balancing out the run and pass attack. I can also see (WR) Chris Godwin having a bump in usage because of (WR) Antonio Brown being out today. The Buccaneers defense has been consistent all year. What should worry Buc’s bettors today is Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense led the NFL in time of possession. One more thing to keep an eye on is if (S) Antoine Winfield Jr. will play. Right now, he is on track to suit up.
I do believe the Packers will need a good game from running backs Aaron Jones and Jamal Williams. However, Rodgers likes to throw in the snow so don’t be alarmed if they don’t get the usage your expecting in your fantasy leagues. One area the Packers will look to exploit this Buccaneers defense in is the red zone where they throw the ball 52% of the time. The Buccaneers have allowed 22 receiving touchdowns while defending in the red zone this season. Which ties the Buccaneers for fifth-most TD’s surrendered in the NFL.
My wager: Packers -3 (-120)