|1.5 TB (-110) @ Pointsbet|
My 8* Las Vegas Insider is on the TB Bucs at 4:25 ET.
It's a 'Battle of the Bays' on Sunday from Raymond James Stadium, as well as a showdown between two of this era's greatest QBs, Rodgers and Brady. The Green Bay Packers are 4-0 (also 4-0 ATS) and come off a bye week to meet the 3-2 Tampa Bay Bucs, who struggled to finish off their drives in a 20-19 Thursday Week 5 loss at Chicago. Those surprising Bears are 4-1 and right behind the Packers in the NFC North, while Tampa Bay is in a three-way tie for first in the NFC South with New Orleans and Carolina.
The Packers got good news this week, as their No. 1 WR Davante Adams will return for Sunday's game. Adams has sat out Green Bay's last two games with a hamstring injury, but had caught 17 passes for 192 yards with two TDs before sustaining his injury in a 42-21 rout of Detroit back on Sep 21. Adams has averaged 86 catches per season the last four years, while catching 40 TD passes. Getting Adams back is truly great news but with or without Adams, the Packers have had some start to the season. They are averaging a league-high 38.0 PPG, while ranking second in total offense (454.3 YPG), fourth in rushing (150.8 YPG) and fifth in passing (303.5 YPG). It's hard to argue against Brady being the G.O.A.T. but Rodgers is a special QB and in 2020 he's completed 70.5% for 1,214 yards with 13 TDs and not a single INT in 139 attempts. His QB rating of 128.4 is topped by only Russell Wilson's 129.8 RB Aaron Jones is having a terrific season, rushing for 374 yards (5.8 YPC) with four TDs, while catching 15 passes for two more TDs. Green Bay's defense has been pretty mediocre in allowing 25.3 PPG but when one's offense is averaging 38.0 PPG, it's good enough for the team to have an average margin of victory of 12.7 points (now wonder the Packers are 4-0 ATS).
The Bucs signed Brady to a two-year, $50 million contract in fully guaranteed money, despite the fact that he turned 43 in August. I guess that's the going rate for a six-time Super Bowl-winning QB. The biggest post-game talk in Tampa Bay's loss in Chicago was that Brady appeared to forget the downs on his team's last unsuccessful series, Not sure if that was the case or not but things went awry for him and the offense well before then. The Bucs committed 11 penalties and its OL not only allowed Brady to be sacked three times but he was pressured on a "way too high" percentage of his 41 passes. The Buccaneers scored 10 points in the first quarter, and couldn't match that for the game's remainder. I mentioned the team's inability to finish off drives at the top and that's reinforced by Tampa Bay settling for four FGs, three from inside of 40 yards. Brady's completed 64.3 % of his passes for 1,375 yards with 12 TDs and four INTs and has looked better than he did in his last couple of regular seasons with the Pats. RB Ronald Jones may not be quite as good as Green Bay's Aaron, but he has 359 rushing yards (4.9 YPC) and 15 catches, as well. WR Mike Evans has become Brady's favorite target, catching 22 passes with five TDs. Fellow WR Miller has 15 catches and averages a team-best 16.7 YPC. TE Howard (11 catches with two TDs) is sidelined but Gronk has 10 of his 12 catches this season in the last three games. Tampa's defense is allowing just 2898.2 YPG (second-best in the NFL), which is just over 80 yards less than last season's 'stop unit.' The Bucs allowed 27.8 PPG last season but that's down to a more respectable 22.4 PPG allowed in this VERY high-scoring season.
One CAN'T ignore that Green Bay's 4-0 SU and ATS mark has come against four opponents whose combined record is 5-15. Is it also noteworthy that Green Bay has failed to cover FOUR of its last five games when returning from bye? I'm not so sure about that but I am sure that this is a HUGE game for the Bucs, which happens to be the team's LONE home game in a four-game span. It's possible that this could be the last regular-season meeting between Rodgers and Brady (they've met just TWICE before, with each winning once) and I'm backing the G.O.A.T.
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