Buccaneers vs. Washington: Wild Card Playoff Round NFL Betting Preview – January 9, 2021

Posted By Staff on January 5, 2021 - Last Updated on January 9, 2021

The NFC Wild Card round of the 2020 NFL Playoffs features a matchup between the Washington Football Team (7-9), who are underdogs, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) on January 9, 2021 at 8:15 PM ET on NBC. The game has an over/under of .

Both teams snapped lengthy playoff droughts with Washington back in the playoffs for the first time since winning the division at 9-7 in 2015 and Tampa Bay returning to the postseason for the first time since winning the NFC South in 2007. Tampa Bay is the second biggest betting favorite of Wild Card Weekend.

The Football Team beat the already-eliminated rival Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 on Sunday Night Football in Week 17 to win the division over the New York Giants. The Buccaneers finished the regular season with four consecutive wins out of a Week 13 bye. They beat the rival Atlanta Falcons 44-27 at home in Week 17.

The betting insights in this article reflect betting data from DraftKings as of January 5, 2021, 1:41 AM ET. See table below for current betting odds and CLICK HERE to bet at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Buccaneers vs Washington Betting Odds

Buccaneers vs Washington Props

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Buccaneers at Washington game matchup

Washington received a huge boost in its regular-season finale with QB Alex Smith (calf), RB Antonio Gibson (toe), and WR Terry McLaurin (ankle) all suiting up. Smith had missed the previous two games but threw for 162 yards and two touchdowns in Week 17. He finished his comeback campaign by completing 66.7% of his passes for 1,582 yards and six touchdowns but with eight interceptions in six starts and two relief appearances. He led Washington to a 5-1 record in place of the recently-released Dwayne Haskins and the injured Kyle Allen.

Gibson, a third-round rookie out of Memphis, led Washington with 795 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground in 14 games. He added 247 receiving yards. McLaurin led the team with 1,118 receiving yards and TE Logan Thomas had a team-high six receiving touchdowns.

The defense was one of the best units in football under first-year head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. WFT ranked third by Football Outsiders’ total defensive DVOA, second by opponents yards per play (4.9), and third by ESPN’s Team Pass Rush Win Rate. Washington was sixth in the league with 47 sacks.

Buccaneers QB Tom Brady did what he was supposed to do upon signing a two-year $50-million contract in the offseason. He finished his first year in Tampa, Fla., with 4,633 yards and 40 TDs against 12 interceptions. RB Ronald Jones II had a team-high 978 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games. WR Mike Evans had team highs of 1,006 yards and 13 TDS, but he’ll be questionable for Saturday due to a knee injury suffered in Week 17. TE Rob Gronkowski finished with 623 yards and seven TDs while playing all 16 games in his return to football.

Tampa Bay also has a strong defense ranked fifth by FO’s total DVOA. It was sixth by opponent yards per play and fifth by Pass Rush Win Rate. The Bucs ranked third by Run Stop Win Rate while WFT was 11th.

The turnover battle strongly favors the Buccaneers, who finished at plus-8 in the regular season. Washington was minus-4 with only three teams committing more giveaways. The Football Team has a slight advantage over the Bucs in average time of possession, but Tampa Bay is able to strike far more quickly from anywhere on the field.

Betting breakdown

The Buccaneers are the biggest betting favorites on Saturday’s three-game wild-card slate, but it has done nothing to deter bettors. Through Monday afternoon at DraftKings, 85% of point-spread bets and 86% of the spread handle had been placed on the visitors to cover and win.

The Over/Under is the second-lowest projected total for the opening round of the NFL playoffs. The number dropped from an opening line of 46.5 with 60% of bets and 76% of the money on Under. Tampa Bay was 9-7 against the O/U in the regular season and topped projections by 3.6 points per game; Washington was 5-11 against the number and fell 2.9 PPG below the line on average.

Both teams were 9-7 against the spread and covered by an identical 3.8 PPG. Washington was 5-3 ATS at home and 8-5 ATS as an underdog. The Bucs were 4-4 ATS on the road, 7-6 ATS as favorites, and 4-3 ATS as road favorites.

WFT ended the regular season by playing to five consecutive Unders and going 3-2 ATS and straight up in its last five games. The Buccaneers hit the Over in two of their final three games (both against the Falcons) and they covered the spread in four of their final five games.

Tampa Bay (+1000) has the fifth-best odds to win Super Bowl LV at both DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Washington shares the longest odds of all playoff teams with the Chicago Bears at +10000 at DraftKings.

Betting the Total (Over/Under)

  • 12 of Tampa Bay’s games have gone over 45.5 points this season (75% of matchups).
  • Washington has played four games this year that finished with a combined score higher than 45.5 points (25% of its outings).
  • These two teams rack up a combined 51.7 points per game, 6.2 more points than this matchup’s over/under.
  • Opponents of these two teams combine to average 42.8 points per game, 2.7 fewer points than this contest’s total.
  • Tampa Bay’s contests this year have an average point total of 52.9, 7.4 more points than this game’s over/under.
  • Washington has a 41.5-point average over/under in its matchups this season, 4.0 fewer points than this game’s total.
  • Washington is the league’s 25th-highest scoring team this season compared to third-ranked Tampa Bay.
  • Tampa Bay is the league’s eighth-ranked scoring defense while Washington is the fourth-ranked.
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Buccaneers Betting Insights

  • Tampa Bay has a 9-7 record against the spread.
  • Tampa Bay has an even ATS record of 1-1 when playing as at least 8.5-point favorites.
  • Tampa Bay’s games have hit the over in nine out of 16 outings this season (56.2%).

Washington Betting Insights

  • Washington has compiled an 8-7-1 record against the spread this season.
  • Just 10 of Washington’s 16 games this year have gone over the point total (31.2% of its opportunities).

Check out TheLines YouTube channel to learn more about betting tips and picks for this week’s NFL action.

When the Buccaneers Have the Ball

  • This year, Tampa Bay puts up 10.2 more points per game (30.8) than Washington surrenders (20.6).
  • Tampa Bay is 6-2 against the spread and 8-0 overall in games when it records at least 30.8 points.
  • When Washington surrenders no more than 20.9 points, it has a 5-1 record against the spread and a 5-1 record overall.
  • Tampa Bay collects 384.1 yards per game, 79.5 more yards than the 304.6 Washington allows per outing. Tampa Bay averages 6 yards per play while Washington gives up 4.9 per play.
  • Tampa Bay is 5-2 against the spread and 6-1 overall when the team picks up 384.1 or more yards.
  • When Washington holds its opponents to 304.6 yards or less, it has a 6-3 record ATS and a 5-4 record overall.
  • Tampa Bay rushes for 94.9 yards per game, 17.9 fewer per game than the 112.8 Washington allows per contest.
  • This year, Tampa Bay has a 5-2 ATS record and a 6-1 overall record in games the team runs for at least 94.9 yards.
  • This season, Washington is 6-1 against the spread and 6-1 overall when holding opponents to no more than 112.8 yards on the ground.
  • Tampa Bay turns the ball over 1.1 times per game, just 0.3 fewer turnovers per game than the 1.4 Washington forces on average.
  • Tampa Bay is 7-4 against the spread and 10-1 overall when it turns the ball over 1.1 or less times.
  • This season, Washington has a 4-2-1 record against the spread and a 5-2 record overall when it forces at least 1.4 turnovers.

When Washington Has the Ball

  • Washington puts up just 1.3 fewer points per game (20.9) than Tampa Bay allows (22.2).
  • Washington is 5-1 against the spread and 5-1 overall a season ago when the team scores at least 20.9 points.
  • Tampa Bay has a 6-2 record against the spread and an 8-0 record overall in games when it gives up 30.8 points or less.
  • Washington collects just 9.9 fewer yards per game (317.2), than Tampa Bay gives up per outing (327.1). Washington gains 4.8 yards per play, and Tampa Bay allows 5.1 per play.
  • When Tampa Bay churned out 397.9 or more yards in a game last season, the team went 3-3-2 against the spread and 5-4 overall.
  • In games Tampa Bay limits its opponents to 327.1 or fewer yards, it has a 4-3 record ATS and a 5-2 record overall.
  • This season, Washington averages 100.7 rushing yards per game, 20.1 more per game than Tampa Bay allows per outing (80.6).
  • Washington has a 3-4 ATS record and a 4-3 overall record when the team runs for at least 100.7 yards.
  • When Tampa Bay limits its opponents to 80.6 rushing yards or less, it is 4-4 against the spread and 6-2 overall.
  • Washington turns the ball over 1.7 times per game, just 0.1 more turnovers per game than the 1.6 Tampa Bay forces on average.
  • Washington has a 6-2-1 record against the spread and a 6-3 record overall when it turns the ball over 1.7 times or less.
  • When it forces 1.6 or more turnovers, Tampa Bay has a 5-4 record against the spread and a 7-2 record overall.

Get the best betting breakdowns and picks on TheLines sports betting podcast

Buccaneers Players to Watch

  • Tom Brady has thrown for 4,633 yards while completing 65.7% of his passes (401-of-610), with 40 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 16 games this year (289.6 yards per game).
  • Ronald Jones II has taken 192 carries for a team-leading 978 rushing yards (61.1 yards per game) while scoring seven touchdowns in 16 games.
  • Leonard Fournette has 367 yards on 97 carries (28.2 ypg), with six rushing touchdowns over the course of 13 games. He also has 36 catches for 233 yards (17.9 ypg).
  • Mike Evans has hauled in 70 passes to lead the team with 1,006 yards while scoring 13 touchdowns. He has been targeted 109 times and averages 62.9 yards per game over 16 outings.
  • Chris Godwin has also contributed with 840 yards on 65 grabs with seven touchdowns. He has been targeted 84 times and puts up 70.0 receiving yards per game over the course of 12 matchups this year.
  • Over 16 games in 2020, Rob Gronkowski has caught 45 passes on 77 targets for 623 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 38.9 receiving yards per game.
  • Jason Pierre-Paul has 9.5 sacks to lead the team, and has also racked up 7.0 TFL, 55 tackles, and two interceptions over 16 games.
  • Lavonte David has totaled 118 tackles, 12.0 TFL, 1.5 sacks, and one interception to lead the team in tackles so far in 16 games over the course of the 2020 campaign.
  • Mike Edwards has picked off two passes to lead the team while adding nine tackles and five passes defended 16 over games.

Washington Players to Watch

  • Alex Smith has thrown for 1,582 yards while completing 66.7% of his passes (168-of-252), with six touchdowns and eight interceptions in eight games this year (197.8 yards per game).
  • Antonio Gibson has racked up a team-high 795 rushing yards (56.8 yards per game) and scored 11 touchdowns in 14 games. He has tacked on 36 catches for 247 yards (17.6 receiving yards per game).
  • J.D. McKissic leads the team with 365 rushing yards on 85 carries (22.8 yards per game), with one touchdown on the ground over the course of 16 games in 2020. He also has 80 catches for 589 yards (36.8 per game) and two touchdowns.
  • Terry McLaurin has been targeted 134 times and has 87 catches to lead the team with 1,118 yards (74.5 ypg) and scored four touchdowns in 15 games this season.
  • Logan Thomas has also contributed with 72 catches for 670 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games this year. He has been targeted 110 times and averages 41.9 receiving yards per game.
  • Montez Sweat has 9.0 sacks to lead the team, and has also added 12.0 TFL, 45 tackles, and one interception over 16 games.
  • Jon Bostic has collected 119 tackles, 6.0 TFL, three sacks, and one interception to lead the team in tackles so far in 16 games over the course of the 2020 campaign.
  • This season, Kendall Fuller leads the team with four interceptions and has added 50 tackles, 1.0 TFL, and 11 passes defended 14 in games.

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