The reigning Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) look to keep things rolling this weekend as they travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers (1-0). Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on Sunday, September 17th at Raymond James Stadium. The game will be televised on FOX.
Oddsmakers originally had the Bucs listed as 3-point home underdogs. That line has remained unchanged, as Tampa Bay is currently available at +3. The total for this matchup is 44 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 2 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Bucs vs Eagles Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Philadelphia is coming off an impressive Week 1 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the first game of the 2018-19 NFL regular season. The Eagles trailed 6-3 but managed to rally in the second half on the shoulders of strong defensive play. Superbowl MVP Nick Foles looked shaky at times but managed to string together enough offense to keep the Eagles in the game before they pulled ahead in the 3rd quarter. RB Jay Ajayi played a large role in the comeback, rushing for 62 yards and two touchdowns. There are still a lot of question marks on the offensive side of the ball, however, as Foles went 19/34 while throwing for just 117 yards and adding an interception.
However, the defense was rock-solid all game and is a definite reason why many are suggesting the Eagles have a legitimate shot at defending their title. Philadelphia frustrated Matt Ryan and the rest of the high-powered Falcons offense for much of the game allowing just 12 points total. Despite giving up a few big plays to Julio Jones, the Eagles were extremely impressive for four consecutive quarters and really limited the impact of Atlanta’s top offensive stars.
Tampa Bay is hoping for a repeat performance offensively after veteran backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Bucs to a thrilling 48-40 victory over the heavily-favored New Orleans Saints. “Fitzmagic” was certainly at his best last weekend, reaching deep into his bag of tricks and pulling out a four touchdown, 417 yard day. He had plenty of help from both Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, who combined for three touchdowns and almost 300 receiving yards.
The Buccaneers were far less impressive defensively, a trend that is likely to continue again here in Week 2. Tampa Bay ranked close to dead last in every major defensive category last season and had no answer for the high-flying Saints offense last weekend, giving up 40 points and 475 total yards. This group was extremely fortunate that their offense was able to bail them out so many times, something that is tough to expect too many times moving forward.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Philadelphia -3
I think that this line will likely move a bit more before kick-off, as I fully expect the Eagles to be closer to five point favorites by Sunday afternoon. I think the current one is a bit of an overreaction to an impressive performance by the Tampa Bay offense against the Saints in Week 1. Fitzpatrick will have a much tougher time at home on Sunday against a top-5 defense that just held the Falcons to 12 points. I don’t think the Bucs have a good enough defense to keep this one within 6 points, let alone 3. Although I have some doubts about the effectiveness of Nick Foles against more talented defensive teams, he should certainly be able to find some success this week against a Swiss cheese Buccaneers secondary.
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The Eagles are 4-0 ATS over their past four games and 4-1 ATS over their past five games against opponents with a winning record. They are also 10-3 ATS in their past 13 meetings with teams in the NFC. Finally, they are an impressive 5-2 ATS over their past seven road games.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is just 2-4 ATS over their past six home games against Philadelphia. I expect that trend to continue on Sunday, especially against this particular Eagles team – they are the defending Super Bowl Champions, after all. Nick Foles has too many weapons on offense to struggle for a second consecutive week, especially against a weak Buccaneers D. I also am expecting Jay Ajayi to have another big game, as Tampa Bay showed how much they struggle against the run last weekend as well – Alvin Kamara torched them for 100+ total yards and three touchdowns.
Ultimately, I think this Philadelphia team is too talented to have another letdown performance this week. They really woke up in the second half of their opener after sleep-walking (especially on offense) for the first couple of quarters. Playing on the road this weekend might help them keep focused as well – a lengthy pre-game ceremony taking place prior to kickoff in Week 1 likely did more harm then good. I’ll take the Eagles to cover this three point spread with relative ease.