In a spot that feels eerily similar to Philadelphia’s matchup with Kansas City on a short prep week after its Monday night game against Dallas, the Eagles now host Tampa Bay on just four days of rest for Thursday Night Football. However, we think the Eagles have a chance to turn in a different result this time, at least in terms of an ATS pick.

Let’s jump into our Bucs vs. Eagles prediction for the Week 6 Thursday Night Football matchup, including a look at the odds and our ATS pick.

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Bucs vs. Eagles Prediction

The optics here scream for a play on Tampa Bay. Tom Brady just had one of the best games of his career on Sunday and faces an Eagles defense that got torched for 40+ points by Dallas and Kansas City in consecutive weeks, the only other two teams Philadelphia has faced with a top five scoring offense. However, we see those details as too obvious and instead believe there is a much more important detail worth backing in this spot.

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Brady and Russell Wilson (last week notwithstanding) are the two most successful Thursday Night Football quarterbacks you will find. It’s no coincidence that they take such well-documented care of their bodies. They have been able to bounce back on short rest better than almost any other player. However, the Bucs are about more than just Brady, and in this case, that could prove detrimental. This team, which returned all 22 starters from last year’s Super Bowl squad, is largely constructed of elder statesmen at several key positions.

Ask any guy in his 30s or early 40s what it’s like recovering from a flag football or club soccer game and then scale that up exponentially for the punishment brought by an NFL game. As former wide receiver Doug Baldwin once said about Thursday Night Football, “This s— should be illegal. It is not OK. … Absolutely, guys do not have enough time to recover. You can’t recover in four days.”

Bucs vs. Eagles Odds

Philadelphia predictably opened as sizable underdogs to the reigning champions, getting as many as 7.5 points when legal online sportsbooks initially released odds. Despite 75 percent of bets (as of late Wednesday) coming in on Tampa Bay, the line can now be found between 6.5 and 7 points in favor of the Buccaneers. An opening total of 50.5 has since spiked to around 53, hardly surprising given Tampa’s third-best scoring offense that pours in over 33 points per game.

Here’s a look at the Bucs vs. Eagles odds, courtesy of Barstool Sportsbook:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Eagles +9.5 (-110) +290 O 46 (-110)
Buccaneers -9.5 (-110) -380 U 46 (-110)

Bucs vs. Eagles Pick

Bruce Arians knows his personnel. With the big-picture goal being another title, here’s a relevant question — are the Buccaneers, with the league’s third-oldest roster, going all-in for a Thursday night game against an inferior opponent? A second question — are they doing it ahead of a matchup with a physical Bears defense looming?  

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A team that entered 2021 with 15 guys over 30 years old and has since added Richard Sherman (33) should be here for a simple victory via the path of least resistance, not another blowout win where Brady tops 400 yards and tosses five touchdowns. The late trash touchdown the Eagles scored to cover many teasers against the Chiefs could easily be found here to backdoor the spread in a worst-case scenario while the Bucs are rolling to a comfortable win.

And, speaking of that looming meeting with Chicago in Week 7, Tampa could also get caught peeking ahead a bit here. After all, it was the Bears who knocked off Brady and the Buccaneers in Tampa’s lone Thursday night game last season, lending more to the idea of the Bucs being vulnerable in this spot.


On the other side, Philadelphia actually may match up fairly well with Tampa Bay. The Bucs have the league’s best passing attack (349.4 ypg), but the Eagles, despite herculean efforts by Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes, possess the NFL’s third best pass defense (194.8 ypg against).

Moreover, we know by now that Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni would love to throw the ball every single down. Well, this is the team to do it against, as Tampa Bay is dead last against the pass, allowing 314.4 yards per game and has injury issues throughout its secondary to boot.

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ATS Trends

Tampa Bay has been historically poor on Thursday Night Football at just 2-9 ATS in the team’s last 11 appearances, including 1-7 ATS in their last eight TNF games. The Bucs are also 0-2 ATS in their last two showings as favorites. On the other side, Philadelphia has been solid on the short week, winning their lone Thursday game last season and going 11-5 SU and 10-6 ATS on Thursday nights since 1990, including 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS over their last six appearances.

The Eagles, who lost to the Bucs the last time the two teams met in 2018, are also a strong 5-1 ATS on Thursday Night Football when playing with revenge.

The Eagles, a team that has covered four straight at Lincoln Financial Field overall, have shown especially well as a home underdog in recent seasons. They are 4-0 ATS when getting points at home in their last four outings and have rattled off five covers in their last seven games in this role.

Conversely, the Buccaneers are just 1-4 ATS in their last five games as road favorites.

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Tampa Bay, which routed Miami by a 45-17 final last week, is just 1-5 ATS in its last six outings after a SU win by 15 or more points. Bruce Arians is only 3-6 ATS after his team scores 35 points or more. That doesn’t bode well for a Bucs romp here, given that Arians’ teams are also just 7-12 ATS off a win and 10-14 ATS as a favorite.

It is also worth mentioning that the Bucs have covered just four of their last 18 October games. In fact, in games 5-8 of the season, they have beaten the spread just once in their last 12 outings against NFC opponents.

Thursday Night Football Prediction

Look for the underdog in this head-to-head series to move to 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings as Philadelphia continues its current seven game ATS run at home off a SU underdog victory. The Eagles, like the Patriots in Week 5, keep it closer than expected against Brady in primetime and leave this one with a cover.

Our Pick: Philadelphia +7

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