The Top Bucs vs. Eagles Player Props Picks

bucs eagles player props
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG DUDEK

Can Tom Brady at 44 years of age possibly replicate his 400+ yard, five touchdown performance against Miami on short rest against the Eagles tonight? Can the Eagles find a way to win another one if the offense once again fails to muster 300 yards like they did in their comeback win over Carolina?

Let’s jump into this NFL Week 6 Thursday Night Football matchup with a look at the best Bucs vs. Eagles player props picks.

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The Best Bucs vs. Eagles Player Props Picks

Tom Brady Under 298.5 Passing Yards

Unless we totally miss our mark, on a short week with key injuries on both sides of the ball, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to want to win this game the quickest and easiest way possible. If Tom Brady has to throw for 300+ yards, then something went wrong for Tampa Bay. Think of this game like the New England one, but with the added short prep/recovery factor. The Patriots tried to keep everything in front of them and force the Bucs to beat them with the run game. Tampa obliged, rushing the ball 30 times for 120 yards with Brady going just 22-43 for 269 passing yards, his second lowest total of the season.

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Brady similarly failed to top 280 passing yards against Atlanta, also the only game aside from the New England matchup in which he failed to complete over 30 passes.

Regardless of Brady’s hand injury, we don’t see head coach Bruce Arians risking his team’s season by dropping Brady back 40+ times against a talented Philadelphia defensive line if he doesn’t have to. It’s even less likely to happen when you consider Philadelphia’s opponents have completed the tenth least passes per game against (21.8), while attempting the sixth fewest (31.6).

Most notably, the Eagles boast the NFL’s third best pass defense, allowing just 194.8 yards per game through the air in 2021, a number that drops to just 150.0 yards per game at Lincoln Financial Field, the league’s second best mark.

Leonard Fournette only rushed the ball 12 times against Miami, despite the blowout victory. With Ronald Jones and Giovani Bernard also dependable backs, we expect to see a run-centric attack by the Buccaneers in this one. After all, they will be facing the third-worst rush defense in football, one that allows 142 yards per game on the ground.

Why risk the health of the best quarterback in the history of the game when you can potentially pound the rock 40 or more times and still come away with a win? Arians is smart enough to realize that and if this one gets out of hand like Sunday’s win over the Dolphins, Blaine Gabbert could even come in for mop up duties, sparing us cheap late yardage tacked onto Brady’s stat line.

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DeVonta Smith Over 5.5 Receptions

It may be about time to make the statement that DeVonta Smith has officially arrived. We had to wonder a bit after the disappointing three-catch, 28-yard performance against Dallas in primetime, but Smith, who was still targeted six times in that game, responded with two huge performances since.

Smith hauled in seven catches against both Kansas City and Carolina, good for 122 and 77 yards, respectively. His 10 and eight respective targets in those games were both team highs, continuing a streak of at least six targets in each game to begin his NFL career.

And, now, the rookie gets to face off against the league’s worst pass defense which allows 314.4 yards per game through the air. With the Bucs often leading games by large margins, opponents are averaging 45 pass attempts against Tampa in 2021, easily a league high.

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Following right in tow is our crucial statistic, completions against, with Tampa Bay allowing more than five more catches per game than any other team (32.8). With Smith now firmly set as Hurts’ favorite target and facing a depleted secondary playing without starting safety Antoine Winfield Jr. and without two of its three top corners (Sean Murphy-Bunting and Carlton Davis), the Eagles’ wide receiver should find a ton of opportunities to top this prop bet’s requirement.

At least one player has caught seven or more balls in every single game against Tampa Bay this season. Smith is the best bet the Eagles have to join this list and the rookie should continue his emergence toward stardom with an active game this Thursday evening.

Anytime Touchdown Scorer – Cameron Brate

With Rob Gronkowski still recovering from a rib injury, Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard move to the top of the tight end depth chart in his absence. As we expect a run-heavy attack for Tampa to protect its star quarterback and shorten this game for its aging team (third oldest in the NFL) on the limited rest ahead of Thursday nights, Brate should find himself on the field most often, being the better blocking tight end of the two.

Brate was already the team’s first choice as the blocking tight end option in 12 personnel where two tight ends are on the field with two receivers. He has been a dynamic red zone weapon throughout his career and caught the most balls at the tight end position for the Bucs during last season’s playoff run.

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With the Bucs presumably content to pound the rock all night against one of the league’s worst rush defenses, this should set Brate up for some touchdown opportunities off play-action near the goal line.

The Eagles have allowed four touchdowns to tight ends in the last three weeks and have given up nine touchdowns of six yards or less this season, including eight in the last three weeks alone. Five of those eight were passing touchdowns. That will be prime real estate for Brate in this one.

Tampa Bay has amassed four touchdowns to tight ends this season and has scored 13 touchdowns already from 11 yards out or closer. Interestingly, 8 of those 13 were passing touchdowns (61.5%), proving Brady isn’t bashful throwing the ball in these spots. Look for Brate, a seeming decoy, to find paydirt in this one.

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