Bucs vs. Eagles Odds, Predictions: Tom Brady and Co. Are Big Wild Card Favorites For 2022 NFL Playoffs
Getty Images. Pictured: Bucs QB Tom Brady, Eagles QB Jalen Hurts
Bucs vs. Eagles Odds
The 2-seeded Bucs are set to take on the 7-seeded Eagles on Wild Card Weekend of the 2022 NFL Playoffs. Find one of our expert’s projected odds, another’s early bet, and a recap of each team’s seasons below.
Bucs vs. Eagles Schedule
Bucs vs. Eagles Projections
Our Director of Predictive Analytics, Sean Koerner, reveals his initial projections for the spread and over/under based on his model.
These are subject to change before kickoff, though, so be sure to check out our NFL PRO Projections — i.e. real-time consensus projections based on models of six experts (including Sean).
- Spread: Bucs -6.5
- Total: 48
Bucs vs. Eagles Predictions
Pick: Bucs -7.5 (to -9.5)
Brandon Anderson: It hasn’t been the smoothest ride, but the Bucs are here again. And for the second straight postseason, they’ll start their journey against an NFC East foe. Last season was Washington; this season it’s Philadelphia.
The Bucs took care of business against the Football Team last January, and I expect them to do the same against the Eagles.
The Eagles had a tale of two seasons, starting 3-6 but finishing 6-2 to clinch the NFC’s final seed. After a breakout game against the Lions midway through the schedule, the Eagles adopted a run-first mentality. They entered Week 18 ranked third in Football Outsiders’ rushing DVOA — they’re winning games in the trenches and racked up wins by running it down their opponents’ throats.
A closer look helps us understand why, though: The competition was terrible.
We mentioned the Lions. There was also a win over the Jets. There was a pair of games against the Giants — the worst team in the league down the stretch — and the Eagles lost one of them. Plus two wins over the Football Team, whose season tailspun with COVID late. Wins over the Broncos and Saints aren’t worth much, either.
The Eagles played only three teams better than .500 over the back half of the season and lost two of them. They did play six games against playoff teams, but weren’t competitive in any, losing all six.
Did the Eagles really turn the corner? Or did they just stop playing good teams?
One of those six losses came against the Bucs on a Thursday night in October. The final score was 28-22, but the Bucs dominated all the way. They led 28-7 with less than six minutes to play in the third quarter, with the Eagles scoring their only touchdown to that point thanks to a 45-yards penalty. They finally scored their second after a 50-yard penalty but had only 213 yards and 20 minutes of possession compared to 399 and 40 for the Bucs.
The line for that game was Bucs -7 on the road, which means they should be double-digit favorites in the -12 to -13 range.
The Bucs went 5-1 against playoff teams and enter the postseason having won seven of their last eight. Their run defense sputtered midseason, but still finished top 10 in Expected Points Added (EPA) and top-three over the final four games.
The Bucs are far better while the Eagles have no gear to play from behind once Brady and Co. inevitably take the lead.
How Bucs Reached 2022 NFL Playoffs
Avery Yang: The Bucs are doing what defending champions often do — dropping games you think they shouldn’t, but taking care of business before it becomes too serious of a problem.
While Tampa has looked shaky in recent weeks — namely in a 9-0 shutout loss to the Saints and a close win over the Jets in which the NFL’s worst defense contained Tom Brady for three-and-a-half quarters — the Bucs still boast the most efficient offense in the NFL and a top-10 defense by EPA.
Still, there are some serious personnel issues, especially at the wide receiver position. Their No. 1 receiver the last few weeks, Antonio Brown, has been booted from the team. Mike Evans is heavily hampered by a lingering hamstring problem. Chris Godwin is out for the year with an ACL tear.
It’s going to be an incredibly uphill battle for the greatest quarterback of all time to grab back-to-back rings. And he’ll potentially have to do it with two road games before the Super Bowl. If the Rams beat the 49ers, no matter what Tampa does against the Panthers, the highest they can be is the 3-seed. Brady hasn’t had two road playoff games since 2006, when the Patriots eventually lost to the Colts in the AFC Championship Game.
How Eagles Reached 2022 NFL Playoffs
Chase Howell: In the first season with Nick Sirianni at the helm, the Eagles find themselves back in the playoffs.
There weren’t many Jalen Hurts believers at the start of the season, then he went and won nine games in his first full season as a starter.
The offense has been efficient with him at quarterback. They rank 12th in the NFL in Football Outsiders’ total DVOA on offense. Philadelphia relies heavily on its running game and the health of Miles Sanders will be a big question mark heading into the playoffs. But Jordan Howard and Boston Scott have looked more than serviceable and it’s more of a three-headed rushing attack. Four heads if you include the legs of Hurts – and those four are a big reason why the Eagles lead the NFL in rushing yards per game.
The defense, after getting off to a shaky start, has looked serviceable as well. They rank 16th in total DVOA on defense. Darius Slay has played like the All-Pro cornerback he is throughout the season and the defensive line is the strongsuit of the defense. Ever since Brandon Graham tore his Achilles, the team has been missing an elite pass rusher. That’s something to keep an eye on for the playoffs.