Bengals vs Buccaneers Odds and Pick | Week 15 NFL Betting Predictions

Bengals vs Buccaneers Odds and Pick | Week 15 NFL Betting Predictions article feature image

Cooper Neill/Getty Images. Pictured: Tom Brady

  • Bengals vs Buccaneers odds position Cincinnati as the favorite in Tampa Bay.
  • But are the Bucs undervalued at home? Our expert think so.
  • Find his Bengals vs Bucs pick and prediction based on the odds below.

Bengals vs. Buccaneers Odds

Sunday, Dec. 18
4:25 p.m. ET
Bengals Odds
Buccaneers Odds
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

One week after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were embarrassed in America's Game of the Week in the main 4:25 p.m. slot, they return to the national spotlight at home against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cincinnati is the hottest team in the AFC right now after wins against Tennessee, Kansas City and Cleveland in consecutive weeks. The Bengals have won five straight games and vaulted themselves into the heart of the AFC North and into the AFC title contender conversation.

Tampa Bay didn't just lose 35-7 to San Francisco last Sunday, but the Buccaneers are a late miracle comeback against the Saints from being 0-3 since the bye week. The Buccaneers' offense has been stuck in the mud since returning from the bye, but this represents a classic buy-low, sell-high spot in the NFL.

A week or two ago, this line would have been Bengals -1 or -2. Now that the line is safely over the key number of three, there's only way to bet this game on Sunday.

Given the injury reports are trending in opposite directions for both teams too, the Bengals will not be at full strength on Sunday.

Bengals vs. Buccaneers Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Bengals and Buccaneers match up statistically:

Bengals vs. Buccaneers DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA511
Pass DVOA711
Rush DVOA312
Overall DVOA1710
Pass DVOA139
Rush DVOA3013

Cincinnati does have some questionable injury situations entering Sunday's game. Both Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd practiced on Friday, but both are listed as questionable for Sunday's game. Even if they're both able to go, there's a risk of re-injury or limited effectiveness.

The injuries don't end there for the Bengals. Hayden Hurst has been ruled out at tight end. The Bengals still have plenty of explosiveness with Ja'Marr Chase, but the offense won't be as effectiveness with all of Joe Burrow's secondary options out or hampered.

Bet Cincinnati vs. Tampa Bay at FanDuel

The defense is also banged up. Defensive end Trey Hendrickson has already been ruled out after he missed practice all week. Cornerbacks Mike Hilton and Jalen Davis are both going to miss this game, too. The Buccaneers' offense has been a train wreck most of the season, but the offensive line should be better able to protect Tom Brady given the Hendrickson injury.

Tampa Bay is far from healthy on the defensive end with injuries to Vita Via and Jamel Dean ruling them out of the game. But the Buccaneers may have Mike Edwards and Antoine Winfield back for this game. That would be a major boost for Tampa Bay's secondary in dealing with the explosiveness of the Bengals' offense.

Tampa Bay's main problem has been inefficiency in trying to run the ball this season. It's hampered the entire offense, but there's some softness in the Bengals' run defense that could potentially be exploited here. The Bengals are outside the top 20 in Rushing Success Rate allowed and EPA per rush.

The Buccaneers haven't really been able to run the ball on anyone though, as they're 31st in Rush EPA on first and second down this season. They've also been unable to push the ball down the field through the air.

The result has been an offense reliant heavily on dink-and-dunk passing and check downs from Brady. Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo has been an excellent game planner, but this is a very different challenge than slowing down an offense like Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.

The Bengals' defense is elite against intermediate and deep passing, but it can be had through the short passing game. This is the kind of matchup where Brady may have success, as opposed to the more aggressive Saints and 49ers defenses that have given him a ton of problems trying to use the middle of the field.

Betting Picks

I think we've reached the top of the market on Cincinnati here and the market isn't fully pricing in the defensive injuries for the Bengals. Even though Tampa Bay looked awful last week against San Francisco, Cincinnati is a very different stylistic matchup.

First, the Buccaneers are at home, where Brady has been significantly more efficient as a passer in the last two seasons. The 49ers are a power run team that took advantage of Vea's absence and created a ton of positive down and distance situations.

Tampa Bay's defense thrives on getting you into third and long situations and the Bengals can be feast-or-famine at times on offense with Burrow still having a sack issue.

The number had actually teetered toward four on Friday after the positive injury news but that was quickly gobbled up and moved immediately back toward 3.5. That's a signal that the Bengals are at their peak value here and I want to bet against them at that number.

I don't have much interest on betting the Buccaneers at or below three though.

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