How To Bet Buccaneers vs. Rams, Odds, Predictions, NFL Picks: NFC’s Elite Face Off In Los Angeles
Pictured: Mike Evans (left), Tom Brady (left center), Matt Stafford (right center) and Jalen Ramsey.
- Looking for Bucs vs. Rams odds? We outline the spread and over/under in our betting preview of this NFL Week 3 matchup.
- Two star-studded teams are going head-to-head in Los Angeles with Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford under center.
Buccaneers vs. Rams Odds
|4:25 p.m. ET
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.
Welcome to the game of the week.
The Bucs and the Rams are the top two teams in the NFC according to every sportsbook, so this is an early playoff preview and a game with serious playoff seeding implications. You know Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will call the action and make it a fun afternoon marquee.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers look invincible. They've won 10 consecutive games dating back to last season, including playoffs, and scored at least 30 points in all of them. No team in NFL history has done that — and don't forget that four of those nine games came in the playoffs against the league's best.
But the Rams might be the top contender to the throne. Los Angeles went all in this offseason, giving up a pile of assets for Matthew Stafford for just a game like this. Sean McVay finally has a quarterback he believes in, and this offense has opened things back up and looked great and fun the first couple weeks as they find their footing.
This game has the highest total of the week, so the books are expecting a shootout and one that should come down to the wire. The Bucs opened as slight underdogs on Sunday night but the money quickly came in on Tampa and moved the defending champions to favorites.
So will Tampa Bay keep rolling, or is this the game when McVay and the Rams announce themselves as true Super Bowl contenders on the brightest stage?
Buccaneers Still Pounding
The Bucs, obviously, are very good.
Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl and then basically brought the entire band back — all 22 starters returned. It's virtually unprecedented for a champion to win it all, eyeball their roster up and down, and just decide to run it back again.
Bruce Arians and his coaching staff know exactly what they have in this team. They figured it out late last season and have been unbeatable ever since. Most of the time, opponents aren't even close.
It starts with all those weapons on offense. Antonio Brown is out this week, but no matter. That still leaves Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller, Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. It's an absolute embarrassment of riches, especially when you have the GOAT throwing to them.
Brady has thrown nine touchdowns in two games, and the Bucs look like a cheat code in the red zone. Evans, Godwin, and Gronk are basically uncoverable in the red zone one-on-one with Brady's ball placement. It's impossible for any defense to cover all these weapons.
Tampa Bay's offensive line is still dominating too, which gives Brady all the time he needs to find his guys and dial up the big play. The Bucs are going to score, and they might score a lot.
Tampa Bay's defense, though, has not quite lived up to billing yet. The pass defense has been vulnerable, and the secondary is the weakest spot on the team. Sean Murphy-Bunting is out, and Carlton Davis is playing through injury. If there's one way to beat the Bucs, it's by passing on them, and the Rams are a real threat to do that. You're sure not going to run on them.
The Bucs run defense has been the best in the league each of the last two seasons, and some teams don't even bother trying to run on Vita Vea and his cohorts anymore. McVay showed last year that he would attack this defense early and often with the pass, so we should expect more of that here.
If the Bucs do go down, it probably won't be because they suddenly stall and can't score. It'll be because the pass defense lets the team down. But even in that scenario, Tom Brady and his many weapons might just outgun the opponent anyway.
The Bucs are loaded, on both sides of the ball. While other teams are still finding themselves early, Tampa Bay knows exactly what it is. And that's the best team in the league, the team to beat, the one with a giant target on its back every week.
Somehow this is Brady's first ever professional game in Los Angeles, even including all those Super Bowls. You better believe there are plenty of L.A. folks who have waited a long time to see Brady in Los Angeles. This may not be much of a home game for the Rams.
Rams, Stafford Need Big Passing Game
The way the Rams are playing, they may not need much of a home advantage.
This is a team built around stars, and the stars look great so far. Aaron Donald will give even the best offensive lines problems, and he could change the direction of the Bucs season with one big hit. Jalen Ramsey remains the best cover corner in football, though he may have a hard time figuring exactly who to cover in this one.
And then there's Stafford, who has looked great in his first two games against a pair of talented defenses in the Bears and Colts. McVay is in his bag, dialing up creative plays, and Stafford is using his big arm to hit the deep ball and stretch the defense vertically. Add in the speed horizontally and the Rams suddenly look impossible to defend again.
The Rams rank second in Passing DVOA, per Football Outsiders. They can't really run the ball much and probably won't try against the Bucs, whose awesome run defense might push the Rams right into their biggest strength.
The Rams are absolutely good enough to beat the Bucs. The question is whether they will.
Los Angeles has good defensive numbers so far but has underwhelmed, according to the eye test. The Colts and Bears offenses don't scare anyone, but both teams moved the ball up and down the field on the Rams but stalled on third down and in the red zone.
But guess who's not going to stall on those key plays? Brady and the Bucs.
This has all the makings of a close game, one of those games that comes down to the last possession or two. That means the ball is in the hands of the two marquee names: Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford.
Stafford has waited his whole career for a big game like this. He never got that chance with the Lions, though he did lose all three playoff games when he got a chance. Is the former No. 1 pick up for a challenge like this? As good as he's looked at times in this offense, he's also making a few mistakes, and the Bucs are too talented a team to make many mistakes against.
The books agree this game will be close, and that makes sense. Both offenses are too explosive to be shut down. The matchups do favor the Rams a bit here. Their passing numbers are better so far, both on offense and defense, and the weakest unit on the field might be the Bucs secondary.
On top of that, the public is all over the Bucs. Money came in immediately on Tampa when it opened as an underdog, and the line has continued to move in the Bucs' direction. This line is at -1 or -1.5 at every book and will probably get to -2 or -2.5 by kickoff.
I still can't talk myself into the Rams. At the end of the day, we're getting Brady, all those weapons, and the best team in football with close to coin-flip odds. If the Rams beat the best team in the league, and if Stafford really outplays Brady, then all I can do is tip my cap.
I loved the Bucs when they opened as underdogs. Some of the value has been lost with the line move but at -1, as long as the Bucs win the game then I'm still a winner or a push at worst. I have to take the GOAT and the champs in this spot and force the Rams to go take my money. Play this to -1.5 or pivot to the moneyline.
Pick: Bucs -1