Buccaneers vs Packers Prediction: NFL Week 15 Odds, Preview

Buccaneers vs Packers Prediction: NFL Week 15 Odds, Preview article feature image

Action Network/Getty Images. Pictured: Baker Mayfield (left) and Jordan Love.

Buccaneers vs Packers Prediction: NFL Week 15 Odds, Preview

Sunday, Dec. 17
1 p.m. ET
Buccaneers Odds
-110o / -110u
Packers Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

I'll be betting the home favorite in this game for my NFL pick. Buccaneers vs. Packers odds have Tampa Bay listed as a 3.5-point underdog on the spread with a game total of 41.5.

In a battle of NFC playoff contenders, the Buccaneers have proven to be a cover machine against the spread on the road at 5-1 against the spread (ATS), while the Packers have enjoyed success at home, going 4-2 against the number at Lambeau Field. The Packers will also be looking to get over a disappointing loss to the Giants on Monday Night Football. 

Something has to give, and the vulnerable Bucs defense is the weakness that provides an edge for the Packers.

Let's preview Tampa Bay-Green Bay and make a Buccaneers vs. Packers prediction.

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Buccaneers vs. Packers Prediction

Buccaneers vs. Packers Preview

The strength of the Bucs defense is against the run. Tampa Bay is a top-six unit in both yards per carry allowed and the rate at which its allows explosive runs.

The issue for the Bucs in this one is that the Packers will not be looking pound the rock. AJ Dillon is dealing with a broken thumb and Aaron Jones could be limited in his return. Head coach Matt LaFleur has put his full trust in Jordan Love to lead them to the playoffs.

Love did not play his best game in New York, but this is a great bounce-back spot. The Bucs have allowed 7.7 yards per attempt through the air this season, the fourth-highest mark in the league. Quarterbacks are able to throw to their first read on 72.3% of attempts against Tampa Bay, according to FantasyPoints data, which is the highest rate in football. The Bucs have only forced checkdowns at a 6.5% rate, ranking them 28th. 

One of the main reasons for the Bucs' lack of success on the back end has been their inability to get pressure — they've pressured QBs on just 21% of dropbacks. Without the ability to consistently generate pressure, their secondary can't hold up in coverage.

Out of 119 qualifying corners, the Bucs' three starting corners (including their nickel) rank 110th, 92nd and 74th. 

Buccaneers vs. Packers Picks | FanDuel

Buccaneers +3.5 (-110)

Packers -3.5 (-110)

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The Packers will implement a pass-heavy attack and it is fair to expect Love to stay comfortable in the pocket.

Green Bay’s offensive line has been excellent protecting Love. The Packers have the second-highest pass block win rate at 69% as a unit, according to ESPN. This has led to a minuscule 6.3% adjusted sack rate, which takes into consideration factors such as down and distance, penalties and intentional grounding. Love’s passer rating is 26 points higher when he is kept clean, which he should be on the vast majority of dropbacks in this game.

The injury bug has not been kind to either team, but heading into Sunday, the outlook for the Packers looks brighter, which tips the scales to them once again.

Green Bay has been rightfully cautious with the injuries to Jones and Jaire Alexander. Both Jones and Alexander have been able to practice this week and they are welcomed additions to the lineup.

Alexander especially will have a major impact in limiting Mike Evans. With Chris Godwin questionable, even more attention will be paid to Evans.

Evans has earned the ninth-highest share of air yards out of all receivers as he is the first read on over 30% of the Bucs' passing attempts. The Packers stand a much better chance at slowing down the main cog in the Tampa passing attack with Alexander in the lineup.

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Buccaneers vs. Packers Prediction

Todd Bowles has won only 13 of his last 53 games when his team is listed as the underdog, covering just 44% of the time when his team is catching points over his career.

In contrast, Matt LaFleur is 25-13 (65.8%) against the spread as Packers head coach when playing in Green Bay. In November, December, or January inside Lambeau, LaFleur has covered at a 68.2% rate over a 22-game sample size.

Back the Packers to put up plenty of points en route to an easy victory.

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