2023 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Season Betting Preview
As part of our 2023 NFL Preseason Preview Series, we look at the current state of each team in an attempt to identify reasons for optimism and causes for concern and, most importantly, what can be exploited in the current betting marketplace.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: REASONS FOR OPTIMISM
One would be hard-pressed to make a strong case for Tampa Bay to be optimistic to make the playoffs like they did last season, but a case can certainly be made for them to eclipse their 6.5 win total. The QB position will be replaced by Kyle Trask, a complete unknown, and Baker Mayfield, who has shown some promise amidst his relatively disappointing career. They will be throwing to a terrific trio of WRs in Evans, Godwin, and Gage. By reshuffling and adding to their O-line, the Bucs could strike gold or famine. Tampa Bay also drafted stud DT Calijah Kancey who has a chance to be a real difference-maker and add to a defense that finished 11th in EPA allowed. With an easier schedule and lower expectations, perhaps this team could surprise some people.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: CAUSE FOR CONCERN
There isn’t much of a case to be optimistic about the Buccaneers. They lost perhaps the best QB of all time in Tom Brady. Even if Brady wasn’t his usual self and came in with a bunch of baggage, he still led the Bucs to a 6-4 one-score game record and to the playoffs. Trask and Mayfield project to be a substantial downgrade from the GOAT. Tampa was -45 in point differential last season, the worst among playoff teams. According to Pythagorean expectations, the Bucs should have won closer to 7 games. In regards to 4th quarter win probability, they should have come out victorious in only 5.9 games. Combining those stats and settling on an actual 2022 win total of 6.5, doesn’t bring much hope to a team that also has to manage the downgrade at quarterback.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: BETTING OPPORTUNITIES
Finding reasons for optimism with this Bucs group is an exercise in futility. They have one of the league worst coaching staff, quarterbacks, offensive lines, and running backs. Defensively, they are slightly above average, but it certainly is not enough to carry the day. Tom Brady was in the twilight of his career, but whatever limited success Tampa Bay had on offense, it was because of him. With TB out in TB, they have to hope for positive turnover and injury regression and lean on their manageable schedule to find success. I have serious doubts they will live up to their limited potential. Despite their offseason decisions to sign veterans, I fully expect the Bucs to struggle.
Best Bet: TB Under 6.5 Wins (-135)
(Play to -145)