Sunday’s tilt between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles is one of several rematches featured across Wild Card weekend. Tampa Bay emerged triumphant by a final tally of 28-22 to kick off Week 6. Philly fell to 2-4 following the loss, but it was perhaps one of those “constructive” defeats.
Not only did the Eagles only attempt 19 rushes in that Thursday night affair, but quarterback Jalen Hurts led the way with 10 totes. However, from that point forward, the Eagles jump-started their run game and finished 7-4 down the stretch. The Eagles’ improved ground attack will take aim at a typically stout rush defense that has revealed some cracks in recent weeks — they surrendered 173 yards to the Buffalo Bills in Week 14 and 150 to the New York Jets in Week 17.
Tampa Bay has scored 30-plus in six games since a Week 9 bye. Meanwhile, the Eagles have eclipsed that mark four times over that same span. Postseason football may be a different beast from regular-season play, but it’s still worth keeping tabs on trends.
Oddsmakers at FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook each list the Bucs as 8.5-point home favorites. Additionally, both books have pegged the matchup with an identical total of 46.0. Below we’ll discuss some of the standout touchdown odds available for this contest.
Jalen Hurts +220 (FD) | Tom Brady +550 (DK)
Brady and Hurts couldn’t be much more different from one another, yet both own tempting odds to score with their feet.
Hurts paces the Eagles with 10 rushing touchdowns and his running ability is key to their offensive success. His +220 price to score is arguably the best bet on the table for the Eagles. Brady, of course, uses his legs only as a last resort, and oftentimes even “last resort” is too soon for him to leave the pocket. Should the Bucs advance to the Eagles’ goal line though, Brady is a very good bet to punctuate the drive with one of his patented sneaks.
Leonard Fournette -135 (FanDuel)
Fournette was in the midst of a career year before a hamstring injury sidelined him for three games down the stretch. He returned to practice, suggesting he’ll be ready to roll on Saturday, but how will he respond in his first game back in action? He has 10 touchdowns in 14 games, so he’s more than capable, but bettors should still consider his workload. Giovani Bernard and Ke’Shawn Vaughn are both expected to be available as well.
Miles Sanders +150 | Boston Scott +300 (DraftKings)
Most would likely concede that Sanders is the Eagles’ best running back — on paper at least. And on the surface, +150 for a team’s best running back to score a touchdown appears enticing. There are a number of traps to consider though. Chief among them is his health. Sanders is recovering from a broken hand, and head coach Nick Sirianni is “hopeful” of his availability. Some may be more bullish than others, but those who don’t find optimism in “hopeful” can be forgiven. Sanders turned in a limited practice to start the week though, so that is a promising development. Beyond his eventual game-day status, however, is the fact that he’s scored zero touchdowns on 163 touches this season. Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell, and Jordan Howard, meanwhile, have combined for 16 spikes. And quarterback Jalen Hurts is a frequent visitor to the paint as well — he made 10 trips in 2021.
Betting on Sanders scoring may be fraught with warning, but +300 for Scott to break the plane offers appeal. The diminutive scatback has seven touchdowns on 100 touches. And he scored when Sanders was active, so this isn’t a case of Scott taking advantage of personnel absences.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Mike Evans +105 | Rob Gronkowski +125 (FD)
Evans is among the game’s most prolific touchdown scorers, and he’s been dominant in that department since Tom Brady arrived. He has 27 touchdown receptions in 32 games since 2020. The Bucs are without Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, so it’s only natural to expect Evans to garner more of Brady’s attention and targets.
Gronkowski is a similarly dominant force in the red zone. He only has six touchdowns this season — albeit in only 12 games. More important than his raw numbers this season are the years of trust he’s banked with Brady. Gronk was on the receiving end of two touchdowns in last season’s Super Bowl. He’ll be a focal point in key moments throughout this postseason as well.
Plus-money for two of the generation’s preeminent touchdown scorers has to be attractive for bettors.
DeVonta Smith +270 | Dallas Goedert +240 (FD)
Thanks largely in part to the damage Hurts can do with his legs, the Eagles collected 25 scores on the ground compared to 20 through the air. While neither Smith (five) nor Goedert (four) will be considered an overwhelming threat to collect a touchdown, they lead all pass-catchers in that department. Similarly, Smith and Goedert lead the team in targets with 104 and 76, respectively. Those are factors worth considering for those eyeing quick profits.