Jan 3, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) drops back against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Washington Wild Card Preview

Home underdogs in the Wild Card round have done fairly well. They are 26-14 ATS, however this game might be a little different than most.

Washington will be only the fifth team in NFL history to make the playoffs with a losing record. They will be hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have won five in a row and are one of the hottest teams in the NFL heading into the playoffs.

Washington is going to have some trouble putting up points. Take Tampa Bay as the big road favorite here. Also check out our top 5 Washington Tampa prop bets, featuring Brady, Gronk, RoJo and more,

Tampa Bay Washington Wild Card Pick, Odds: Washington +8, Total 44.5 | Matchup Report 

Why Tampa Bay will cover the spread

What a year for Tom Brady. He finished 3rd in the NFL in passing yards, and led the Buccaneers to an 11-5 record. The Bucs offense is on fire right now.

In their last four games, they are averaging 37 points per game, and I don’t think this offense has even hit it’s ceiling yet. They have so many weapons across the board. 

They key to this game will be what Tampa Bay can do on defense. It’s no secret that Washington’s offense is severely limited. Washington does not like to push the ball downfield, and that fits right into Tampa Bay’s strengths.

Lavonte David is one of the best inside linebackers in the league, and will be tasked with shutting down Washington’s “dink and dunk” offense. 

Why Washington will cover the spread

Even though Washington finished 7-9, Ron Rivera has to be happy with his first season as head coach. They fought hard down the stretch, and easily was the best team in a lousy NFC East. Their defensive line is amongst the best in the league.

Their defensive line includes four 1st round picks, and finished 6th in the NFL in sacks per game. The only hope for Washington is causing mayhem in the backfield. The Bucs offense does require tons of protection.

They like to push the ball downfield, so Brady needs a clean pocket for three seconds to let their plays develop. Washington is built perfectly to stop an offense like Tampa Bay’s. 

Tampa Bay Washington Wild Card Pick

Even with Washington’s impressive defensive line, I think their offense is going to struggle. The Bucs defense finished tied for fourth in the NFL in takeaways, and Alex Smith has been shaky at best for Washington.

He has thrown four interceptions in his last four games. Tampa Bay rolls here, lay the wood on the Bucs.

Brenden Deeg is from Ajax, Ontario and has been an NFL writer for over 5 years. Brenden has contributed to FanSided and 4th and Jawn. Brenden also played Defensive Line at York University, in Toronto Canada. Brenden is a Philadelphia Eagles fan, and active in the Philadelphia Eagles twitter community. You can follow his personal account here @ BrendenDeegNFP   He can reached at Brenden.Deeg@NationalFootballPost.com

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