It is set to be a battle of two of the NFC’s best when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Los Angeles Rams today on Monday Night Football (8:15pm ET; TV: Live on ESPN).
It’s the final game of week 11 of the NFL season and it seems almost hard to believe but here we are, already heading towards Thanksgiving with much of the 2020 season in the books. Over the course of the year, there have been some teams that have really stood out in the NFC. Two of those meet this week as the young team of Sean McVay, Jared Goff and the Rams take on the veteran experience of Bruce Arians, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. How will this clash unfold? This preview from USAbetting and its LA Rams vs Bucs predictions seeks to work that out.
Unsurprisingly, the Bucs’ profile rose this offseason when Brady left his lifetime career with the New England Patriots to move to Florida and the NFC South. The division, which had been dominated by the New Orleans Saints, was getting a new powerhouse. Tampa Bay didn’t stop with just Brady: Arians’ team added Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette and Antonio Brown and their success has shown as a result of that.
LA didn’t undergo many changes from the core that not so long ago almost delivered a Super Bowl victory. The biggest differences are that McVay and Goff have more experience now than they did nearly two years ago and the absence of Todd Gurley, who used to be one of the league’s top rushers. The Rams have been forced to changes their offensive strategy in light of Gurley’s absence and that didn’t come without its share of growing pains earlier this season. Now they are rolling and have emerged as serious NFC West contenders behind the runningback-by-committee approach of Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson and Cam Akers. All of these guys have had their strengths this year and all have contributed to the Rams’ successful 2020 campaign.
Speaking of that Super Bowl appearance for a moment, it should come as no surprise to know that the team LA lost said title to, was none other than Brady’s Patriots. Neither Brady or Goff played particularly well in that one with the Rams managing just a field goal’s worth of points and neither quarterback throwing for a touchdown. It was a rare dud for Brady. As for Goff, he came up short in the big moment. In the end, New England won Super Bowl LII, which served as their third straight trip to the championship game and their second win in a three-year span. This is a different Goff and a different Brady and two different looking teams that will be facing each other.
Offense is the name of the game in Tampa and how could it not be? Brady is one of the top quarterbacks of all time and the offense that has been assembled behind him offers no shortage of weapons. In addition to the names already mentioned above, Brady is also throwing to the likes of OJ Howard, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, who emerged a few years ago as one of the top wide receivers in the league. The production of these players and the rest of Tampa’s stellar group have been a large piece of why the Buccaneers are right there with the Saints, competing for the top spot in the NFC South.
In LA, as good as Goff has been in his fifth year in the league and as well as the team has gelled of late, the real story here is the prowess of the defense. With top players on both the defensive line and in the secondary, the Rams have been one of the NFL’s best in keeping points off the board which diametrically opposes them when it comes to what the Buccaneers do best. Aaron Donald continues to be one of the NFL’s top defensive ends and he will no doubt look to make Brady’s life a living nightmare on Monday night. If Donald can’t get pressure to the QB, all is not lost for the Rams, who can turn to the Jalen Ramsey-led secondary to ball hawk and prevent guys like Evans and Brown from getting into their rhythm. Moral of the story, the Rams have ways to beat the Bucs on all defensive fronts.
What it will come down to is really which team can and will execute their strengths best tday. Both have opportunities to win no doubt and need those wins in order to change their fortunes from second best to top of the line in their respective divisions. The Rams and Buccaneers are both capable of making that jump. A win could even serve as that marquee victory to jump start a playoff campaign and more.
Our Preview’s LA Rams vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Predictions & Betting Picks Verdict
The Bucs are sitting as 4-point favorites with the American offshore betting firms at home. The line makes sense in a lot of ways. Brady is rarely a home dog in his career and if you take out the head-scratching loss to the Saints a few weeks ago, Tampa Bay has been really good this year. Plus, Goff and the Rams have struggled on the road for what it’s worth. This game could come down to some of the little things and veteran experience should also play in the favor of Brady’s Bucs.
With the season winding down, this is a game both teams need to win if they hope to capture divisional crowns. How will it go? These are our LA Rams vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers predictions and picks for this betting preview:
- USAbetting likes the Bucs to get the job done. Bet on Tampa Bay -4pts on the spread @ odds of -110 with Intertops. This is -115 with BetOnline and -119 with Bookmaker while Bovada are -4.5pts @ -105.
- As for the total, our prediction is the over. A Bucs win largely means that Tampa Bay was able to neutralize the defensive dominance of the Rams. Expect offense to win out, so take the over 48 points @ best odds of -110 with BetOnline or Intertops in this Monday Night Football showdown.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.