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NFL 2023-24 Playoffs: Wildcard Round Tuesday Preview & Betting Tips

January 15th 2024, 1:44pm, By: Ben Bridge

NFL Betting Tips

The final piece of the Divisional Round puzzle will be put in place here, as the Philadelphia Eagles head to Tampa to take on the NFC South Champion Buccaneers. With the winner set to take on the winner of the Lions and Rams matchup next weekend, this game is a huge opportunity for both teams to get one foot in the door of the NFC Championship Game.

Below, we will dissect the matchups, previewing how we think things will play out, and give out our Best Bet. Make sure you are following BeforeYouBet, as we will have dedicated Match Previews for the entire post season, and it’s all for free!

NFL Playoffs - Wildcard Round - Tuesday Betting Tips

Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Raymond James Stadium, Monday 15th January, 12:15pm (AEDT)

Season Review

The Eagles came into the season off the back of a fantastic 2022/23 season, reaching the Super Bowl and narrowly losing to the Chiefs, 38-35. Things started well this season, as the Eagles cruised to a 10-1 record, with the number 1 seed in the NFC again looking likely. What followed, was a 1-5 record to close out the season, with horrific losses to the likes of the Giants, Cardinals, and Seahawks, whilst also being blown out by the 49ers and Cowboys. The locker room seems fractured, with A.J. Brown recently removing all Eagles related content from his social media accounts. Now, questions are being asked of Nick Sirianni, and to a lesser extent Jalen Hurts, and a team that looked like the best 1-53 team in the league, is now struggling to hold it together.

Conversely, the Bucs came into this season with low expectations. Tom Brady was gone, and they were seemingly scraping the bottom of the Free Agency barrel when they signed Baker Mayfield off the scrap heap, who then had to battle with Kyle Trask for the starting job. Mayfield got the job, and has had a superb season, to the point where he would likely win Comeback Player of the Year in any other season, without the Damar Hamlin story. The problem for the Bucs, is Mayfield comes into the post season banged up, with several niggling injuries. Without Mayfield at his best, the Eagles might just luck into a win here.

Injury Report

Philadelphia Eagles

Shaun Bradley (LB) – OUT

Roderick Johnson (OT) – OUT

Justin Evans / Sydney Brown (SAF) – OUT

A.J. Brown (WR) – OUT

Albert Okwuegbunam (TE) – OUT

Reed Blankenship (FS) – Questionable

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Russell Gage (WR) – OUT

Ryan Jensen (C) – OUT

Mike Greene (DT) – OUT

K.J. Britt (LB) – Questionable

Baker Mayfield (QB) – Questionable

Josh Hayes (DB) – Questionable

Match Preview

These teams met in week 3 at this very venue on Sunday Night Football, with the Eagles running out 25-11 winners. The Eagles were able to dominate on the ground, running for 201 yards at 5 yards per carry. This was helped by Vita Vea entering the game carrying a pec injury, however given he did play, the Eagles should take a lot from the game plan. D’Andre Swift had possibly his best game as an Eagle, rushing for 130 yards, whilst A.J. Brown managed 131 yards through the air. The Eagles defence was sensational, but in just 3 ½ months, that same unit has fallen off a cliff. As a result, I can’t look at this result and auto-bet the Eagles here. The Eagles closed 5.5-point favourites for the game, with the Bucs being the favoured side, bet in from 7-point underdogs on the lookahead.

As for this market, the Eagles opened 2.5-point favourites, with the Bucs being bet early, moving the market to Eagles -3. With the news of A.J. Brown being out, more Bucs money has come in, with the Eagles now 3-point favourites, but heavily juiced. I make the Eagles a 3.5-point favourite, and that’s after downgrading them heavily over the past 3 weeks. This just seems to me that the market has overreacted to the Eagles’ poor performances, as the Bucs are easily the worst team in the playoffs in my opinion. Added to this, Baker Mayfield is questionable to play, and even if he does, is surely an injury risk. This Eagles team will be desperate to not go one and done here, and if I can get them at an expensive -2.5, I’ll take it.

As for the total, it closed 44 back in week 3 in Tampa, going well under in the end (36 total points). This game opened 44.5 and has been bet down to 43. I agree with the move to an extent, with both offenses struggling mightily of late. My concern with the under is the fact that so far in the playoffs, offenses have been dominant, which more than likely is a byproduct of less involvement from the officials, and the offensive play callers opening up the playbook. I’m just a little torn here, so I’ll leave my play on the side. I do lean under though, and if it gets back to 44, I’ll bet the under.

Philadelphia Eagles -2.5

$1.88 (2 Units)

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