Los Angeles Chargers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – NFL, October 4, 2020
There’s some excitement brewing in Los Angeles after Justin Herbert delivered back-to-back 300+ yard games to open his career. Then again, LA is a “Randy Bullock botched 31-yard field goal” away from possibly being 0-3.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay looks like they are beginning to hit their stride, and a home game versus the Bolts in week 4 should be a good indication of if that’s the case.
Here’s a Chargers vs. Buccaneers prediction aiming to uncover the best bet of the game.
Chargers vs. Buccaneers Odds
That 4.5-point number Vegas opened this line at got washed away as soon as Los Angeles laid an egg against the Panthers. Tampa Bay bludgeoning the Broncos one week after dismantling Carolina means the bookies have to be cautious.
Despite all three of the Chargers games being decided by five points or less, the sites need to guard against “all of the money” coming in on the Bucs. According to ESPN, 75% of the early bets were directed at backing Tampa Bay. Pushing the number all the way to 7.5 should at least help even things out.
A Case for the Los Angeles Chargers
Pressure Tom Brady. We know Joey Bosa can wreak havoc on the edge, but except Bruce Arians to double the highly-regarded defensive end. Somebody else – perhaps Melvin Gordon or Jerry Tillery needs to penetrate the gaps and not let Brady get comfortable.
Establish the Run. Just as Adam Levitan and Evan Silva would preach. Seriously though, Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley need to be productive on early downs to give Herbert a chance. It’s one thing to look for cracks on 3rd and 3 and 3rd and 4. It’s another trying to hit Keenan Allen on crossing routes when it’s 3rd and 10.
Win the Turnover Battle. Tom Brady made a couple of mistakes early on, but boy did TB12 look sharp the last time out. It’s unlikely he gives LA anything cheap on Sunday, which emphasizes Justin Herbert’s need to take care of the football. If Los Angeles winds up on the wrong side of the turnover battle, go ahead and pencil them in for a 1-3 record.
A Case for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Keep Gronk Involved. 4 targets through the first two weeks had many assuming Rob Gronkowski was washed up. A team-high 7 targets later and we quickly remember the bond Gronk and Brady forged over several years in Foxborough. Rob doesn’t need to score TDs and dominate the seams in order for Tampa Bay to be successful. His ability to set the edge as a blocker can be even more damaging to the opposition.
Protect Your #1 Asset. Three sacks in week one had to have Bruce Arians and the coaching staff livid during film sessions. To no surprise, the Bucs offensive line has cleaned up their act as Brady has been sacked just twice total in the last two games. As long as Tom has time in the pocket and stays upright through his progressions, he should have no qualms picking the LA secondary apart.
Anyone who thinks Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady is washed up is simply:— PewterReport (@PewterReport) September 27, 2020
A. Trying to make a stupid hot take for clicks.
B. Isn't watching #Bucs games.
C. A FOOL.
D. All of the above.
Show Justin Herbert Multiple Looks. The Buccaneers defense is ferocious at all levels. DC Todd Bowles has playmakers everywhere, and he’s not afraid to mix things up. The more looks and formations he can throw at the Chargers rookie QB, the more unlikely it is that LA’s offense sustains a rhythm. Confusing Herbert = three and outs.
Chargers vs. Buccaneers Pick
Tampa Bay is going to win this game. If the 7.5-point spread makes you worried about a potential back-door cover, then lock in my Chargers vs. Buccaneers pick.
I’m taking the over here.
LA’s best corner just hit the IR, meaning Mike Evans and Chris Godwin should both be in for a field day. Keep in mind, the Bolts stud safety Derwin James is already sidelined with a busted meniscus.
The Chargers have a tendency to play down to their competition, but they also have a habit of playing the upper echelon teams tough. Nowhere is that evidenced more than their results from the last two weeks (23-20 L to the Chiefs, 21-16 L to the Panthers.)