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NFL Week 8 Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Baltimore Ravens

NFL Preview
Charles Perrin - Author

Betting expert

English betting expert and writer. Huge Tottenham supporter, and aside from being an avid soccer fan, has a keen interest in golf and tennis. Produces betting tips, reviews and sports articles.

We have another fresh slate of games to take in during Week 8, and we have singled out the Thursday night game between the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Baltimore Ravens for special attention.

The Bucs needs to bounce back

The Bucs were dismal last weekend as they crashed to a stunning 21-3 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Panthers, and the Bucs’ win record has now dropped below the .500 mark (3-4). In stark contrast, the Ravens showed their mettle as they held firm to pip the Cleveland Browns in a titanic 23-20 victory.

More was expected from the Bucs this season, but the Ravens have been in terrific form, and here are a couple of takeaways from the last round of fixtures:

  • Tom Brady was 32-of-49 passing for 290 yards for the Bucs, and one incompletion came when Mike Evans inexplicably dropped a wide-open touchdown pass on the third play of the game.
  • The Bucs have slid from being the league’s top defense to 16th, as they now concede on average 118.29 yards per game.
  • The Ravens trailed 10-3 against the Browns at one point in their game — the first time they found themselves behind after any quarter bar the fourth.
  • Gus Edwards produced an eye-catching performance on his season debut, rushing for 66 yards and 2 touchdowns on 16 attempts.

This has the potential to be a mouthwatering clash, and there will be a raft of reputable US betting sites rushing to advertise pre-game lines.

But how will this clash unfold? We have rummaged through the markets and handpicked a couple of tips to keep in mind.

Baltimore Ravens to come out on top

After starting the season 2-0, the Bucs have now lost four of their past five NFL outings, and they find themselves in a bit of a rut. What was arguably more astonishing, was that they were trading as 13-point favorites before they faced the Panthers, but they unraveled spectacularly. That was despite the Panthers playing with a third-string quarterback and being managerless as they have an interim coach controlling things.

The Ravens, meanwhile, have looked both strong offensively and defensively. However, they were dealt some bad news last week after learning that their No.1 running back J.K. Dobbins is likely to be out for up to six weeks after suffering a setback in his comeback from a knee injury. Instead, the Ravens will have to rely on Kenyan Drake, who was the first Ravens running back to reach the 100 rushing yards milestone this week. We’re just not quite sure what we are going to get from the Bucs at the moment, so we are leaning towards the Ravens. If you have a penchant for wagering on the Moneyline, then the Ravens are trading at a short -120 with DraftKings to take the spoils.

Could be a low-scoring affair

This clash will only be the seventh time the Bucs and Ravens have locked horns. During that time, the Ravens have outscored the Bucs by 36 points (122-86), and the Ravens can count on having the edge in the head-to-head record (4-2). As mentioned, Edwards made the difference in his first game back, and the carry tacklers can do some damage.

The Ravens haven’t lost to the Bucs in almost 20 years, but past meetings haven’t generally been high-scoring affairs. Apart from when the Ravens romped to a 48-17 win over the Bucs in 2014, usually, there have been 40 points or fewer scored. If you are gravitating towards the totals section, you can find an intriguing price of -115 advertised by FanDuel for there to be Under 44.5 points, which is worth exploring further.

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