Thursday Night Football: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears Preview, Prediction and Pick

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Josh Widman
Josh graduated from Syracuse University in May 2020 with a degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism. He played basketball and baseball in High School. Despite growing up in New Jersey, he roots for the Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers and Indians. He has two favorite sports movies: Dodgeball and Major League. Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals is his favorite sporting event of all-time and his favorite sports memory is playing in a white-out basketball game under the lights against a rival summer camp when he was 15 years old.

Both on new teams, Brady and Foles face off for first time since Super Bowl 52 at Soldier Field on Thursday Night.

A pair of 3-1 teams collide to begin week five. Tampa Bay boasts a high-powered offense while Chicago’s strength is its defense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears Betting Lines

Tampa Bay occupies first place in the NFC South following three consecutive wins. Over this streak, the Buccaneers are averaging over 32 points per game. QB Tom Brady threw five TD passes on Sunday and dropped 38 points on a Chargers defense that was top-10 in scoring defense entering the game. This performance came without WR Chris Godwin and RB Leonard Fournette. If Godwin and Fournette play on Thursday, the Bears defense could be in for a long night. While its offense garners the majority of the attention, Tampa Bay’s defense has quietly been excellent. The Buccaneers are top-five in total defense and rush defense as well as top-10 in scoring defense.

The Bears came into Sunday at 3-0 but the Colts halted the offensive momentum QB Nick Foles generated in Chicago’s comeback win over Atlanta in week three. The Bears’ three wins have come against teams with a combined 1-11 record. Without two collapses by the Lions and Falcons, they’d be 1-3. After scoring 20 points in the last 25 minutes against Atlanta, Foles and the Chicago offense mustered a miniscule 11 points on Sunday. Chicago has struggled against bad teams and couldn’t do anything against an elite defense. Tampa Bay has an explosive offense and a solid defense. That’s a combination that will send Chicago to 3-2.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears Key Stats

  • QB Tom Brady is 12-2 in his career on Thursday
  • WR Allen Robinson has over 100 yards and a TD in back-to-back games for the first time
  • Tampa Bay has forced at least two turnovers in each of the past three games

The O/U is tricky for this game. With two top-10 defenses, you’d think that this game would be relatively low-scoring. The short week may result in the defenses not being at the top of their games as two of the three TNF games this season have hit the over. I think Tampa Bay will cover the 4.5 points so for the O/U, it just comes down to how much they are going to win by. I don’t see Tampa Bay’s offense exploding and I don’t think Chicago will score much at all. If you’re going to bet the points, take the under.

Tampa Bay proved it can beat a good team without some of its key pieces while Chicago had difficulty beating three of the worst teams in the league. Tampa Bay will sail to 4-1.

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