Tampa Bay at Miami (+10, 48)
Tom Brady will lead the Bucs on a short road trip this week to face off against the Miami Dolphins. Tampa Bay is coming off an emotional, hard fought win last weekend in Brady’s return to New England. Meanwhile, the Dolphins dropped their third straight game in a 27-17 home loss to the Colts. With Tua due to miss at least one more week, Jacoby Brissett will head the Dolphins offense. This will be an intriguing matchup of styles here – are we in store for a shootout in Miami?
The model has Tampa Bay vs. Miami with a median score of 30.23 to 26.14 with the Buccaneers winning outright by 4.09 points. This provides us with 56.37 total points scored in the game. Looking at the current lines, the model is projecting a 6-point variation versus the 10 point spread and an additional 8 points over the current line of 48 points. This game is full of potential plays, so let’s dive deeper into our best bets. To see more scores for Week 3, head to the CapWize NFL Dashboard. You can learn more about the CapWize Model here.
Tom’s return was a bit anti-climactic considering the amount of hype surrounding the game. A 19-17 finish was a chess match with Belichick and the Patriots Defense was able to keep the high-octane Bucs offense in check. It also should be noted there were heavy monsoon rains throughout most of the game, which contributed to a low-scoring affair. Tampa was also without Rob Gronkowski, who leads the team with 4 receiving TDs this season. If Gronk suits up this week, we could be looking at even more points put up than projected by the Bucs.
Aside from Gronk, the trio of Antonio Brown, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin has been a lot for any team to handle. Tampa Bay leads the NFL with 327.5 passing yards per game, and is 5th overall with 30.5 points scored per game. While these numbers have benefitted from weak defenses like Atlanta and Dallas, The Bucs were able to hang 24 on the Rams as well. Although New England has a top-tier defense, and particularly their defensive secondary, Tampa still went for 269 yards passing with another 100+ on the ground. Leonard Fournette was the x-factor last week with 20 carries for 92 yards and 3 receptions for an additional 47 yards receiving.
Before the season kicked off, Tampa’s defense was projected to be as stingy as last year. This has held true with their defensive front, who are allowing just 47.5 yards rushing per game – good enough for best mark in the NFL. Conversely, they are allowing 327.5 yards/game passing – making them the worst pass defense in the league. The Bucs have suffered multiple injuries to the secondary, to the point of signing FA Richard Sherman mid-week and having him play 58 of 59 snaps vs. New England. Will the Bucs defense answer the call this week against a back-up QB?
The Dolphins will try to right the ship at home this weekend and put an end to a 3-game losing streak. They allowed the Colts to come in last week and really do whatever they wanted on offense. Miami had a very sloppy game – from kickoffs out of bounds to pass-interference calls to extend Indy drives – they really shot themselves in the foot last week. They were nearly doubled up in time of possession as well, so something will need to change. As a result of these mistakes, last week marked the third consecutive game Miami has allowed 20 points or more to opponents. With the Bucs offense coming to town, the defense isn’t exactly staring down a ‘get right’ matchup.
Despite the mistakes, Jacoby Brissett finished 20/30 with 199 yards and 2 TD passes. DeVante Parker lead the team with 77 yards on 4 receptions and a TD, while TE Mike Gesicki logged another 57 yards on 5 receptions and a TD. Miami wasn’t able to get anything going on the ground, with Malcom Brown leading the team with 8 rushes for 23 yards. Considering the Colts have been killed on the ground prior to this game, these running stats for Miami are a bit concerning and we don’t expect them to get it going vs. Tampa this weekend. The good new for Miami? They had success airing it out in the 2H, with 123 of Brissetts’ 199 yards and both TD passes coming in the 4th quarter. Will Miami come out swinging versus Tampa, or will it be too-little, too-late again?
QBs – the model has Tom Brady throwing for 322.28 yards on 40.71 attempts, with 29.22 completions and 3.19 TDs and 0.42 INTs. Brissett is expected to throw for 310.04 yards on 40.7 attempts, with 30 completions and 2.82 TDs and 0.48 INTs.
RBs – Leonard Fournette is projected to run for 51.87 yards on 13.09 attempts and 0.38 TDs. After his dual threat performance last week, he’s also expected to log 31.03 yards receiving on 3.58 receptions, 4.58 targets and 0.3 receiving TDs. Ronnie Jones is projected to go for 37.54 rush yards on 8.5 touches and 0.27 TDs, with 23 yards receiving on 2.73 receptions and 3.59 targets. Miami RB Malcom Brown is projected to run for 39.86 yards on 10.57 attempts and 0.25 TDs.
WR- Mike Evans is expected to see 8.87 targets and reel in 5.9 receptions for 75.76 yards and 0.74 TDs. Chris Godwin is projected to have 5.68 receptions on 7.93 targets and 71.12 receiving yards. Antonio Brown is predicted to have 6.42 receptions and 70.77 receiving yards on 8.86 targets and 0.7 receptions. For Miami, DeVante Parker will see 10.67 targets and pull in 6.63 receptions for 77.05 yards. The model is predicting a bit of a coming-out game for Jaylen Waddle, who is projected to go for 81.11 yards on 6.6 receptions and 0.76 TDs. Waddle has seen an increase in performance week after week and the model is predicting his biggest week yet as a pro. TE Mike Gesicki is projected to get 5.42 receptions on 8 targets for 56.45 yards and 0.5 TDs.
Based off the model, we will be leaning towards the over 48 points in this game. The model is expecting a bit of a shootout with both Quarterbacks projected for 300+ passing yards. The Dolphins seemed to find something late last week with their passing game and will need to dial that up again this weekend if they want to keep it close. With Richard Sherman likely covering veteran DeVante Parker, we like Jaylen Waddle to have a big game here and provide the spark Miami needs. TE Mike Gesicki could also have a big game, as Tampa has been susceptible to TEs all season and has allowed TDs to tight ends in two consecutive games. Gesicki is also on a bit of a hot streak with Brissett, with 18 targets over the last two games. These projections correlate well with the model-projected line of -4, rather than -10.
On the other side of the ball, all things are shaping up for the Bucs to light it up on defense. While Xavien Howard is a top 2 cornerback, Brady is too good, and Tampa has too many weapons to stop this offense from putting up points. If Gronkowski does end up playing this week, expect the total to creep up even higher. Take the over 48 in a game Miami will have to turn into a shootout if they want a chance to win. We also will be backing two Miami player props; Gesicki o3.5 receptions and Waddle o50.5 rec yards.