Ravens vs. Buccaneers Week 8 matchup preview and current betting lines
Even when Amazon Prime thinks it lands a marquee matchup, the Baltimore Ravens (4-3) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) come into Thursday night with some struggles on both sides of the ball.
The Ravens just escaped blowing another 10-point lead in the fourth quarter against Cleveland. Lamar Jackson’s nine pass completions tie a career low in a start he finished, and tight end Mark Jackson did not even make a catch. The Ravens did get the running game going with Gus Edwards gaining 66 yards and two touchdowns as he takes over for J.K. Dobbins.
Meanwhile, Tom Brady is in the dog days of his career with Tampa Bay, losers of two straight despite being heavy favorites against the Steelers and Panthers. In fact, Tampa Bay is the only team since 1978 to lose back-to-back games as a favorite of 9.5 points or better without turning the ball over in either game.
Brady’s offense is getting stopped cold. They are not coughing up the ball excessively or having tipped interceptions or missing a bunch of field goals. Their drives just keep getting stopped with Brady throwing low and well short of the sticks, and Leonard Fournette has been stuffed on some key short-yardage situations. There is no life to this team right now, a bad look for Brady and coach Todd Bowles.
The NFL Week 8 odds have the Ravens as a 1.5-point road favorite with a total of 45 points in this matchup. Brady is 3-0 ATS as an underdog in his building with Tampa Bay since 2020. Can he upset an old AFC nemesis?
Players to watch in the Ravens vs. Buccaneers game
Gus Edwards: It looks like it’s the Gus Edwards show at running back with J.K. Dobbins (knee) out. The Tampa Bay run defense has been so great in past years, but it has fallen to mediocre levels this year, a bad sign when facing Baltimore. The Buccaneers have allowed over 150 rushing yards in three of the last four games, so Edwards could be in store for a nice night.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans: The best wide receiver in franchise history had a terrible dropped touchdown on the third play of the game against Carolina that seemed to set the tone for the miserable day to come. The Buccaneers would not get an easier look at a touchdown the rest of the way. Evans has to play better against a secondary that has been picked apart at times this year.
Our Best NFL Bets for the Ravens vs. Buccaneers game
We have two NFL Week 8 predictions for this Thursday night matchup that should feature some drama for a change.
Ravens vs. Buccaneers Point Spread Pick: Buccaneers +1.5 (-110)
The Ravens vs. Buccaneers spread opened with the Buccaneers as a 3.5-point home favorite before moving quickly and significantly to favoring the Ravens at 1.5, if not higher before we get to game day.
It makes sense why bettors would turn against Tampa Bay after two of the rottenest losses of the season against Pittsburgh and Carolina. The Bucs crashed our Week 7 parlay, so there is some resentment here.
But we also cannot ignore that after an MVP-caliber start to the season, Lamar Jackson has thrown three touchdowns to four interceptions over the last four games while averaging 5.94 yards per pass attempt. He is still averaging 66.8 yards on the ground, but the passing isn’t there and the Ravens are squeezing out 19-to-23 points every week, making them beatable.
Plus, we keep seeing the Ravens blow leads or barely hang on to them. Who better to stun them in the fourth quarter than Brady, who has done it more times than anyone in NFL history?
As lifeless as Tampa Bay has looked, the defense has not allowed anyone but the Chiefs to score more than 21 points this season. The defense is also set up well to defend Jackson with an abundance of blitzes, which is what has been causing Baltimore problems the last month when passing.
For as bad as Brady’s offense has been, at least they have zero turnovers the last three games. Brady has not been intercepted since opening night and he barely takes any sacks.
This game should be close in the fourth quarter, and if it’s not, the Ravens will make sure it gets there with the way they manage games this year. Every time we try to bury Brady’s career for good, that hand pops out of the grave to come back for more. So, for one last time, let’s expect him to rebound in front of a national audience and cover against a shaky Baltimore team.
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Player Prop: Tom Brady Over 280.5 Passing Yards (-120)
Whether the game is a win or loss, close or not, you can count on Brady to throw the ball often. Even in the 21-3 loss to Carolina, he had 32 completions on 49 attempts for 290 yards. It was the third time in the last four games Brady has passed for at least 290 yards now that he has Chris Godwin back with Mike Evans at receiver.
Passing yards are a sore spot for the Ravens on defense in recent years:
- Baltimore has allowed a league-high five 400-yard passers since 2021.
- Carson Wentz had a career-high 402 yards against the Ravens in 2021.
- Baker Mayfield has five games with 340-plus passing yards in the NFL, and four of them were against Baltimore.
- Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins) had a career-high 469 yards and six touchdowns against the Ravens in Week 2.
- Mac Jones (Patriots) had a career-high 321 yards against the Ravens in Week 3.
- Jacoby Brissett (Browns) just had a season-high 9.56 yards per attempt against the Ravens with 258 yards on 27 attempts.
Win or lose, you can expect Brady to go out swinging much like Kobe Bryant did in his final season. Who is going to overrule him? Go with Brady, the quarterback who was just outplayed by Mitch Trubisky and P.J. Walker, to hit his passing yardage over as an NFL bet of the week.bet on NFL with betmgm
Frequently asked questions about the Ravens vs. Buccaneers game in week 8
The game is being played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Including the playoffs, Brady is 8-4 against the Ravens. He has thrown 16 touchdowns to 13 interceptions in those games, so they have made him work for it better than most defenses. This is only Brady’s second meeting with Baltimore in the Lamar Jackson era. He lost 37-20 to the Ravens in 2019 with MVP Jackson outplaying him that night.