Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
I’ve mentioned this in the Buccaneers’ first three games, but Tom Brady led teams have been a strong bet as underdogs or favorites of less than three in his career, going 59-29 ATS in that spot, including 2-1 ATS this season. The one loss was last week against the Packers, but Tom Brady was missing wide receivers Mike Evans, Julio Jones, and Chris Godwin, as well as stud left tackle Donovan Smith. This week, Evans is set to return from a one-game suspension, while Jones, Godwin, and Smith are at least gametime decisions.
Just Evans’ presence alone will be a big boost for this offense, but if all three of those players are active, the Buccaneers will be healthier than they’ve been since early in week one before Smith and Godwin went down. Their offense has struggled thus far this season, but their defense is the real deal, ranking third in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency and, if their offense can bounce back, which they easily can with Brady and a healthier supporting cast, the Buccaneers should still be considered among the top teams in the league.
Despite that, the Buccaneers are 1-point home underdogs here against the Chiefs. I do have the Chiefs a little higher in my roster rankings, but my calculated line is Tampa Bay -1.5, so we’re at least getting some line value with the Buccaneers, in addition to getting Brady in a spot where he’s been an almost automatic bet in his career. Brady has also been close to an automatic bet off of a loss in his career, going 36-11 ATS unless he’s favored by more than a touchdown. The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is also an elite quarterback, but he doesn’t have the same track record after a loss (6-7 ATS) and I would give the edge to Brady at home in this matchup, especially if any of the aforementioned gametime decisions play. Without a better option this week, the Buccaneers are my Pick of the Week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 Kansas City Chiefs 20
Pick against the spread: Tampa Bay +1
Confidence: Pick of the Week