After spending much of their time this season circling the drain, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look like they have finally found their second wind. But can they keep the good vibes rolling against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, November 27, at 1 p.m. EST?
If you take a look at the latest NFL online betting odds from MyBookie, you'll see Tampa Bay is absolutely expected to pick up their third straight victory in Week 12:
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-154||+130||Cleveland Browns|
As always, you'll want to double-check these online NFL betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Buccaneers vs. Browns betting odds are accurate entering Tuesday, November 23. That gives linemakers plenty of time to make tweaks before the opening kick-off. We wouldn't expect anything major to change unless there's a substantial injury, but football betting lines are always moving, even if only slightly.
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Back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Cleveland Browns. Even though Tampa Bay is favored, the point spread makes it clear that oddsmakers don't quite trust them just yet. That's understandable given how much Brady and crew have struggled for much of this season. But while it's fair to doubt their overall odds to make the NFL playoffs, should we really be worried about the Bucs losing to a Browns squad that still doesn't have star quarterback Deshaun Watson back from the 11-game suspension he received after being credibly accused of sexual assault?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Loom as a Betting Value Bargain Against the Cleveland Browns
The Browns have proven to be a spunky offensive squad at various times this season even without their QB1 available to play. That has turned them into something of a darling among oddsmakers. Couple this with the Bucs' offensive struggles, along with this game taking place in Cleveland, and you have the recipe for why Tampa Bay isn't a heavier favorite.
This line is nevertheless difficult for us to wrap our heads around. Yes, the Bucs might be 27th in points scored per game and hard up for plays that net huge yards down the field. But their defense is fifth in points allowed, third in rushing touchdowns allowed and fifth in net yards allowed per passing attempt. Tampa Bay may not force a ton of turnovers, but they are pretty handedly built to stop all different types of offensive attacks.
Cleveland has ambled into the top 10 of points scored per game thanks largely to their ability to move the chains in single plays. The Browns rank in the top 10 of both net yards per passing attempt and net yards per rushing attempt, and they almost never turn the ball over. But as we already mentioned, the Bucs don't need to force turnovers to get stops. Their true appeal lies in their ability to ward off big-time plays without taking chances.
Ultimately, Tampa Bay's offense might not matter here. The Bucs have the defensive talent to hold the Browns to sub-21 points.
OSB Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-154)
Why is the Point Spread for Bucs vs. Browns So Small?
Here are the latest NFL point spread betting odds for Buccaneers vs. Browns in Week 12:
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, -3.5 (-104)
- Cleveland Browns, +3.5 (-118)
Since opening the season with two double-digit wins, all of Tampa Bay's victories have been determined by six points or less. That helps explain why the point spread here is so small. Ditto for their offensive standing. They have scored more than 22 points just once all season, which limits their bandwidth for creating major separation on the scoreboard.
Still, despite ranking as a top-10 offense overall, the Browns have been prone to high-variance performances against stingier defenses. Over Cleveland's last five games, they have been held to under 22 points three times. And while they tend to score more at home, we saw what a disciplined defense could do to them on their own turf in Week 6, when the New England Patriots held them to just 15 points.
We could see a similar plot unfolding against the Bucs in Week 12. That's enticing enough for us to take the Bucs at -4.
OSB Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, -3.5 (-104)
Tampa Bay vs. Cleveland Could Wind Up Being a Very Low-Scoring Matchup
Below you can find the latest NFL over/under betting odds for Browns vs. Buccaneers in Week 12:
- Over 42.5 (-115)
- Under 42.5 (-105)
Investing in the under has so far been a futile venture during Browns games. Nearly 78 percent of their regular-season matchups this year have cleared the over—the absolute highest share in the NFL.
But the Bucs enter as one of the most reliable under bets in the league. Given how well they defend and how they like to try manipulating the clock on offense, we think they'll be the team dictating terms of engagement here. In reality, we'd expect the game to be something like 21-17 in favor of the Bucs. In fact, if either team clears the 25-point touchstone, we'd be pretty friggin' shocked.
OSB Prediction: Under 42.5 (-105)
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