Ravens Will Roll The Bucs, Tom Brady On Thursday Night Football

We are gambling that Tom Brady isn't "Tom Brady" anymore when we bet the Baltimore Ravens (4-3) vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) at Raymond James Stadium on Thursday Night Football in Week 8.

The Ravens eked past the Cleveland Browns -- 23-20 in Baltimore -- last week and couldn't cover as 6.5-point home favorites.

Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson only threw for 120 yards, completing 9-of-16 passes with 0 TD and 0 INT vs. Cleveland. Lamar was effective on the ground, gaining 59 yards on 10 rushes.

The Bucs lost their second consecutive game, 21-3, in Week 8 to the lowly Carolina Panthers -- who were down to their third-string quarterback ... who was playing for an interim head coach.

Tampa's ground game continues to be non-existent, gaining just 46 yards on 16 carries vs. Carolina. The Bucs haven't rushed for more than 75 yards since Week 1.

The main factor in my Ravens-Buccaneers handicap is Father Time and off-the-field drama catching up to Brady. Also, there's Tampa's scrolling injury report.

Betting Details (DraftKings)

If Tom Brady is washed then what’s this line?

Brady passed for 40 and 43 TDs in his first two seasons in Tampa with roughly 300 yards per game (YPG) from 2021-22. His YPG has fallen to 277.4 and QB Rating has dropped from 102.2 over the last two seasons to 92.8 in 2022.

In addition, the Bucs' roster is banged-up and needs their quarterback to step up and make up for their absences. However, Brady might not be that guy anymore.

Furthermore, the loss of a couple of key offensive linemen from recent Tampa teams this offseason. As well as the retirement of future Hall of Fame TE Rob Gronkowski has weakened the Bucs' offense.

Tampa can no longer run the ball. Brady is getting rid of the ball faster since his O-line is less likely to hold up in pass protection.

The Bucs' injury report

Tampa is dealing with cluster injuries in its secondary and one of Lamar's few weaknesses is throwing the ball into tight windows. Here's a look at the Bucs' final injury report entering Week 8:

There are some notable Ravens that's shown up on their injury report. But, Baltimore still has edges at quarterback, head coach, and special teams in its favor.

Baltimore dominates special teams

The Ravens are number one on special teams with a bullet. Per Football Outsiders, Baltimore's +7.8% special teams efficiency is 3.3% better than the second-best team, the Dallas Cowboys.

In a Ravens-Buccaneers that's priced as a coin-flip, special teams could be the difference-maker. If this game is decided by a field goal, obviously we want to back Baltimore with all-time kicking great, Justin Tucker.

Tucker's greatness, along with Lamar as a franchise QB and the coaching sturdiness of head coach John Harbaugh, is a big reason the Ravens have been successful in similar spots recently.

Pro-Ravens trends

Since Lamar's first season as a starter (2019), Baltimore is 13-8-1 ATS as road favorites. The Ravens are 4-1 ATS as road favorites of three points or less over that span.

Also, the Bucs obviously aren't a winning team. But, they were expected to be and most of the market assumes Tampa will bounce back.

Well, Baltimore is 5-1 ATS as road favorites vs. teams with a winning record with a +7.3 ATS margin. That “1” is an outright loss, as well, to the New York Giants in Week 6. Baltimore held a double-digit lead at one point vs. NY.

Lastly, there's a fun narrative that the Bucs have struggled in primetime games since Brady joined Tampa in 2020 because the kickoff is too late for old man Brady. That narrative is backed up by the Bucs' 2-9 ATS record in primetime games since 2020.

BET: Ravens +2 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, down to a pick 'em