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2023 NFL Week 3 Betting Preview: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Philadelphia Eagles Jalen Hurts D'Andre Swift
Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) hands the ball off to running back D'Andre Swift (0) against the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles (2-0) at Buccaneers (2-0)

Spread: Buccaneers +5

Total: 46

Weather: Some chance of rain

Line Report

The spread for this contest opened at Tampa Bay Buccaneers +5.5 at multiple sportsbooks. It has since dropped down to its current mark of Buccaneers +5.

The game total has moved from 45.5 points early in the week to its current consensus of 46 points.

Buccaneers Offense vs. Eagles Defense

Baker Mayfield has played well, but he’s also faced two of the five worst defenses in the league. Philadelphia’s secondary is banged up, but it will have a trench advantage in this matchup. In particular, Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter could create havoc against the Buccaneers’ questionable interior.

The Philadelphia Eagles have allowed the fewest rushing yards but the sixth-most receiving yards to running backs. Buccaneers running back Rachaad White is an average runner, but he’s a solid passing game option. Given the Eagles’ pass rush advantage, it would be no surprise if White saw five or more targets to help mitigate that edge.

It’s only been two games, but Mike Evans is fourth in the league with 237 receiving yards. Evans is 15th in target share (28.1 percent) and fourth in air yards share (47.3 percent). Evans has at least 1,000 yards receiving in each of the first nine years of his career. He's well on his way to reaching that mark for a 10th straight season.

Chris Godwin has a 21.9 percent target share with just 109 receiving yards so far this season. The Eagles have allowed the sixth-most receiving yards to wide receivers this season. Philadelphia has struggled against both slot and perimeter receivers through the first two games. CB James Bradberry and safety Reed Blankenship are listed as questionable as of this writing. Both Evans and Godwin have good matchups against the Eagles’ injury-reduced secondary.

The Eagles have also allowed the second-most receiving yards to tight ends this season. Hunter Henry and T.J. Hockenson are the primary causes behind that production. Buccaneers’ TE Cade Otton has eight catches on nine targets for 60 receiving yards.

Eagles Offense vs. Buccaneers Defense

Jalen Hurts hasn’t breached 200 passing yards in his first two games, but he has a solid matchup this week. The Buccaneers have allowed the seventh-most passing yards to wide receivers this season. Tampa Bay has struggled more on the boundary, yielding the third-most fantasy points per game to perimeter receivers.

A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith each have a 29.4 percent target share. Brown has a 44 percent air yards share, while Smith’s is 45.7 percent. Smith has 178 receiving yards to Brown’s 108. Smith leads the league in perimeter snaps, while Brown is fifth. Both Eagles receivers are in plus matchups in this contest.

After receiving just one production-less target on opening day, Dallas Goedert had six receptions for 22 receiving yards last week. Goedert has a neutral matchup against the Buccaneers.

After receiving just one carry and two targets on opening day, D’Andre Swift erupted for 175 rushing yards and a score against the Minnesota Vikings. Swift saw 28 carries and three targets in that matchup. Part of Swift’s usage spike came because Kenneth Gainwell missed Week 2 because of an injury. Eagles running back deployments will be sporadic this season, but Swift earned a bigger role after last week.

What You’re Betting On

If you’re betting on the Buccaneers, you build that bet around their defense. Tampa held the Vikings and Chicago Bears to 17 points each to start this season. The Bears’ entire football operation is struggling, but Minnesota scored 28 points against the Eagles last week. Tampa’s defense is capable of holding a high-quality offense under expectations.

Mayfield has played well through the first two weeks, but he’s played two bottom-tier defenses. Tampa Bay will benefit from the Eagles’ injury-reduced secondary, but Philadelphia has a trench advantage. If you’re betting on Tampa Bay, you must be more confident in its defense than Mayfield's offense.

The Eagles have one of the most talented rosters in the league and two position group advantages in this contest. The first is the Eagles’ passing attack has a big ceiling. Tampa Bay has struggled against wide receivers this year, and the Eagles have one of the better receiver duos in football. The second is Philadelphia’s defensive front has a trench advantage, especially in the interior. If the Eagles can exploit those advantages, they can win with some distance.

Score Prediction: Eagles 24, Buccaneers 16

Ryan’s Recent Betting Record

ATS 2021: 49-31

ATS 2022: 48-32

ATS 2023: 4-6

Props 2022: 60-40

Props 2023: 4-2

Ryan is the associate director of fantasy and betting at The 33rd Team. He has been covering NFL betting markets for five years. Follow Ryan @RyanReynoldsNFL on TwitterInstagram or Facebook