NFL Free Pick | Bucs @ Packers
It’s another matchup of future Hall of Famers in the NFC title game on Sunday. It’s also another rematch. Earlier in the season, Tampa Bay and Tom Brady got the better of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a 38-10 rout.
That game was in Tampa. Sunday’s meeting is on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field where Rodgers has enjoyed plenty of success. While Rodgers has guided the Packers to four previous NFC championship games, none of them have been played at home at Lambeau. That could make a difference.
Game: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-5, 10-8 ATS) at Green Bay Packers (14-3, 11-6 ATS)
When: 3:05 PM ET, Sunday, January 24, 2021
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Current Line: GB (-3) Total: 51
TV Coverage: FOX
Why the Packers?
It’s hard to beat a team twice in one season, but history is actually on the side of the Bucs. The team that won in the regular season is 55-39 when facing the same team in the postseason.
In the first meeting of the season in Week 5, Rodgers and Green Bay actually jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The second quarter was a much different story.
Rodgers threw a pick-six and Brady tossed two touchdown passes as the Bucs rolled up 28 points in the quarter. Tampa Bay would go on to win 38-10.
We went 1-1 on our last pick. Go take a look at Ravens at Titans betting preview.
Surely, the Bucs will stick to some of the strategy it used in that Week 5 game. Tampa Bay, the NFL’s top-ranked defense against the run, pressured Rodgers on 18-of-41 dropbacks. Pressure is what greatly affects Rodgers. He ranked 29th out of 41 qualified quarterbacks in completion percentage when pressured.
Tampa Bay will have to slow down Green Bay RB Aaron Jones who rushed for over 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season. Jones is one of the more underrated all-purpose backs in the league. He also had 47 catches this season.
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Why the Bucs?
The Bucs are equally good when running the ball. The now two-headed monster of Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette combined for 125 rushing yards last week against New Orleans, which had the NFL’s second-best run defense.
Being able to run the ball allows Brady to open up the passing game. That is something he really didn’t do in the first meeting with the Packers. Brady threw for just 166 yards, but he did throw for two touchdowns.
Bucs @ Packers Free Pick
With last week’s win, Brady now has 31 career playoff wins as a starting quarterback in the NFL. That, of course, is a league record. More importantly, it was the Bucs sixth straight win and their seventh straight road victory.
Here’s the difference though. Rodgers has had an MVP-worthy season – 4,299 yards passing, 48 TDs. He has been good to bettors too going 120-84-5 ATS during his career. He is even better at home where he is 62-35-4 ATS.
Even with the experience of Brady and the win over Green Bay earlier this season, the Packers are too hot riding the most efficient and effective quarterback in the game right now. That is why bettors should back Green Bay -3.