Easy Money Thursday Night Football Week 6 Picks For 10/14/2021
Action Jackson’s TNF Record: 4-6
I really am caught in gambling hell this year picking the TNF matchups. After an 0-2 start, I’ve had 4 straights weeks of 1-1 picks, finally pulling out a spread win last week with my Rams -2.5 pick but failing miserably on the over 54 pick (no thanks to Russell Wilson going down). We’re not losing money, but we sure as hell aren’t winning money either.
I swear to god, this is the week we turn it around with a 2-0 night and get back to .500. If not, I will be burning one piece of Jets merchandise until I get back to .500. A deal’s a deal.
Tonight, we have an interesting matchup between the 4-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (on their second TNF game of the year after kicking off the season versus Dallas) and the 2-3 Philadelphia Eagles, who are coming off a massive 21-18 win over the previously-undefeated Carolina Panthers.
Easy Money Picks for Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Philadelphia Eagles
When Tampa Bay Has the Ball
To the surprise of no one, at the ripe age of 44, Mr. Avocado Smoothie Tom Brady is once again leading the league in passing this year. Apparently, the deal he made with the devil is very much still intact and Bucs fans everywhere could not be happier, especially in a week where their beloved Jon Gruden has revealed himself to be a massive piece of shit who’s addicted to insulting every single group of people in human history over email.
This matchup will be a battle of strengths for both teams. The Bucs’ passing game has been on point all year long, with their trio of Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, and Chris Godwin all ranking in the top 25 in receiving yards leaguewide. But they’ll run into a tough Philly defense that currently ranks #3 in the league in pass defense. Three-time Pro Bowler Darius Slay had 2 INTs last week, and the Eagles defensive front, led by Fletcher Cox and breakout star Javon Hargrave, has no problems getting after the QB and forcing bad passes. For years, the way to beat Brady has been by getting pressure in his face with the tackles, and Philly is capable of doing that (as we saw in a game Brady might like to forget, Super Bowl LII).
Will the Bucs look to go on the ground and revive a dormant run game against a weak Eagles defense, currently ranked 30th in run defense? Or will they fight fire with fire and try to beat them through the air?
When Philadelphia Has the Ball
The Eagles’ offense begins and ends with QB Jalen Hurts. Through their first 5 games, Hurts has accumulated over 1,600 total yards, accounting for more than 87% of the Eagles’ total yards as a team. He’s their leading rusher with 256 yards and has scored all but 2 of their touchdowns this season. As happy as I am for the guy, that’s not great news for an offense. Philadelphia has essentially abandoned the running game this year, giving lead back Miles Sanders just 48 carries all season. And they have had to rely on Hurts to keep them in games, which is a lot to ask of a young quarterback. Devonta Smith has looked like a star so far, with 25 catches for 314 yards and zero drops this year. But there’s not a ton of balance in the passing game outside of the Alabama teammates.
They’ll be facing a Tampa Bay defense that has been banged up in the secondary but still leads the league in total defense through 5 games. Cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting are both on injured reserve. And star safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is still listed as questionable following a concussion. If he plays, he’s a huge X factor that can help shut down the Eagles on both sides of the ball.
These Thursday night games can be tricky with teams playing on short rest. But one thing has been clear so far – points can be tough to come by. The under has hit in the last 3 straight games, and I’m looking for it to hit again tonight. The Eagles offense is desperate for playmakers outside of Hurts and Smith. And I’m betting on the top-rated Buccaneers defense to shut them down tonight. Hurts will make enough big plays to keep it close for a while, and Brady won’t look as sharp as we’re used to, but expect him to make some throws late and the Bucs to win by 2 scores.