Super Bowl champion, meet basement dweller. The ready and rowdy Philadelphia Eagles host the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in this NFL Week 6 Thursday Night Football battle. In this prime-time matchup, let’s dive into the Buccaneers vs. Eagles game and determine the best side for this NFL betting prediction and pick for Thursday Night Football in Week 6.
Thursday Night Football Picks: Buccaneers vs. Eagles prediction
We open Week 6 with two teams on opposite spectrums regarding talent and outlook. The Buccaneers are led by the greatest quarterback of all-time in Tom Brady, and they are loaded across both sides of the ball with veterans and young players alike.
The Eagles have a second-year QB who is still adjusting to the NFL level. He is electric with his feet but is still struggling overall with his arm accuracy.
Which one of these quarterbacks will exit victorious on Thursday Night Football?
Where has all the rum gone?
The Buccaneers have enjoyed a year and a half of constant partying and enjoyment. Brady’s arrival and the subsequent addition of well-known veterans plus rookie starters turned Tampa Bay from a 7-9 team to a Super Bowl champion. Brady’s veteran poise and determination have positively affected every player on the team, and it is apparent every time they take the field.
The Buccaneers are currently 4-1 on the season and are looking for their third win in a row tonight against Philadelphia. Tampa’s offense is one of the best in the league. The aerial attack ranks No. 1 overall in passing yards per game, No. 2 in passing touchdowns, and is top 10 in nearly every passing category. As expected, this is primarily due to Brady and his plethora of receiving weapons.
Regarding defense, the Bucs are extreme opposites in two critical facets of the game. They currently own the best rush defense in the league, limiting opponents to 45.8 rushing yards per game and a measly 2.9 yards per rush. Philadelphia, meanwhile, has a decent rushing attack, averaging 116.4 ground yards per contest, ranking 13th overall. The Buccaneers’ front seven is fierce and should be able to limit quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ running backs.
The Tampa secondary will need to limit critical third downs tonight. They are severely depleted and will allow the Eagles to put points on the board. Philadelphia has shown a tenacity to abandon the run, and if they let the Buccaneers front seven pin their ears back and attack Hurts freely, Philly will be in a world of trouble.
Will this Week 6 NFL Thursday Night Football pick be as easy as it seems?
City of Brotherly Love
The Eagles are in a complete rebuild and lack multiple pieces across the board. Last week, Philadelphia was able to snap their three-game losing streak by beating the Carolina Panthers in a surprising upset. Philly trailed by double-digits in the first half but rallied back with a key blocked punt, which subsequently led to a touchdown.
Overall, the Eagles needed 3 turnovers and a few timely changes of possessions to squeak out a 3-point win over Carolina. Philadelphia ranks 21st in scoring defense, allowing 24.8 points per game. The Eagles looked like an above-average defense when they faced average quarterbacks like Matt Ryan, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Sam Darnold. But when facing elite quarterbacks like Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes, they have been no match.
Brady is in the latter tier of quarterbacks mentioned and should be the deciding factor in this Thursday Night Football pick.
In addition, Brady is coming off of his first-ever 400-yard and 5-touchdown game in his career. The Philadelphia defense should be shaking in their boots. The only way to affect Brady is to generate pressure early and often. The Eagles will need to do this with their front four against one of the best offensive lines in the league.
Philadelphia cannot afford to get in a shootout with Tampa. The Buccaneers can easily put 40+ points on the board in a flurry as they showcased last week. Against a stout front seven, the Eagles will be lucky to hit 27 points.
Buccaneers vs. Eagles prediction and pick
Tonight’s matchup is a straightforward Thursday Night Football pick in my mind. The Bucs’ offense is elite, and the Eagles will be powerless to stop them. Brady will be Brady and do just enough to lead his team to victory even with a bruised thumb.
The Eagles’ biggest strength is their pass rush, yet they will be facing one of the best offensive lines in the game.
The receiving trio of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown will allow Brady to attack Philadelphia’s secondary. The Eagles don’t have the depth to compete with three 1,000-yard Pro Bowl pass catchers. While Hurts may put up yards on Tampa’s depleted secondary, the Buccaneers’ front seven should make it difficult for Hurts to have enough time to do so.
Give me the reigning Super Bowl champions at -6.5 with this pick and a game my model predicts to finish with a 34-21 final score in this NFL Week 6 Thursday Night Football prediction.