Bucs vs. Eagles Preseason Pick
Two new head coaches will make their preseason debuts tonight when the Eagles host the Bucs at 7:00PM ET.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Eagles are now a 3.5-point home favorite versus the Bucs after the line opened at Philadelphia -3. As for the over/under, the total currently sits at 37 after opening at 37.
The Buccaneers hired former offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to replace Lovie Smith this offseason. Koetter worked well with quarterback Jameis Winston last season and now the expectations are on the rise for the sophomore signal-caller. He has plenty of capable weapons in Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans and Doug Martin, plus Tampa Bay's defense is steadily improving so the Bucs could be a sleeper contender this season.
The Eagles also have a new head coach as Doug Pederson takes over for the fired Chip Kelly. Philadelphia traded up in April's draft for the opportunity to select quarterback Carson Wentz, but the team also re-signed Sam Bradford and picked up free agent Chase Daniel so Wentz won't have to start as a rookie. The Eagles are also dealing with the recent 10-game suspension of offensive tackle Lane Johnson.
OUR PICK: Outside of the third game, starters usually only play a handful of quarters in the first two weeks of the NFL preseason. Thus, these preseason games wind up being more about the backups than the starters because they see significant time in the second half. When the Eagles eventually pull Bradford out the game, they'll go to an experienced signal-caller in Daniel, then a highly touted rookie in Wentz. They have better quarterback depth than the Bucs and should pull away in the second half tonight to secure a victory for Pederson and a cover for bettors.
NFL WEEK 1 PRESEASON PREDICTION: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES -3.5