Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans all breathed a collective sigh of relief when Tom Brady announced he was coming back to the team. It was a short-lived retirement for the seven-time Super Bowl champion, which means the team is once again hot on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers betting odds. Brady returns to a team that went 13-4 and took the eventual Super Bowl champs, the Los Angeles Rams, to their limit.
The Bucs finished the 2021 regular season with the second-most points in the league. The team also had the fifth-best defense per the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ team stats. All-in-all, Tampa was one of only two teams to finish in the top five in both offense and defense (Buffalo is the other). Heading to this 2022 season, the Bucs have mostly the same team in place though without two significant people.
Head coach Bruce Arians resigned and passed the job to defensive coordinator Todd Bowles while tight end Rob Gronkowski also retired. Now, there is still a decent chance that “Gronk” returns and we can bet on it at the sportsbook. But assuming he stays on the sidelines, can the Buccaneers make another run at the Super Bowl?
Can Brady Keep Tampa Unstoppable Without “Gronk”?
The NFL is a team game and no one player can impact a team too significantly. Without Gronkowski what will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers betting odds amount to? Brady will miss his “security blanket” or “insurance policy” and 12 percent of his targets. Gronk blocked at an elite level too, which is part of why he earned Brady’s trust pretty quickly.
This will mean that someone like Codey McElroy or fourth-round pick Cade Otton will have to step in to fill his large shoes. Otherwise, from an offensive standpoint, the Buccaneers should still dominate. Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette re-signed. Russell Gage comes over at receiver from the rival Falcons. Ryan Jensen will once again be the team’s center.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ betting odds have them as shoo-ins to make the playoffs and they are the favorites to win the Super Bowl out of the NFC. Arians’ departure may make things smoother for the Buccaneers, actually, as the play calling will come down to Byron Leftwich and Brady.
NFC South Is Underestimated
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ betting odds to win the NFC South is the widest in the NFL. This isn’t just a nod to Tampa’s abilities but to how bad the division is supposed to be. Both Atlanta and Carolina are projected to win five or fewer games while the Saints will be without longtime coach Sean Payton. But folks may be overlooking these teams a bit.
The Saints still have one of the best defenses in the NFL. This is mostly the same team that shut down Brady – held him and the Bucs to zero points – a feat no team has been able to do in 16 years. New Orleans also became the first team to beat Brady in four consecutive regular-season games. They are 1-4 against him and Tampa.
Carolina may be mocked because of their quarterback situation. But this team still has a promising young defense. Folks forget that Carolina started 2021 with a 3-0 record before injuries, namely to cornerback Jaycee Horn, torpedoed this team.
As for Atlanta, they lost Matt Ryan and will be without star receiver Calvin Ridley. However, Arthur Smith remains one of football’s best offensive minds and new QB Marcus Mariota is familiar with his work. Keep an eye on the betting on NFL games as Tampa may endure some turbulence in these divisional matchups.
Tampa, Favored Despite Tough Schedule
Speaking of turbulence, the Buccaneers enter the NFL’s 2022-23 season with the fourth-hardest schedule. The odds have Tampa winning 11½ games despite facing eight playoff teams from 2021 and four more that made the playoffs in 2020. This includes home games against Green Bay, Kansas City, and the Rams and road games against Dallas, San Francisco, and Arizona.
Tampa Bay is winless against both the Rams and Saints with Brady at quarterback. It also lost to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in the 2020 regular season. One thing going for the Bucs, however, is their late bye week. Tampa will have a Week 11 bye.
Since 2014, seven of the eight Super Bowl Champions had a bye week from Week 9 onwards. The late bye week allows Tampa’s players to rest and recover for a strong push towards the Super Bowl. There is also the coincidence that since this year, Brady has won the Super Bowl in every odd-numbered year. Come February of 2023, Brady and the Bucs could be raising the Vince Lombardi Trophy again.Follow us on Twitter