We don’t usually do recaps at this here NFL gambling sportsbook, but Fridays tend to be slow days and football was indeed played last night, so there are a couple of things to talk about, at least one of which is of interest to people who like to bet on NFL games online. For starters, the New England Patriots defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-14, which was enough for the Pats to cover the spread for just the second time this season. And now for something completely different, we would be very remiss if we didn’t mention John Cleese’s awesome introduction to American football.
The best news for the Pats was their beleaguered defense allowed the Bucs just seven points and fewer than 200 yards entering the last quarter. Additionally, they didn’t allow a second TD until there was just over two minutes remaining, and when QB Brady was uncharacteristically intercepted, not once, but twice, the defense made up for it with stops. On the down side, there was no running game to speak of, and Brady took too many hits, and not of the THC kind. Brady, nonetheless, achieved yet another milestone in his storied career, tying with greats Brett Favre and Peyton Manning for most regular season wins, with 186, and also confirmed that he is in top form. He completed 13 straight passes at one point and the Patriots dominated yardage and time of possession over three quarters.
It was, all things considered, a low-scoring affair and, as such, it snapped the Pats’ streak of eight games with the NFL gambling total going over, including the Super Bowl (12 games counting the preseason). Brady set his sights almost completely on wide receivers Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and running back James White, all of whom had at least eight targets and five receptions. Amendola has been particularly helpful to Brady on third downs, taking over some of routes that Julian Edelman used to make his own (let’s hope Cam Newton doesn’t think it’s funny that we’re talking about routes).
The Patriots’ defense, unfortunately, hasn’t completely shed their bad habits, especially at the end of halves. The second quarter ended with completely unnecessary roughing-the-passer calls, and they allowed two third down completions toward the end of the fourth. There is, to be sure, still plenty of work to be done, but as Ron Borges writes, “Thursday night is no place to search for quick fixes. It is merely a night your football team needs to survive, which the struggling Patriots did last night.” As for the Bucs, their inability to upset the Patriots was perfectly summarized by Nick Folk three failed field goal attempts, one of which, a 31 yard attempt with 5:39 left in the fourth quarter, would have made it a one score game.
— Nick Ramos (@NickR83) October 6, 2017
As a result, Folk might be out of a job. “We’ll talk about that,” head coach Dirk Koetter said. “Jason [Licht, the Bucs general manager] and I had a brief conversation afterwards. That’ll be something that’s forthcoming. But you don’t want to make any rash decisions.” The Pats still have, though not necessarily playing as one, the luck of an NFL gambling favorite.