NFL Thursday Night Football predictions & betting tips: Best bets for New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Leigh Copson in Weekly Tips 4 Oct 2017
  • Get free predictions & betting tips for Week 5 of the NFL season
  • The 2-2 New England Patriots visit the 2-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday

NFL Thursday Night Football predictions for Week 5 of the 2017 NFL season. Can the New England Patriots kick-start their season or will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers add to the defending Super Bowl champions' problems and improve their own record to 3-1? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Predictions

New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Tips Explained

Thursday Night Football continue to be profitable for the team with no less than five winners coming from our eight selection so far this season. Last week Jordy Nelson and the Green Bay Packers completed a Thursday double for us as they eased to victory against the Chicago Bears, and we are now looking for another double when the faltering New England Patriots visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first game of Week 5…

Are we seeing the end of a glorious era for New England? If not for some trademark Tom Brady heroics in Week 3 they would be sitting at 1-3 right now with all three losses coming at the Gillette Stadium – a startling thing to write when you consider very few teams have left Foxborough with a victory during the Brady/Bill Belichick era. But while they have not dropped all three home games, their defeat to Carolina this past weekend was the second time they have been beaten at their home stadium in 2017 and they now find themselves at .500 in the AFC East as they head into Week 5.

So why have the Patriots slumped so badly through the first four weeks of the season? The answer to that is quite simple – the defense. Brady & Co. are averaging just over 32 points and 423.75 total yards per game on offense, putting them second overall in team offense, but on the opposite side of the football they have the second-worst defensive unit in the league. They rank last against the pass – giving up over 300 passing yards in each of their four games so far – and they have kept only one of their four opponents under 30 points. But instead of simply throwing that unit under the proverbial bus this week, Patriots quarterback Brady has insisted it is on the entire team to turn their season round in the coming weeks.

“Losing doesn’t sit well with any of us,” Brady told sports radio WEEI’s ‘Kirk and Callahan Show.’. “Hopefully we can figure out how to play more consistently over the course of an entire game. Offensively, we have to be able to score more points than the other team; no matter what they score, we have to score more. If we score three points, the defense has to hold them to nothing. That’s what being a good team is all about.”

Honourable stuff from Brady, but the simple fact is they desperately need improved play from the defense to have any chance of turning this around. So the question has to be asked – after such a short week why are the bookmakers making them favourites for Thursday night’s trip to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers? The answer has to be habit.

While Brady and his offensive team-mates continue to deliver on their side of the ball, that defense is seemingly incapable of stopping anything thrown at it and this week that unit is coming up against a Buccaneers offense that features Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and the returning Doug Martin. The Bucs have benefited from a soft schedule to start the season and this represents the best test they have had so far on their home turf (the previous home games were against Chicago and the New York Giants), but I believe they will pass that test and knock off the floundering Patriots on Thursday.

And I like the chances of DeSean Jackson contributing with a touchdown. The former Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins receiver has made an underwhelming start to life with the Buccaneers, making nine catches for 143 yards and a touchdown, but this dreadful Patriots defense represents a great opportunity for Jackson to kick-start his Tampa Bay career and I would not be surprised to see him get his first touchdown in front of the home fans on Thursday night.

New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Odds

Money Line

Points Spread

New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Predictions

Previous NFL Thursday Night Football Tips

Previous NFL Thursday Night Football Tips (winners in bold)

(10pt STAKE)
Week 1Patriots by 1-13 pts @ EVSBrandin Cooks Anytime TD @ 5/4U20
Week 2Houston Texans to win @ 2/1Under 38 Total Points @ EVS+30
Week 3LA Rams win @ 3/4SF -17 Points @ 9/5U2.5
Week 4Packers -8.5 win @ 21/20Jordy Nelson Anytime TD @ 5/6+18.83
Week 5Buccaneers win @ 21/10DeSean Jackson Anytime TD @ 7/4U20
Week 6Panthers winDevin Funchess Anytime TD @ 11/8U20
Week 7Chiefs -4.5 win @ 11/8Kareem Hunt Anytime TD @ 7/5U20
Week 8Dolphins win @ 13/10Jay Ajayi Anytime TD @ 7/5U20
Week 9Bills -6.5 win @ 6/4LeSean McCoy Anytime TD @ 4/7U20
Week 10Seahawks -6.5 win @ EVSJimmy Graham Anytime TD @ 7/4+7.50
Week 11Steelers by 1-13 pts @ 7/5JuJu Smith-Schuster Anytime TD @ 11/10U20
Week 12Vikings win @ 4/6Chargers -2.5 win @ EVS+27.67
Redskins -9.5 win @ 11/10
Week 13 Redskins win @ EVSUnder 44 Total Points @ 10/11U20
Week 14Saints -3.5 win @ 5/4Alvin Kamara Anytime TD @ 4/5U20
Week 15Broncos -1.5 & -42.5 Total Points @ 23/10Colts score under 21 points @ 8/11+30.27

2017 NFL Thursday Night Football Schedule

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NFL Thursday Night Football predictions & betting tips: Best bets for New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Thursday Night Football predictions for Week 5 of the 2017 NFL season.

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