Betting News & Analysis

Thursday Night Football: Ravens-Bucs betting preview (odds, lines, best bets)

Foxboro, MA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) sets the play against the New England Patriots during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Bet Bucs RB Leonard Fournette u13.5 yards longest reception: Not a single one of his targets has been thrown farther than four yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

• Fournette has a -1.4-yard average depth of target (aDOT); Ravens are the ninth-best coverage defense against RBs.

Bet Ravens QB Lamar Jackson u0.5 interceptions: PFF projects one turnover-worthy play by Lamar; banged-up Bucs secondary might miss that opportunity.

Last updated: Oct. 27, 5:00 p.m.

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

• Our prime-time previews pull all the key modeling numbers and simulated outcomes from PFF’s betting tools, including PFF NFL Greenline and the Player Props tool, which use top-down machine learning models backed by PFF’s exclusive data to derive value when compared to the betting market.

We finally get an exciting Thursday-night matchup to sweat on the Prime Vision broadcast . Let’s dive into what many in the preseason projected to be a possible Super Bowl matchup with the Baltimore Ravens taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to kick off Week 8. 

GAME LINES

This spread continues to trickle out in the Buccaneers' direction: Missing a chunk of their secondary hasn't slowed this spread from moving in the Bucs' direction, as Mark Andrews’ questionable status looks to be the main driver of the movement leading up to kickoff.

PFF Greenline still finds real value at Bucs -2: It projects that this line should be Bucs -3. With 3.3% value, this is one of the biggest edges bettors will find this close to kickoff, making the Buccaneers a great bet. 

Also a case for the Over: Because the Buccaneers' defensive injuries broke poorly this week in their secondary. But if Tampa Bay jumps out to an early lead, not a lot of offenses can score points as quickly as the Ravens with Lamar Jackson in catchup mode. 

Bet Buccaneers -1.5 (-115 FanDuel), Over 46 (-110 BetMGM)

PLAYER PROPS

2022 started off somewhat as expected, with rushing yards and receptions finishing heavily toward the under. This has been corrected in recent weeks with a lot of over reception props hitting in Week 7. Team’s seem to be shifting their run/pass splits, resulting in higher attempts but also more negative outcomes because of the higher volume. There is also a macro trend related to average depth of target, with quarterback’s not pushing the ball downfield like we have seen in years past. This has led to fewer big-time throws and also fewer touchdowns, which has caused Unders to be the correct spot to target in the game market.

This has also played out dramatically on a per-week basis, with Week 6 being by far the most profitable time to bet unders through the 2022 season.

One way to consistently find defined edges without blindly betting unders is by utilizing PFF's player props tool. The ability to adjust both number and price means you are always certain of the expected value for each prop bet. Let’s dive into the best player props to bet for the NFL Thursday night kickoff game. 

Bucs RB Leonard Fournette—  Under 13.5 yards Longest Reception (-125 BetMGM)

Bet Gameplan: play up to -125

Fournette simply isn’t seeing the high-value targets that would allow him to go over this number:  Not a single one of his 38 targets has been thrown farther than four yards beyond the line of scrimmage. That means it requires a perfectly-blocked screen play or multiple broken tackles to go over this number. 

Ravens are ninth-best defense covering RBs: Baltimore has been poor in coverage at times, but it actually grades quite well when defending the RB position (ninth-best in NFL). The Ravens have a low yards after catch allowed and should immediately eliminate any check downs toward Fournette. 

• Additionally, Rachaad White’s been getting more involved — though his reception prop number has moved too far based on his recent usage. 

Bet Bucs RB Rachaad White Under 2.5 Receptions (-158 FanDuel)

Bet Gameplan: play up to -195

In Week 7, White ran his second-most routes in a game this season: The result was only two targets for a 4% team target share, after hitting at least four targets in the three previous games. Last week was also the highest percentage of offensive snaps that White played in a game this year, which also resulted in Fournette playing the lowest percentage of his season. 

Part of it could have been planned against an inferior opponent with a tough matchup looming on short week: Obviously, things didn’t break correctly for a Buccaneers team that let a division game slip away, but sharp bettors seem to be buying into them not repeating their Sunday performance. This should result in more established roles for both Tampa Bay backs, which means White won’t have nearly enough volume to go over this lofty reception prop number. 

Bet Ravens QB Lamar Jackson — Under 0.5 Interceptions ( -109)

Bet Gameplan: play up to -120

Zero turnover-worthy plays in Week 7: Granted, it was only on 21 dropbacks, but Lamar Jackson is coming off a game where he had zero turnover-worthy plays. Jackson’s been league average at turnover-worthy throws so far this season, ranking 16th, but his higher aDot can occasionally put the ball more in harm's way. A banged-up Bucs Buccaneers secondary could miss it if given only one opportunity, which is exactly what PFF projects in 1 turnover-worthy play Thursday night. The direction of the spread market is somewhat concerning, but if the Ravens are playing from ahead, there are very few scenarios leading to a Jackson interception, making this a viable bet. 


Ben's 2022 ultimate primetime preview betting record entering Week 8 is 36-46 (-2.33 units).

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