With no clear-cut favorite in the NFC, many sports bettors are backing Tampa Bay despite the Buccaneers’ recent struggles.
The Bucs are in the thick of a deep wild-card race in the NFC after losing three of their past four games to fall to 7-5. With an additional playoff spot up for grabs this year, Tampa Bay remains likely to reach the postseason with no remaining games against teams with winning records.
As NFC South rival New Orleans cruises toward the No. 1 seed and the conference’s lone playoff bye week while awaiting the return of quarterback Drew Brees, bettors are not counting out Tampa Bay and Tom Brady.
Bucs moved from frontrunners to long shots
The Bucs have slipped from the shortest Super Bowl odds in the NFC at midseason to now providing longer odds than the Saints, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks at most sportsbooks. That includes DraftKings, where Tampa Bay is being offered at +1700.
The Bucs are being backed by 13 percent of the total money wagered on the Super Bowl winner at the sportsbook. That’s behind only the Kansas City Chiefs (21 percent), who are the overwhelming favorites at +210. Tampa Bay is also being backed by nine percent of the total bets, behind only the Chiefs (29 percent) and Baltimore Ravens (11 percent).
Some of that is due to the money that flowed in on teams like the Bucs and Ravens before recent struggles. But the Saints (+500) have not been nearly as popular among betters despite being the NFC’s most consistent team throughout the season. New Orleans is being backed by just six percent of the Super Bowl bets and five percent of the handle.
Bettors also are not showing widespread support for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who remain the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture despite suffering their first loss of the season on Monday night. The Steelers (+800) are tied with the Packers for the third-shortest odds at DraftKings, where they have been backed by five percent of the total bets.
However, Pittsburgh is behind only Kansas City and Tampa Bay with eight percent of the total money wagered on the Super Bowl winner.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)