Patriots vs Buccaneers NFL 2020 Most Wins Prop: Who to Bet?
Over most of the last 20-plus years, the notion of even asking the question, “Who wins more games next season, the New England Patriots or Tampa Bay Buccaneers?” would have been met with a chuckle more often than not in NFL betting circles.
In fact, since 2001, the Buccaneers have finished with more wins than the Patriots twice, and zero times since 2005.
Nobody’s laughing anymore. Tom Brady is now the quarterback in Tampa Bay, and New England must forge ahead without No. 12 under center for the first time in a long time.
William Hill has posted a prop bet asking this question for the 2020 NFL season:
Patriots vs. Buccaneers Regular Season Wins
Bet it at William Hill
Bet it at William Hill
All odds are current as of publication and subject to change.
The line opened at even but Tampa Bay backers forced the sportsbook to add a spread. Bookies.com breaks down the schedules and matchups for each team and offers a pick on this NFL futures betting prop.
The AFC East isn’t known as being one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL, but in terms of overall record, it was better than the NFC South was last year.
Brady had something to do with that, though he had one his worst seasons statistically last year. New England still went 12-4 thanks to the NFL’s top-ranked defense.
The Bills went a surprising 10-6 in 2019 and are poised to overtake New England in the East. The Jets and Dolphins each also have a young nucleus. Miami, in particular, has had a successful offseason.
The Buccaneers have to contend with the Saints in the NFC South, but the Falcons appear to be on a downward trajectory and the Panthers are in a rebuild with big issues on defense and offensive line.
When it comes to strength of division, Tampa Bay has the easier path.
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The Buccaneers have some very winnable games and some very losable games. They host the Chiefs, Packers and Vikings and travel to Chicago, Denver and Las Vegas. Tampa Bay was a miserable 2-6 at home and 5-3 on the road in 2019, the only NFL team to be sub-.500 at home and above .500 away last season.
But overall, the Buccaneers’ schedule ranks right down the middle. Their opponents’ combined 2019 season record comes to 128-127-1, tying for 16th strongest out of 32 teams.
The Patriots don’t have the same luck. Their opponent combined record is 137-118-1; that’s ranked the No. 1 hardest schedule for 2020.
The Teams Themselves
Replacing Jameis Winston with Brady is an instant and tangible upgrade even for an offense that ranked No. 1 in passing. Winston tossed 30 interceptions last year, seven of which were run back for touchdowns. Brady has thrown for nine or fewer INTs in five of his past six years. His offensive weapons improve dramatically, too.
Tampa Bay’s defense ranks No. 1 vs. the run and No. 30 vs. the pass.
The Patriots have been limited by salary cap constraints. Not only did they lose Brady, they’re down three defensive starters who left via free agency (so far). Regardless of what you might think about the potential of second-year QB Jarrett Stidham, he’s unlikely to reach Brady-like levels in Year 1. The defense might still be a top 10 unit, but it’s going to drop a peg.
Tampa Bay will be a better team than 2019. New England is less likely to be so.
Look at the trajectory and additions of the Buccaneers, coupled with a decent schedule and a presumption that they’ll win more than two home games, and an 11-5 record isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Anything fewer than 10 wins would be a surprise.
If the Patriots win 10 games, it would require a masterful effort from coach Bill Belichick and a very strong first year of starting for Stidham, who likely will lack weapons on offense. The way the rest of the AFC East is ascending and considering New England’s slate, this looks to be a year of considerable transition.
Look for the Buccaneers to finish with more wins in 2020. Grab them at plus odds while they’re still available.
About the Author
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He has consistently produced profitable seasons in NFL and college football and established himself as an elite MLB expert in 2018, hitting 61 percent of his money line picks for a profit of $4,062 to $100 players, ending the season on a 22-4 run including 100 percent on World Series games. Previously the award-winning sports editor of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Adam spent nearly 20 years covering the NFL, MLB and college football. Now he shares the insight he gained at Bookies.com through well-reasoned picks and thought-provoking articles and on Twitter at @_Adam_Thompson_.