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Thursday Night Football: Patriots (-5.5) over BUCCANEEERS

I’m like a degenerate gambler that can’t get off the roulette table. I’ve put $100 on black three straight times and lost, yet I convince myself it will be black the next time. For four straight weeks I have trusted the Patriots to cover. My reward has been a 1-3 record. Still, I cannot stay away from the GOATs, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Does the Patriots defense stink up something awful? Absolutely. Does Brady’s dominance hide the impotence of that defense? Again, absolutely. Brady has shredded the NFC South this season. Against the Panthers and Saints he combined for 754 yards with five touchdowns to no interceptions. Against a banged up Bucs defense that dominance shall continue and the Pats should fall into the 30 point area.

That means Jameis Winston must lead his unit to at least 28 points. These Thursday games could get sloppy but even when the Pats are off they fill up the scoreboard. Mike Evans has been solid this season but draws a tough matchup with Malcolm Butler. That will force the rest of the cast around Winston to step up. Doug Martin makes his season debut tonight so the run game will be at full force for the first time this season.

This is a huge opportunity for the Bucs to make a statement. All eyes are on them tonight facing the defending champs. If they don’t bring their A-game they will be run out of Tampa Bay. If they bring their A-game…they still might get run out of the building. I love Jameis but I just cannot pass up the Pats laying such little points.

Prediction: Patriots 33, Buccaneers 24

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