Thursday night wager: Take the points in explosive Patriots-Bucs contest

by
Orlando Ramirez / USA TODAY Sports

For the second week in a row, the viewing public is blessed with some high-quality quarterback play in the Thursday night matchup.

Last week the brilliance of Aaron Rodgers was on full display, and this week's game has the legend Tom Brady against the talented 23-year-old Jameis Winston.

The wager: New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+5.5)

While Brady has been his usual masterful self this season, the Patriots' defense has been an absolute nightmare through four weeks. It currently sits last in the NFL after allowing 32 points per contest, and is coming in off a 33-30 home loss to the Carolina Panthers. A short week with a road trip to face the league's third-best passing attack doesn't seem like it's the cure the Patriots need right now.

Tampa Bay barely squeezed out a home win against the New York Giants last weekend in a game that was much closer than it should have been. With Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries, Cameron Brate, and O.J. Howard in full flight, Winston has a number of options in the passing game that could have big days against the Patriots.

With the level Brady is playing at, there's no doubt that the Patriots are going to put up points. The Buccaneers' offense is no slouch, however, and with the struggles of the New England defense, it's best to take the points in this contest. Patriots 30, Buccaneers 28

Thursday picks record: 3-1