NFL Week 8 Thursday Night Football Picks: Bucs’ Moment of Truth Against Ravens

Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers Carolina Panthers
Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Carolina Panthers. Eakin Howard/Getty Images/AFP.

Two shaky first-place teams will look to get a firmer grip in their respective divisions when the Baltimore Ravens travel to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers on Thursday night. Which way to lean at the best sportsbooks?

The Ravens held on to beat Cleveland last week, despite nearly blowing a double-digit lead in the second half for the fourth time this season. A pair of penalties by the Browns helped Baltimore snap its futility holding onto leads. The Ravens are now tied with the Bengals atop the AFC North at 4-3. They have alternated wins and losses every game this season, meaning they would be due a loss this week.

The Buccaneers lost for the fourth time in five games, falling to the lowly Carolina Panthers, 21-3. They have now scored one touchdown in the last nine quarters, and Tom Brady has fallen below .500, the first time that’s happened to him this late in a season since 2002. The Bucs are 3-4 but still tied with the Falcons for the NFC South lead.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Thursday, October 27, 2022 – 08:15 PM EDT at Raymond James Stadium

Baltimore Ravens

Week 7 Recap

The Ravens went up 23-13 on Sunday, which seemed to indicate that the Browns had them right where they wanted them. Baltimore had previously blown 10-point or greater leads in the second half against the Dolphins, Bills, and Giants, losing all three games.

The Ravens held on to win this time, despite a Cleveland rally, and that wasn’t the only history Baltimore bucked. The Ravens had scored first in every game this season before letting Cleveland get on the board. And the deficit at the end of the first quarter was the first time Baltimore had trailed at the end of any quarter (except the fourth) this season. So a slightly slower start helped Baltimore to finish the game strong.

Strong Ground Game

The Ravens also appear to be rounding into shape with the ground game. Gus Edwards returned to the field on Sunday, playing in his first game since 2020 after suffering a severe knee injury. He rushed for 66 yards and 2 touchdowns. Baltimore also got back Justice Hill, who had been out with a hamstring injury.

The Ravens had 160 yards on the ground and have topped 155 for six straight games. Getting help on the ground will be a boost to Jackson, who has passed for 1400 yards and run for 500, producing a combined 15 touchdowns with his arm and feet.


New injuries of concern for the Ravens were tight end Pharaoh Brown, who entered the concussion protocol, and linebacker Jacob Phillips, who hurt his shoulder.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 7 Recap

Tom Brady and the Bucs are reeling after a shocking loss to the Carolina Panthers over the weekend. The Panthers had traded their best running back and second-best receiver in the days leading up to the game and were playing with an interim coach and third-string quarterback, but they were able to shut down the Tampa offense.

Problems on Both Sides

The Bucs scored just 3 points and have managed just one touchdown in the last nine quarters as they’ve lost three of their last four games.

“No one feels good about where we’re at,” Brady said. “No one feels good about how we played or what we’re doing.”

The defense also struggled, giving up 173 rushing yards to a Panthers team that had traded All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey 48 hours earlier.


The Bucs lost two defenders in the game who will be monitored this week. Cornerback Antoine Winfield Jr. entered the concussion protocol, while corner Anthony Chesley suffered a hamstring injury.

Pick and Prediction

The Bucs appear to be at a pivotal moment in their season. They’ll need to snap out of their funk if they want to continue to be considered a contender in the NFC. After 20 years, it’s hard to imagine Tom Brady won’t find a way to get his teammates to respond with their backs against the wall.

Following the NFL odds, look for Tampa to respond as a home dog.

NFL Pick: Buccaneers +1.5 (-114) at FanDuel is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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