The final two minutes of Thursday night’s Buccaneers-Eagles game were either a miraculous display of sportsmanship or cold-blooded thievery.
It depends on which way you bet.
The Bucs had a six-point lead and a first-and-goal at Philly’s 6 at the two-minute warning. Tampa Bay closed as a seven-point road favorite across Las Vegas. One good run by Leonard Fournette could have killed the Birds’ comeback bid and rewarded Tampa Bay bettors.
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There was one problem: Philadelphia had no timeouts remaining. So Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians had quarterback Tom Brady take a knee three times to run out the clock. Final score: Bucs 28, Eagles 22.
For good measure, the over/under on the game was 53. A late Tampa Bay TD would have put the game over.
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The Bucs’ kneeldown decision made Eagles coach Nick Sirianni’s call to go for two on the team’s final touchdown of the night a game-winner in the betting world. Jalen Hurts threw to Quez Watkins for the conversion to make the score 28-22, Bucs, with 5:54 remaining.
Philadelphia (2-4) was thus set up to win if it could have gotten the ball back, but it never did. A taunting penalty by Genard Avery and a 27-yard Brady completion to Antonio Brown on third down played big roles in that.
Then again, if the Eagles had been able to stop Brady on a third-and-1 from the Philadelphia 9 after taking their final timeout, then Tampa Bay might have kicked on fourth down after the two-minute warning. A field goal would have put the Bucs up by nine, the total would have been a push and the Eagles would have been able to attempt a backdoor cover. Instead, Brady rushed for 3 yards and essentially ended the game.
But maybe it was never wise to trust Brady with any number, especially if you knew this trend:
Tom Brady is 0-10 against the spread in his L10 primetime games 📉
The Buccaneers are 7-point favorites on Thursday Night Football vs. the Eagles pic.twitter.com/HxQOzL6Rtk
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 14, 2021
And according to Vegas Insider’s grading, Tompa Bay is now 2-4 against the spread (5-1 straight up) in 2021.
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