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Buccaneers vs. Chiefs prediction: Can Brady, Mahomes deliver fireworks in prime time?

Tampa Bay and Kansas City have boasted elite offenses in recent years, but both face tough tasks in Sunday’s Week 4 bout.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady could struggle to lead his team to a high-scoring total in Sunday's Week 4 contest against the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady could struggle to lead his team to a high-scoring total in Sunday's Week 4 contest against the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)Read more(c) Julio Aguilar / Getty Images

The last time Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes faced off, the Buccaneers’ defense dominated the Chiefs’ offense in a commanding 31-9 victory in Super Bowl 55. Those two will meet again on Sunday night in a game that oddsmakers expect will be much closer.

Tampa Bay is dealing as a mere 1-point home favorite for its Week 4 bout with Kansas City, which is coming off one of the more surprising losses of the Mahomes era. Can the Chiefs get revenge for that — and their aforementioned title loss — in this prime-time spot?

Here’s how we’re betting Sunday night’s contest, which kicks off at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Buccaneers vs. Chiefs Prediction

  1. Under 45.5 (-110 BetMGM)

Buccaneers vs. Chiefs Prediction: The Analysis

You won’t impress your friends by betting the under when Brady and Mahomes take center stage in prime time. But neither of these offenses have shown enough through the first three weeks to deserve this much respect in the betting market.

That’s especially true of the Buccaneers, who are 3-0 to the under after a trio of low-scoring affairs. Entering Sunday, Tampa Bay ranks 24th in scoring offense (17.0 PPG) and 27th in yards per game (297.3) and has scored 20 or fewer points in all three games thus far. That includes last week’s 12-point performance against the Packers, which only came after a touchdown in the final seconds to complement a pair of earlier field goals.

That’s the state of this Bucs offense, which looks like a shell of the one that ranked in the top three in scoring in each of Brady’s first two years with the team. It’s easy to see why: Tampa Bay’s offensive line was already in tatters before losing tackle Donovan Smith (elbow), while receivers Chris Godwin (hamstring), Julio Jones (knee), Russell Gage (hamstring), and Breshad Perriman (knee/hamstring) are all questionable or doubtful to play on Sunday. Clearly, that’s a problem.

» READ MORE: Eagles vs. Jaguars prediction: Can Pederson play spoiler in Philly return?

It’s not like the Chiefs’ offense has fared much better. Sure, the Chiefs rank fourth in points per game (29.3) thanks to a stellar Week 1 effort, but they’ve scored 27 and 17 points over the last two weeks to cash the under in each. Kansas City’s receiving corps also shoulders much of the blame. The Chiefs’ pass-catchers rank second-to-last in open targets this season, and they’ve caught just eight of 20 passes that travel at least 15 yards through the air.

Without Tyreek Hill to stretch the field, this offense has become stagnant in the passing game, which feels blasphemous to say with Mahomes still under center. That’s the reality, though, and it won’t get any easier against the top scoring defense (9.0 PPG) in the league. Until the betting market catches on, both of these teams are sneaky under values — especially against one another.

Buccaneers vs. Chiefs Odds (via BetMGM)

  1. Buccaneers -1 (-105), moneyline -110

  2. Chiefs +1 (-115), moneyline -110

  3. O/U 45.5 (-110)

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