Buccaneers vs Packers NFC Championship Picks and Predictions

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Updated: January 20, 2021

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers welcome Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a chilly Lambeau Field for the NFC Championship Game this Sunday.

Green Bay opened as big as a 4.5-point NFL betting favorite at some books, but early money on Tampa Bay trimmed that spread to a field goal. This is a revenge spot for the Packers, who were dealt their worst loss of the season in a 38-10 thumping at the hands of the Bucs back in Week 6.

These are our best NFL free picks and predictions for Buccaneers vs. Packers on January 24.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers Betting Preview

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NFL weather info.

Key Injuries

Buccaneers: Ronald Jones II RB (Probable), Vita Vea DL (Questionable), Antonio Brown WR (Questionable)
Packers: A.J. Dillon RB (Questionable), Krys Barnes LB (Questionable)
Find our latest NFL injury reports.

Betting Trend to Know

The Packers are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games versus a team with a winning record. Find more NFL betting trends for Buccaneers vs. Packers.

Tampa Bay opened as big as +4.5 at the Las Vegas Superbook and instantly drew money, driving the spread down to Packers -3.5 less than an hour after hitting the board last Sunday evening. The spread eventually went to a field goal on Tuesday afternoon with more Bucs action showing up.

“The Bucs are the one team left in the Super Bowl pool that we lose a big number to,” John Murray of the Superbook told Covers. “We lose on them in the NFC pool, as well. It’s definitely something we will have to keep an eye on this week and potentially three weeks from now, if they are able to beat the Packers.”

Check out the full line movement for this game

Against the Spread (ATS) Pick

It’s a classic matchup of defense versus offense in the NFC Championship Game. And when these teams clashed in Week 6 of the regular season, the defense of the Bucs got the better of the Packers offense – namely the Tampa Bay pass rush, which picked up four sacks and forced two interceptions from Rodgers in a 38-10 victory as 3-point home underdogs.

But that October 18 matchup might as well have been a different season, with the way Rodgers and this scoring attack is humming along the past month and a half. Green Bay has won seven straight games, averaging more than 33 points per outing during this stretch, including a 32-18 beatdown of the L.A. Rams’ vaunted stop unit in the Divisional Round last week.

Rodgers was given ample time in the pocket to pick apart the Rams defense and has been sacked only three times in the past three games behind an offensive line that finished the regular season as the top pass-blocking squad in the NFL, according to ESPN’s Win Rate metric. 

And while the Bucs blitz got the better of Rodgers in Week 6, the likely 2020 MVP winner has been making recent opponents pay for bringing extra bodies and enters Championship Sunday locked in an absolute zone, boasting an average passer rating of 135.8 in his last three games.

The Packers don’t leave much on the table in terms of points. Green Bay is far and away the most dominant offense in the league, ranked well ahead of Kansas City in offensive DVOA at Football Outsiders. The Cheeseheads are quick starters, leading the NFL in first-half points (18.7), and leave the red zone with at least six points on 78.5 percent of their trips inside the 20-yard line. 

The Bucs defense is not to be taken lightly, sitting fifth in defensive DVOA and proved just how dangerous they can be with four takeaways versus New Orleans in the Divisional Round, giving them 32 on the season. However, Tampa Bay has budged when pushed up against its own end zone, allowing opponents to score TDs on over 63 percent of their red-zone tries. 

While this spread has dropped from as high as Green Bay -4.5 to -3 with early play on the visitor, it’s starting to climb with the vig on Packers -3 getting pretty expensive. Some shops are dealing -3.5 while others are tightly hanging on to the field goal. We’re taking Rodgers and Cheeseheads at -3 while we still can.

PREDICTION: Green Bay -3 (-125)

Covers NFL betting analysis

Over/Under Pick

Brady vs. Rodgers tells an awesome tale, with this total at 51 points. This number opened as high as 52, but with the extended forecast calling for wind and snow at Lambeau, Under money tried to get ahead of any movement and ticked this Over/Under down a point. As of Wednesday, the climate for Green Bay doesn’t look too harsh and the potential wind and visibility issues for both passing games seem to be clearing up. 

That works in favor of the Bucs and Brady, who thrive on vertical routes and air yards, ranking No. 1 in the league with 5,539 intended air yards. And to be fair, the Packers defense has faced some crappy competition under center during their current winning streak (Four-fingered Goff, Trubisky x2, Teddy Bridgewater, Carson Wentz/Jalen Hurts). 

Clear skies could also help out Rodgers. The Packers QB can hurt you in a number of ways, but presents the first real deep threat the Tampa Bay defense has faced in the postseason, after tangling with the dwindling arm of Drew Brees (who was actually replaced for a deep pass) and some guy named Taylor Heinicke. 

The Buccaneers, who posted 67 passing plays of 20 or more yards in the regular season, have also fallen victim to the deep ball at times and will likely show zone coverage versus Green Bay, as they did in that Week 6 matchup. The big issue there is Rodgers eats up zone like Cheeseheads chew through beer brats. 

With the stellar O-line keeping him clean (Bucs pass rush has just three total sacks in the past three games), Rodgers will take what the Tampa defense gives him and eventually break this Buccaneers stop unit.

PREDICTION: Over 51 (-110)

Player Prop Pick

With Tampa Bay turning up the heat, Rodgers will have to opt for the pressure release plenty of times on Sunday. That puts tight end Robert Tonyan in his crosshairs. 

The 6-foot-5 Tonyan was targeted four times for four catches and 60 yards in the win over the Rams in the Divisional Round, including a 33-yard completion with Rodgers scrambling to avoid pressure. Tonyan has also emerged as a red-zone option as well, reeling in 11 touchdowns catches this season – tied for fifth-most in the NFL and sitting alongside Travis Kelce for most TDs by a tight end.

The Bucs have been susceptible to TEs this year, giving up 832 yards receiving and nine touchdowns to the position. Tonyan had three catches on four targets for 25 yards against Tampa in Week 6, but has grown into one of Rodgers’ favorite options in the second half of the schedule.

PREDICTION: Robert Tonyan touchdown score (+105)

Buccaneers vs Packers Betting Card

  • Green Bay -3 (-125)
  • Over 51 (-110)
  • Robert Tonyan touchdown score (+105)

NFL Parlays

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Use our NFL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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