NFC Championship Game Betting Preview: The Battle of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers

When Tom Brady left New England to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, many experts picked the Buccs as Super Bowl favorites. A couple of bumps in the middle of the season, especially offensive struggles after Antonio Brown joined the team, left many wondering if the team was all hype.

Now, Brady and the Buccaneers are one win away from Super Bowl LV.

The Buccaneers will march into Lambeau Field on Sunday, January 24 to take on the Green Bay Packers at 3:05 pm ET.

The Buccaneers are coming off of a 30-20 win against the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional round. Brady threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns plus one rushing touchdown, while Leonard Fournette had 107 total yards and one touchdown. Perhaps the biggest standout for the Buccaneers was K Ryan Succop, who kicked three field goals, three extra points, and even had one receiving touchdown.

On the other hand, the Packers defeated the Los Angeles Rams 32-18, where Aaron Rodgers threw for 296 yards and two touchdowns, while adding one rushing touchdown of his own. The Packers defense had four sacks on the day and didn’t allow the Rams to score at all in the fourth quarter.

According to Bovada, below are the betting odds for the game:

  • Point spread: Buccaneers +4 (-115), Packers -4 (-105)
  • Moneyline: Buccaneers +165, Packers -190
  • Over/Under: Over 51 (-105), Under 51 (-115)

See Bovada for updated lines and odds.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting News

When it comes to scoring, the Buccaneers have more weapons than just about any other team in the NFL. Between their “Big 3” wide receivers, TEs Cameron Brate and Rob Gronkowski, and RBs Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones, Brady has a plethora of options to choose from if one gets shut down.

However, even with all those offensive threats, there’s no guarantee that any of them will have huge games.

Against the Browns last week, WRs Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans combined for six receptions, 47 yards and one touchdown. Even if those were the stats for just one of those receivers, it would still be a disappointment.

Unfortunately for the Buccaneers’ receivers, the Packers’ passing defense has been white hot as of late, allowing 166.7 passing yards against per game over their last three games, which is second-best in that span. This means that the Buccaneers may have to lean on Fournette and Jones to get the job done on the ground and open up some passing opportunities the team’s receivers, as the Packers are allowing over 120 yards on the ground per game in their last three contests.

Even if the Buccaneers’ offense struggles, their defense can turn things around. Against the Saints, the Buccaneers’ had three interceptions and a fumble. LB Devin White led the team on defense with 10 tackles, one interception, and one fumble.

Green Bay Packers Betting News

Sunday marks the first time that Aaron Rodgers will be playing an NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field and he’s going to want to prove that his name belongs in the same conversation as Brady’s when it comes to best quarterbacks of all-time.

Rodgers was phenomenal during the regular season, finishing with 4,299 yards (7th) and 48 touchdowns (1st). For pretty much every game this season, to no one’s surprise, Davante Adams was Rodgers’ favorite target. Adams finished the season with 1,374 yards (3rd) and 18 touchdowns (1st), which was the third-most touchdown receptions for a receiver in NFL history.

The Packers also have RB Aaron Jones, who finished the game against the Rams with 113 total yards and one touchdown. The only issue is that the Buccaneers have had the best run defense in the NFL this season, allowing a league-low 82.2 rushing yards against per game. If the Packers are going to win through the air, Rodgers is going to need to be able to depend on secondary receiver threats, like Allen Lazard. While he did have four receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown against the Rams, 58 of Lazard’s yards came on his scoring play.

Another key component to the Packers’ chances of winning is their defense. The Packers had four sacks against the Rams and even though they didn’t force any turnovers, being able to put that kind of pressure on Brady will force him to make decisions he doesn’t want to make.

Other Betting Information

The Buccaneers and Packers have already met one other time this season, with Tampa Bay winning the Week 6 matchup by a score of 38-10. In that game, Rodgers was sacked four times and threw two interceptions, including a Pick-6. That game seemed to have changed the Packers, who never scored that few points again for the rest of the season.

If the Buccaneers want to repeat that history, they’re going to need a monstrous game from their defense again, which was led by White as he had another 10-tackle game with one sack.

Overall, this game has the potential to be a shootout between Brady and Rodgers if the offenses have their way. The Buccaneers (30.7) and the Packers (31.8 ppg) are the top two highest-scoring teams this season, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that this will be a high-scoring affair.

When it comes to points allowed, the Buccaneers have the slight advantage in that category across the entire season, where they allowed 22.1 ppg (8th) compared to the Packers, who are allowing 22.8 ppg (12th). However, as mentioned before, the Packers have been one of the better defensive teams over the last month or so.

With how the two teams have played as of late, anything is possible in this NFC Championship Game.

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Devon Platana
After graduating with a Masters degree in Journalism, Devon joined USGS to improve his sports writing skills. As a lifelong sports fan, one of Devon’s favorite things to do is analyze statistics across all sports.