Buccaneers vs. Packers odds, props, predictions: Baker Mayfield, Jordan Love battle for NFC playoff positioning

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons are even at the top of the NFC South. Tampa Bay’s 6-7 record means the fight for the division is far from over. Even if the Buccaneers do not win the NFC South, they could still earn a wild card spot. This is a crucial game for both teams. 

The winner of this game could hold a significant head-to-head tiebreaker that could decide which team earns a playoff spot if they finish with the same record. The Packers are unlikely to catch the Lions in the NFC North at three games back with only four games to play. Their best chance to get a playoff berth is to earn a wild card.

The Packers are one of seven NFC teams sitting at 6-7, making a few wins down the stretch vital if they want to play in the postseason. The Packers are 7-6 against the spread this season but have covered three of their last four games. The Buccaneers are 8-5 against the spread and have won outright as an underdog three times this season, including last week against Atlanta.

Look at the live odds for this Week 15 NFL contest, betting news for the Buccaneers and Packers, game props and a betting prediction for this crucial game for playoff positioning. 

Live odds for Buccaneers vs. Packers

Check out the Buccaneers vs. Packers live odds for the spread, moneyline and total points available at the best sportsbook apps.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers betting news

Tampa Bay is going through a very up-and-down season that has seen them win some thrillers and lose a few heartbreakers. The Buccaneers are on their second two-game winning streak of the year but have not won three straight at any point this season. At the same time, Tampa has also had separate losing streaks of two and four games.

They have been playing some of their best football over the last five weeks, winning three out of five games. In that stretch, they have covered three times and missed covering once by one point and another by five points. Tampa Bay is either winning or keeping games close, even when playing as an underdog.

Baker Mayfield had big shoes to fill replacing Tom Brady at quarterback, but the former No. 1 overall pick has quietly had one of the best seasons of his NFL career. He has had some big games leading the Buccaneers to wins behind his arm but has also been careful with the ball and has sacrificed potential big plays that are risky to ensure Tampa Bay stays in games or protects leads. Mayfield was a risk-taker early in his career, but this season he has not had a single game with more than one interception.

It is interesting to note that Mayfield and the Buccaneers are 3-0 when he doesn’t throw an interception and the offensive line allows no more than one sack. It shows that when Mayfield gets time to throw, he performs at a high level. The offensive production sits solely on Mayfield’s shoulders, as the Buccaneers average less than 100 rushing yards per game.

The defense has been solid for Tampa Bay, only allowing over 27 points once all season. The defense has one of the NFL’s best playmakers in safety Antoine Winfield Jr., who has two interceptions, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries and leads the team with 97 tackles. 

If Winfield and the defense can force a few turnovers and Mayfield continues to protect the football, the Buccaneers will be right in this game in the fourth quarter. Then it will come down to a quarterback dual between Mayfield and Jordan Love to see who can lead crucial drives to win the game. 

Green Bay Packers betting news

The Packers roller coaster season continues after last week’s loss to the New York Giants. Green Bay had won three straight before last week’s loss, and they were underdogs in all three wins. The loss Giants came as a 5.5-point favorite. The Packers only have one win all season as the spread favorite. 

The Packers can have focus issues at times, and head coach Matt LaFleur even mentioned this in his post-game press conference. They have the talent and have proven that by winning five games this season outright as an underdog. Much of it has to do with the offense, which has been inconsistent this season. They have been excellent at times, scoring 38 points in their season opener, 29 against Detroit on Thanksgiving day and 27 against the Chiefs two weeks ago. 

Two big factors in the Packers’ inconsistency have been quarterback play and skill player injuries. The number one wide receiver in the preseason, Christian Watson, has only played in nine games and missed last week’s contest. In Watson’s two previous games before reaggravating a hamstring injury, he had three touchdowns with 12 receptions and 165 yards.

Number one running back Aaron Jones has also dealt with injuries all season, only playing in seven games and not performing to his standard even when he has played. That has left a lot of pressure on first-year starter Jordan Love, who has shown flashes of excellence but has also had rookie mistakes.

Even though Love is in his fourth season in the NFL, it is his first as the starter for Green Bay. This has come with some growing pains, but he has shown at times that he has the talent to be the Packers franchise quarterback. He is 12th in the NFL with 3,084 passing yards and tied for fifth with 23 touchdowns. 

The Packers are 5-1 in games where Love does not throw an interception, 1-3 when Love throws one interception and 0-3 when he throws two or more interceptions. It is hard to ask Love to be perfect and never turn the ball over because every quarterback does it. But with injuries and inexperience, their margin for error is not what it has been in past seasons.

Buccaneers vs. Packers game props at BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM has excellent player props and game props for every NFL game throughout the season. NFL Week 15 is no different, and the Bucs vs. Packers has some of our favorite value game props of the week at BetMGM Sportsbook.

  • Buccaneers -3.5 and OVER 40.5 points (+475)
  • Buccaneers -3.5 and UNDER 40.5 points (+550)
  • Packers +3.5 and OVER 40.5 points (+140)
  • Packers +3.5 and UNDER 40.5 points (+180)
  • Team total game points
    • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19.5 points OVER (-115) / UNDER (-110)
    • Green Bay Packers 23.5 points OVER (+100) / UNDER (-130)
  • Team to score first: Buccaneers (+110) / Packers (-140)
  • Team touchdowns
    • Both to score 1+ YES (-800) / NO (+500)
    • Both to score 2+ YES (-115) / NO (-110)
    • Both to score 3+ YES (+375) / NO (-550)

Buccaneers vs. Packers prediction: Crucial battle for playoff position comes down to turnovers

We mentioned how the Buccaneers and Packers have performed when their quarterbacks have time to throw and avoid turnovers. That will be the key in this game — and Baker Mayfield is likely to have more of his pass-catching weapons at his disposal. The Packers did not have Christian Watson or Aaron Jones last week. 

This week, the injury reports list Watson and Jones as questionable, along with Jayden Reed and A.J. Dillon. The team’s top tight end, Luke Musgrave, is still on injured reserve, leaving only one of quarterback Jordan Love’s top five playmakers healthy going into this contest. 

Tampa Bay’s number two receiver, Chris Godwin, is questionable, but most of their top playmakers will be available and healthy outside of him. This is why we give the edge to Tampa Bay this week, but double-check the injury report before making your wagers on this matchup.

Pick: Buccaneers

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