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Odds say Buccaneers are the 2-0 Team Most Likely to Miss the Playoffs

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NFL Football

Sep 22, 2018 · 8:00 AM PDT

Ryan Fitzpatrick and Caleb Benenoch of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate a touchdown
Ryan Fitzpatrick's 2018 season got off to a magical start. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire)
  • Bucs, FitzMagic are off to a 2-0 start
  • Tampa Bay is being given the shortest odds among 2-0 teams to miss playoffs
  • See the odds to miss the playoffs for all seven undefeated teams

Apparently, oddsmakers have little love for FitzMagic.

The latest playoff odds from the online sports betting site paint quite a picture on the remaining seven teams in the NFL sitting at 2-0 heading into Week 3.

Let’s dissect the undefeateds.

Odds to Miss/Make the 2018 NFL Playoffs

Team Odds to Miss Playoffs Odds to Make Playoffs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -600 +350
Cincinnati Bengals -200 +140
Denver Broncos -200 +140
Miami Dolphins -140 +100
Jacksonville Jaguars +140 -200
Kansas City Chiefs +140 -200
Los Angeles Rams +300 -500

For starters, let’s eliminate the bottom three. The Jaguars, Chiefs, and Rams have looked great early on, and are the favorites to win their respective divisions. If you’re looking for easy money, jumping on them making the playoffs is your play.

It’s the other teams that are interesting to unwrap.

Buccaneers expected to miss the playoffs?

The eye test and the odds don’t mesh here, which makes it difficult when trying to lay down your hard earned capital.

Jameis Winston, their supposed blue-chip QB, was suspended for the first three games of the year for his disturbing off-field behavior.

An offense with big time weapons built through the draft and free agency was stagnant and underwhelming with Winston last year, too.

Enter Fitzmagic.

Journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently at the helm of the most explosive offense in the NFL. Through two games, they’ve averaged 37.5 points a game, and over 400 yards of total offense.

They’ve already had four plays of over 40 yards. No other team has more than two, and eight teams (eight!) have yet to register one.

And the best part? They’ve done it against legit competition. The Saints boast a roster that was one miracle play short of going to the NFC title game, while the Eagles are the defending champs!

A win Monday night against the Steelers, and Tampa Bay’s playoff hopes will essentially rest in how they compete within their division.

Bengals offering offensive punch

Same formula, same coach, many of the same pieces. The only difference right now? Winning.

Decent line play has helped the Bengals offense find some traction. Joe Mixon looks like the player they were expecting, just a year late (though he’ll be out a few weeks with a knee injury), and that has let Andy Dalton find AJ Green more in the passing game.

They’ve beaten up the Colts and Ravens, so there’s no true litmus test to yet, but averaging 34 points a game (fourth in the NFL) is a good sign.

Broncos gutting out wins with balance

Denver’s got two wins against two teams that are in the 0-2 pool in Seattle and Oakland, so it’s hard to gauge just where they’ll be in a few weeks.

A positive sign is that their offense has far more juice in two games than it did all last year. The Broncos currently lead the NFL in plays of 20 yards or more with 14.

A revived running game behind the rookie two-headed monster of Royce Freeman and no-namer Phillp Lindsay is adding much needed balance.

Denver’s once all-world D is coming along too, sixth against the run and 11th against the pass.

Dolphins doing it with defense

Miami’s wins are against the Titans and Jets. But their defense has been impressive in limiting teams to just eight points a game, which ranks fourth in the NFL.

The pass defense is much improved, in part with the arrival of rookie standout Minkah Fitzpatrick. They’ve allowed an NFL-low 56.6 passer rating in two games, and tie for the league lead in interceptions with five.

That has helped Ryan Tannehill as he tries to round into form. He’s got a nice completion percentage (6th in the NFL at 72.5), and is top 10 in passer rating, but has yet to really let loose: he’s thrown for just 398 yards this season, good for 27th in the league.

Where is the value?

I’m looking at two ‘make it’ odds. The Bucs are definitely in the mix. Their offense appears legit, and I am not going to go against FitzMagic just yet. Taking them to make the playoffs (+350) will look great if they get to 3-0.

Try to hold off until after Week 3 to see how the North shapes up. The Bengals (+140), with a win in Carolina – a massive if – could go to 3-0 and Pittsburgh could go to 0-2-1 if they get Fitz’d. Cincinnati would have the inside track to a division title.

I also don’t think the Dolphins and Broncos can sustain their current level, so taking them to miss will earn you a lesser payday, but get you paid nonetheless.

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