Tampa Bay Buccaneers Minnesota Vikings Betting Odds Preview - NFL Week 8

* Odds often change between the time of writing of this article and game time. For the most up to date odds, please visit Bovada Sportsbook

Both Tampa Bay and Minnesota will have a short week to get ready for Week 8 Thursday Night Football. Minnesota is coming off a positive weekend after beating the Arizona Cardinals 21-14. Tampa Bay was disappointed by New Orleans 35-28, in what was expected to be a closer and lower scoring game. This week Minnesota is the favorite over Tampa Bay with the spread at 6.5 points and the over/under at 41.5 points.

Tampa Bay is tied for second in the desolate NFC South where their 2-4 record pales in comparison to Atlanta’s 6-0 record. The good news for the Buccaneers is that their only listed injury is WR Vincent Jackson, but he played last Sunday and is expected to play Thursday. Tampa Bay has an moderate offense that is 15th in the league for passing yards per game and 17th for rushing yards. Average is usually not something to brag about but in this case average also equates to productive. Even against some decent teams like NY Giants and Washington, the Buccaneers have kept up offensively, never losing by more than a touchdown. In only one game this season has Tampa Bay had a point difference greater than 7 points. QB Josh Freeman has been hot lately passing for over 300 yards in games and keeping his completion average around 60%. RB Doug Martin’s per carry rushing average and total yards per game have been steady increasing as well. But when he plays decent run defenses his production drops off significantly. The Buccaneers have averaged 347 yards per game and scored an average of 24.7 points this season.

Minnesota, however, has a slightly better than average run and pass defense. The Vikings certainly best the Buccaneers when it comes to defense allowing an average of 320 yards per game to Tampa Bay’s 399 yards allowed average. Minnesota allows an average of 100 yards rushing each game which matches to Tampa Bay’s average rushing yards gained per game of 101 yards. Minnesota allows an average of 219 yards passing each game which is close to Tampa Bay’s average passing yards gained of 246 yards. So it seems like Tampa Bay’s offense will have an average game against Minnesota’s defense.

Minnesota’s offense gets the edge in the running game but they are slightly banged up physically. They are 7th in the league for average rushing yards per game. RB Adrian Peterson has been nursing a sore ankle but reports say he is improving and will be active for this game. The Buccaneers however are strong against the run, 3rd in the league. That’ll make winning the running game essential for both teams. The Vikings have a very poor passing game but Tampa Bay has a very poor pass defense so again they are evenly matched. Minnesota scores an average of 23.9 points a game which is another reason to think this game will be close.

An interesting comparison would be the outcomes both teams had against Washington. Tampa Bay lost 24-22 and Minnesota lost 38-26. Offensively Washington is like a better version of Minnesota and defensively Tampa Bay is a better version of Washington. So if Tampa Bay could hold it close against Washington and Minnesota couldn’t overpower Washington, Tampa Bay might be set for an upset. However, Minnesota is 4-0 at home and Tampa Bay is winless on the road.

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