Week 5 of the NFL season kicks off Thursday at Raymond James Stadium as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
The Patriots are five-point favorites, the same as where it opened. The Over-Under, or total projected points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 54.5, the highest of the week and up one from where it opened.
Before you make any bets on a game like this with so much Vegas odds movement, you'll want to hear what SportsLine Senior Analyst Larry Hartstein has to say.
He has his finger on the pulse of Bill Belichick and the Patriots. In Week 1, Hartstein knew the Chiefs were lethal and told SportsLine readers to go Kansas City +8. The result: Chiefs 42, Patriots 27, a 23-point Chiefs cover. Incredibly, it was his eighth straight winning pick against the spread involving the Patriots. He's gunning for nine in a row tonight.
Hartstein has evaluated Thursday Night Football this week from every conceivable angle and locked in his pick. And he's sharing it over at SportsLine.
Hartstein knows the Bucs have won six straight home games and their talented offense is facing what looks like one of the worst NFL defenses in recent memory. The Patriots are giving up 32 points per game, second-to-last in the NFL. And now they're no longer favored to win the Super Bowl.
The Buccaneers are in the top half of the league in points per game and WR Mike Evans has scored twice in the last three weeks. QB Jameis Winston is sixth in yards per attempt and won't hesitate to push the ball downfield against New England's vulnerable secondary.
SportsLine's advanced computer model agrees. It's calling for Jameis Winston to throw for over 300 yards against the Patriots, with Mike Evans going for almost 100.
But that doesn't necessarily mean the Bucs cover. The Patriots might give up more than 30 points per game, but they're also second in points scored with an average of 32.3. QB Tom Brady leads the NFL in yards (1,399) and touchdowns (10), and is behind only Alex Smith in rating (116.6). And the Bucs haven't gotten a sack or turnover since their opener.
SportsLine's model is calling for a 334-yard, two-TD performance from Brady.
It's no surprise Hartstein is leaning Over on Thursday Night Football in what he expects to be a shootout, but what about against the spread, which he's made his name picking?
So which side should you back in Patriots-Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football? Visit SportsLine now to see what critical stat determines which side of Patriots-Buccaneers you need to be all over, all from the expert who has nailed his past eight Patriots picks, and find out.