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Entering Week 16 Buccaneers heavy favorites to clinch playoff spot, lose out on NFC South title

Some Christmas weekend odds point to the ups and downs for the Bucs in Week 16.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Las Vegas Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Despite heavy losses on the Detroit Lions’ coaching staff, including having to move forward with what many suspects are the first interim head coach for an interim head coach, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will appear on NFL Network this Saturday seeking to clinch their first playoff berth since 2007.

Think about that. If you became a teenager this year, you have never seen the Buccaneers play in the NFL Playoffs.

What are the odds the Bucs will make it happen? Pretty good as Tampa Bay currently stands as ten-point favorites on the road against the Detroit Lions.

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense have fallen victim to some impressively slow starts as of late, and this trend may be influencing those placing wagers on the Saturday game with 85% of bettors taking the Lions with the point spread.

Many around the Bucs will look at this match-up as one they absolutely have to win, and one where the slow starts and defensive struggles that have crept up from time-to-time should all but disappear.

The Lions are not a team like some others who have been particularly competitive in each game of the 2020 NFL Season. Instead, there aren’t many who feel the Detroit defense can stack up against Tampa Bay’s offense. So the only thing beating the Bucs this weekend should be, the Bucs.

We’ve seen it before of course, just like we’ve seen the New Orleans Saints winning the NFC South. This accomplishment is something Drew Brees’ squad is looking to lock up again as a win against the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas day will lock up the divisional crown for New Orleans.

Coming off of two straight losses, a third would create a significant final week of the regular season where the Buccaneers (presumably coming off a win against Detroit) would enter a final game against the Falcons needing to win for a shot at the division. The Saints would also enter a high impact game against the Panthers where a win or Buccaneers loss ties up the division.

However, if the Saints end the year on a four-game skid, and the Bucs finish on a four-game winning streak, not only do Brady and Company look more dangerous for the post-season, they host a playoff game.

According to a recent Twitter poll, the Bucs fan base is split fairly well down the middle as to whether or not they’d rather see their team host a playoff game, or face the NFC East Division winner.

Either way, the Saints are 6.5-point favorites to lock up the NFC South this week anyway, and as of December 14th have a 98.54% chance of winning the division.

Those numbers get really interesting if the Vikings and Buccaneers can take care of business this weekend, however, so make sure you tune in and keep it locked at Bucs Nation as we take you through the end of the regular season, and into the post-season!