Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Indianapolis Colts: Prediction, Odds, Depth Charts (11/26/23)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday (11/26/23) in an interconference matchup. In this article, find the latest betting odds for the game and a full matchup preview. In addition, get our best bet for Buccaneers Vs. Colts which is over 44.5 points.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Indianapolis Colts Prediction

With a 4-6 record, the Buccaneers are still very much alive in the NFC South, which is the worst division in the NFL by total wins. Meanwhile, the Colts have a better record at 5-5 and are in a massive group of teams fighting for a wild-card spot as they find themselves two games behind the Jaguars atop the AFC South.

First-year head coach Shane Steichen has been forced to adjust his offense on the fly after rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. But Gardner Minshew has been surprisingly effective, ranking ninth out of 31 qualified quarterbacks in QBR. Minshew’s experience with Steichen’s offense from their time together in Philadelphia has paid dividends.

The Buccaneers boast the best run defense in the NFL by EPA, but their secondary has been vulnerable as they’re 25th against the pass by EPA. Tampa has attempted to paper over those weaknesses with the third-highest blitz rate in the NFL, but with a below-average pressure rate, they ultimately leave their overmatched corners in less-than advantageous positions.

Tampa Bay’s defensive issues won’t be helped with their current injury situation. Cornerback Jamel Dean and linebacker Lavonte David have been ruled out while cornerback Carlton Davis and linebacker Devin White are listed as questionable. Pay attention to the injury report leading up to kickoff.

Meanwhile, first-year Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales has coaxed strong play out of Baker Mayfield, who ranks 15th in QBR and 11th in adjusted EPA per play. Tampa’s lack of a run game has hurt as they’re 32nd in rushing success rate, but a 10th-ranked passing offense by EPA has boosted their offense at times.

Indianapolis has seen its defense improve over the past month as its young starters in the secondary have evolved. But it’s still about to be starting first- and second-year players against awesome wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. I expect the Buccaneers to engineer offensive success in this game.

Ultimately, I have far more confidence in the offenses in this game than I do in the defenses. I lean toward Tampa Bay covering this spread on the road, but below the key number of 3, there’s not quite enough value. I do see value on the over here, though, as both offenses are well coached and in position to put points on the board.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Indianapolis Colts Prediction: Over 44.5 Points

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Indianapolis Colts Best Odds

The spread for this game on the look ahead was Colts -1, but it has since moved to -2.5. Meanwhile, the total sits at 44.5 points after being set at 41.5 on the look ahead. The new numbers would lead to an implied score of about 24-21 in favor of the home team. Keep in mind that 3 is the most key number in betting football spreads, so there would be significant buyback on the Buccaneers if the books placed it any higher.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Indianapolis Colts Key Injuries

An already shaky Colts secondary was hampered by an injury to standout rookie JuJu Brents, and he hasn’t played since Week 7. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers’ defense will be missing cornerback Jamel Dean and linebacker Lavonte David, two of their most important players, while cornerback Carlton Davis and linebacker Devin White are listed as questionable.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Indianapolis Colts Key Matchups

I believe this game comes down to the wide receivers, and both teams have some very talented pass catchers that they rely on. Let’s break down how those wide receivers match up against the opposing teams’ cornerbacks.

Michael Pittman Jr. vs. Buccaneers Cornerbacks

One of my official player prop selections over on the YouTube Sunday slate show was Michael Pittman Jr. over 70.5 receiving yards, so I’ll break down why I love this matchup for him here. Pittman has thrived in his supersized role for the Colts with a massive 30.4% target share that ranks 8th in the NFL. With the Buccaneers being far more proficient at defending the run than the pass, his volume should be tremendous this week.

The Buccaneers have allowed the most passing yards in the NFL over the past month as injuries to cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean have hampered them on the back end. Davis could return this week, but Dean has been ruled out, so we’ll end up seeing a lot of second-year corner Zyon McCollum, who ranks 113th out of 127 qualified cornerbacks in PFF’s coverage grades.

Mike Evans and Chris Godwin vs. Colts Cornerbacks

While I’m focusing on Michael Pittman Jr. in the player props department, it could be a big game for the Buccaneers’ wide receivers as well. An already weak group of cornerbacks in Indianapolis has led to second-year UDFA Darrell Baker Jr. and rookie seventh-rounder Jaylon Jones becoming full time starters on the boundary. Baker ranks 115th out of 127 qualified corners in PFF coverage grades.

Evans could take these young cornerbacks’ lunch money on Sunday, particularly near the goal line as he’s scored in seven of ten games this season. Godwin has spent 33.2% of his snaps in the slot, where he’ll be matched up with the excellent Kenny Moore II. When either wide receivers is on the boundary, expect them to have the upper hand in their respective matchups.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Depth Chart

QB: Baker Mayfield
RB1: Rachaad White
RB2: Sean Tucker
LWR: Mike Evans
RWR: Trey Palmer
SWR: Chris Godwin
TE1: Cade Otton

Indianapolis Colts Depth Chart

QB: Gardner Minshew
RB1: Zack Moss
RB2: Jonathan Taylor
LWR: Michael Pittman Jr.
RWR: Alec Pierce
SWR: Josh Downs
TE1: Kylen Granson

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I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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