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Buccaneers vs. Ravens Thursday Night Football pick and open thread

Hope springs eternal for quality Thursday football

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, there’s a game on the Thursday Night Football schedule that excites people. Tom Brady and Lamar Jackson collide in a fun matchup that will help to bring some divisions into a clearer focus. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Baltimore Ravens tonight, and both teams are looking for a win to keep their season from slipping away.

Baltimore has struggled to close out games. Jackson has bet on himself this year with hopes of securing a fully-guaranteed contract similar to that of Deshaun Watson. But the way the season is going, I’m not sure the Ravens will have to budge on what they’ve offered. Franchise quarterbacks win in the fourth quarter, and so far this year, Jackson hasn’t been able to close out games as one would have hoped. The Ravens’ defensive secondary has also been suspect for most of the year. It’s difficult to win games with that recipe.

Tom Brady also looks very frustrated. The Buccaneers’ offensive line has struggled keeping the pocket clean and allowing time for Brady and his receivers to connect. There are concerns about the lack of explosiveness on offense. But there have been plenty of opportunities for Brady and company to look as good as they have in the past.

The game tonight is pretty evenly matched. Neither team can really afford to lose. At 4-3, the Ravens need to stay relevant in their division, and the 3-4 Buccaneers don’t want to take a loss this week either despite leading their division. The NFC South isn’t as competitive as other divisions, but they don’t want to lose ground.

The Bucs are the home team, and are two-point favorites per DraftKings Sportsbook. I’m going with the home team in tonight’s game. Last week, we saw Brady make some very nice throws, he was just unable to connect for some reason. The Buccaneers still have all the talent offensively that puts fear in opposing defensive coordinators. While Jackson is dynamic, the Ravens haven’t done a good job with giving him weapons to highlight his strengths and talents.

Bucs cover and win at home.