It’s still Tampa Bay’s NFC South to lose even after Thursday night’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers dropped to 3-5 after a 27-22 defeat on Thursday night. Tampa had a 10-3 lead at the end of the first quarter before the Ravens scored 14 straight to lead at halftime and jumped out to a 24-13 lead with just under seven minutes to go.
It’s the first three-game losing streak for a team with Tom Brady since 2002. Yet the lack of strength in the NFC South means the Bucs are still -165 to win the division at BetMGM despite being two games under .500. If Tampa doesn't win the division in 2022, it'll be the second time in three seasons that Brady's Bucs failed to win the NFC South after the Patriots failed to win the AFC East just once in the 18 seasons Brady was the team's starter for the majority of the season.
The Atlanta Falcons — yes, really — are the No. 2 favorites to win the division at +300. The Falcons are 3-4 and host the 2-5 Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The Panthers got their second win of the season just five days ago at home against the Bucs. That was P.J. Walker’s second start at QB this season following an ankle injury to Baker Mayfield and the second game for interim coach Steve Wilks after Matt Rhule’s firing.
The Panthers are still the underdogs in the division at +1100, though their odds will likely get better with a win at Atlanta on Sunday. The New Orleans Saints are also 2-5 and they’re at +550 to win the division. The Saints host the 2-5 Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.
While the Bucs are still favored to win the division simply because there's no other strong alternative, things may not turn around for Tampa Bay for a couple of weeks.
The Buccaneers host an also-struggling but still talented Los Angeles Rams team in Week 9, then head to Germany to play the surprising Seattle Seahawks in Week 10 before the bye week. Could Tampa Bay be 3-7 heading into that bye week? We certainly wouldn’t rule it out. And we also wouldn’t be surprised if they were still the betting favorites to win the division even with that record.