buccaneers rams player prop picks
PHOTO CREDIT: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a battle of two undefeated teams that is likely the top game of the week. While Tampa Bay returned all 22 starters from its Super Bowl Championship team last season, the Rams made a headline change at quarterback, trading for former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. This star-studded affair offers a plethora of interesting player prop betting options, and plenty of opportunities for player props bets.

Let’s jump into this marquee NFL Week 3 matchup with a look at the best player props picks for Buccaneers vs. Rams matchup.

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Matthew Stafford Under 310.5 Passing Yards (DraftKings Sportsbook -115)

We all know how tough the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rush defense is under Todd Bowles. They finished best in the league against the run each of the last two seasons and are currently second best in 2021. They face a Rams ground game, just 25th in the NFL (87.5 ypg), which saw its best runner, Darrell Henderson Jr., miss practice on Wednesday, listed as questionable for Sunday’s game (ribs).

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As such, Tampa Bay will likely feel it can afford to drop extra guys into coverage here to try to slow down the Rams’ 7th-ranked passing attack, which averages 291.0 yards per game with Stafford at the helm.

We can trust Bowles to have a solid plan against Stafford, a quarterback he has stymied throughout the veteran signal-caller’s career. Stafford is 0-4 SU and ATS against Bowles’ teams, throwing five interceptions to just three touchdowns in those four outings. Worst of all, Stafford averaged just 6.1 net yards per pass attempt in those games, meaning he would need to sling it 51 times to cash the over on this prop. That’s certainly no recipe for success in this league.

For comparison, even in two victories where the Rams posted 27 and 34 points, Stafford only attempted 30 and 26 passes, respectively, this season. He threw for 278 and 321 yards in those two games thus far and needed a 76.9 completion percentage and 156.1 QB rating to top this prop’s number by just 10.5 yards in the season opener.

It’s hard to imagine him having that same kind of success here against a defensive coordinator who has had his number throughout his career.

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Tom Brady Under 0.5 Interceptions (DraftKings Sportsbook +105)

At this point in his career, Tom Brady has seen and done it all. And, one thing is for sure, he knows what needs to be done to win a big game. This certainly qualifies as such, given that it could be the only time his Buccaneers open a betting week as underdogs all season. Brady knows, perhaps above all, as it was a veritable doctrine in New England, that the most important key to winning big games is protecting the football.

Brady avoided throwing an interception in three of his four playoff games in 2020 en route to the title, none of which had them as a true home team. The year prior, he threw a pick against Tennessee in his lone playoff game, a loss.

This season, Brady has thrown two interceptions, but neither is one you would put on him. The first was a straight drop off Leonard Fournette’s hands and the other was on a Hail Mary just before halftime.

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In other words, despite attempting 86 passes thus far this season, Brady has not thrown a single ball that was picked off via his own error.

You can also expect Brady, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, and head coach Bruce Arians to all be acutely aware of Aaron Donald’s presence on the other side. Donald injured both of Carson Wentz’s ankles last week and is a game-wrecker if given time.

Brady has worked for years now on getting the ball out of his hand quickly and will surely employ that same approach in this one. He’s not going to hold the ball in the pocket and wait for Donald to hit him from behind, risking both his and his team’s season.

Those quick passes we have grown accustomed to with Brady also minimize the risk of an interception (unless Fournette decides to alligator-arm another one).

Cooper Kupp Over 6.5 Receptions (DraftKings Sportsbook -185)

Revisiting a point we made in our first prop, Matthew Stafford has been held in check by the Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles throughout his career, averaging just 6.1 net yards per attempt. To put that in perspective, Stafford currently leads the NFL with 10.0 net yards per pass attempt this season.

The Tampa Bay pass defense has given up a ton of yards thus far this season and will want to keep the Los Angeles receivers in front of them in what should be a close game. This will open up the underneath stuff for Stafford, who will surely utilize one of the best slot receivers in the game in Cooper Kupp to help move the ball incrementally down the field. Kupp has some of the best hands and footwork in the league and will prove a reliable possession receiver in a game like this.

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Kupp has already developed a rapport with Stafford, earning 10 targets in Week 1 and 11 in Week 2, catching seven and nine balls in those games, respectively. Naturally, Tampa Bay will want to take him away, being a top threat, but that is easier said than done after the Bucs lost starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting to a season-ending elbow injury last week.

Cooper Kupp averaged over six catches and over eight targets per game in 2020 and has gained a quarterback in Stafford that has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes thus far this season. With a total in the mid-50s for this one, you would expect a considerable amount of points from both teams.

In the Rams’ six highest scoring outputs last regular season, Kupp averaged over eight catches and 11 targets. Similarly, he topped this prop’s reception total in all three games in which the Rams allowed more than 20 points in 2020, including a 13 target, 11 catch performance against Tampa Bay.

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