bucs colts player props picks
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG DUDEK

Suddenly, Jonathan Taylor and the Indianapolis Colts cannot be stopped. However, the league’s leading rusher and scorer will get an immense test here as he squares off against the NFL’s best run-stopping unit, a Tampa Bay group that has been the toughest against the rush for several years now. This game is of paramount importance to both teams’ playoff aspirations and will be littered with interesting individual matchups.

Let’s take a look at our favorite Bucs vs. Colts player props picks, complete with betting analysis for this NFL Week 12 matchup.

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Tom Brady Over 0.5 Interceptions

Relatively speaking, the Tampa Bay offense has struggled lately. Tom Brady threw just three interceptions in the first seven games of the season, but suddenly has tossed five in his last three outings. The Buccaneers still have the eighth lowest interception percentage thrown overall, but that has suffered dramatically in the team’s last three games, rising to 4.07%, the fifth worst rate in the league over that span.

Tom Brady has thrown at least one pick in each of his last three away games, with five interceptions total in that stretch. Interestingly, while Tampa Bay owns the best home turnover margin in the league (+1.4), they are eighth worst in that category when traveling (-0.4).

Indianapolis has just the 18th best passing yardage defense in the NFL, making it likely that Brady will be dropping back to pass quite a bit. Brady has thrown the second most passes in the league thus far, so this Indy defense will have ample opportunities to pick one off. Further, Brady will know that the Colts are just 21st best at limiting opponents’ passing yards per attempt and per completion, while also having just the 21st best sack percentage in football. He might then feel a bit more comfortable holding the ball for that extra second to look for plays downfield, again, increasing the likelihood that a pass gets intercepted.

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However, Indianapolis will take some comfort from the fact that it is tied with Buffalo as the NFL’s best at generating turnovers. The Colts are tied for seventh in interceptions per game (1.2) and sixth in interception percentage (3.39 percent). They have intercepted at least one pass in five of their last six games, picking off 10 passes in that span.

Brady has had his struggles throughout his career away at the Colts. He should slip up at least once in this one against a red hot team.

Leonard Fournette Longest Rush Over 12.5 Yards

Leonard Fournette’s game to game usage is a bit of an enigma, as he has had as few as four carries against the Rams and as many as 22 against the Eagles. However, it does seem pretty bankable that he will end up as the team’s leading rusher. Fournette has led the Bucs in rushing yards in eight of their 10 games. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the only two games in which he did not lead the team in ground yards were the same two in which he received eight or fewer carries.

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It seems likely that he should receive considerably more rushing attempts in this matchup. He will be facing the league’s 16th ranked rushing yardage defense. The Buccaneers will also be frightfully aware that if they throw the ball every down, they risk letting Jonathan Taylor control the clock and wear down their defense in the second half. I think Bruce Arians will want to shorten the first half of this game, playing on the road, and we should see a heavy dose of Fournette early as a result.

If that assessment is correct, there is a good chance that the increased volume will lead to at least one run of 13 yards or more for the Bucs’ lead back. He has been held to eight yard rushes or shorter in each of the last two games, but only received 11 and 10 carries, respectively, in those outings. In the five games prior, however, Fournette averaged 15.4 totes per contest and had at least one rush that topped this prop’s requirement in each.

Indianapolis’ defense offers a very strong opportunity for Fournette to break off a long run, too. They have allowed at least one rush of 13 yards or greater to 15 different rushers this season. Every opponent of the Colts had a guy do so except the Dolphins, who own the NFL’s second worst rushing offense and only rushed it 16 times against Indy.

Remember, Leonard Fournette led the Bucs in rushing yards in eight of their 10 games thus far. Well, the leading rusher against the Colts had at least one rush of 13 yards or more in nine of the 11 games against them this season. The only two teams to fail were Miami and Tennessee, with the latter occurring in the game in which Derrick Henry injured his foot.

Scotty Miller Anytime Touchdown Scorer

This prop offers a tremendous return on a guy who figures to see a considerable number of snaps on gameday, having been activated off the IR this week. With Antonio Brown listed as doubtful and Mike Evans listed as questionable, Tom Brady will need some alternative options seeing single coverage. Miller certainly fits that profile and should slide in under the radar as he plays in his first game after missing most of the season with a foot injury.

Remember, Tom Brady has thrown four more touchdowns than any other quarterback this season (29) and has never cared who catches them at any point in his career, as long as his team gets the win. Eight different guys have caught touchdowns from Brady already this season, including Cyril Grayson, a receiver whose only catch of the year was that score.

Of Brady’s 29 touchdown passes, 17 have gone to wide receivers. We can certainly expect several more in this one, as Indianapolis has proven extremely vulnerable to touchdowns scored through the air. The Colts allow 2.3 passing touchdowns per game, the second worst mark in the league, and 17 of the 24 touchdown receptions they have conceded have gone to wide receivers.

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Miller has also had a propensity for long touchdown scores in his young career. All five of his career scores have been on catches of 19 yards or longer. Worth noting, 11 of the 18 touchdowns the Colts have allowed to receivers in 2021 have been 14 yards or longer.

Of final note, the Colts have allowed one rushing touchdown to a wide receiver this season, while the Bucs have had a wideout score on a run. Tampa has rushed its receivers six times already and Miller certainly has the jets to get added to that list today. Don’t be surprised if he gets an early gimmick play in this one to get his hands back on the football after such a long time away. If Tampa catches Indy in the right moment on that potential play, Miller could even cash this one for us on the ground.

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