June is right around the corner, which means “Prediction Season” is about to begin. As a matter of fact, one major sports media outlet has already taken a shot at predicting the Bucs’ 2021 record.
CBS Sports’ Jared Dubin -who recently wrote about the Bucs defense- went through Tampa Bay’s schedule game-by-game and gave his thoughts on how the outcome will play out for each matchup.
Per William Hill Sportsbook, the over/under for Bucs’ 2021 record currently stands at 11.5, which is the same total over at Betonline.
11 or 12 wins is very reasonable, especially when you consider the Bucs’ strength of schedule as it currently stands. There’s also the small fact that every starter will return, which
should will help, as well.
Dubin has the Bucs finishing 12-5 in 2021. That is a very realistic outcome and it’s a record that will put the Bucs back in the playoffs. How they get there is rather interesting, though.
According to Dubin, the Bucs will start the season 6-1, with their only loss coming to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 3. Things go a bit downhill after the hot start, however, as the Bucs go 2-4 against their next six opponents. It seems a bit similar to Tampa Bay’s midseason slump in 2020, but there are a couple of pretty surprising losses in that streak.
Carson Wentz and the Indianapolis Colts and Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Washington Football Team will hand the Bucs two losses in 2021. Tampa Bay will lose by a combined four points in those two contests. While it’s never bad to lose to a former playoff team (or teams), it’s a bit surprising when you consider the Colts’ and WFT’s quarterback situations. The Bucs also lose to the New Orleans Saints and Buffalo Bills during this span, but those are certainly considered more respectable losses.
After going from 6-1 to 8-5, the Bucs correct course with a win against the Saints on Sunday Night Football. They use that win as the launching point for a four-game win streak to close out the year.
Sound familiar? Going through a midseason slump and finishing strong?
Life is a constant circle.
A 12-win season is good enough for the playoffs. There’s little doubt it will make the team and fans happy at the end of the day. But expectations are high this year. Is it enough to win the NFC South? To get the No. 1 seed and the coveted first-round bye?
Who knows. But there’s one thing that’s certain: A 12-5 record gives the Bucs a shot at winning another Super Bowl. And that’s all that matters.
You can check out Dubin’s entire post and game-by-game predictions, here.
What do you think about CBS Sports’ and the prediction for the Bucs’ 2021 record? Let us know in the comment section below!