Hey, it’s the weekend! You consider Thursday night the start of the weekend, right? The way I look at things, Thursday night is the start of the weekend because it’s the start of the NFL week, which is why you have my permission not to work tomorrow. Just take the day off and tell your boss Tom said it was cool. I’m tight with your boss, they’ll understand.

Besides, how are you going to be able to work after a historic night of football? Sure, maybe you’re looking at the schedule and seeing the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and think I’m overhyping this one. But I’m not! It’s history!

It’s Tom Brady versus Nick Foles in a Super Bowl LII rematch. Now, this isn’t the first time that two quarterbacks who squared off in a Super Bowl met during the regular season. I haven’t counted, but I’m sure that’s happened a lot of times. But you know what hasn’t happened before?

We’ve never seen two QBs who faced one another in a Super Bowl have a rematch while both are playing for different teams. See? I told you, it’s historic. Also, while I’m terrified of watching my Bears get torn apart by Brady when the whole world is watching, I’m taking solace in the fact that the Bears won’t be playing on Sunday, and that means it’s going to be a Red Zone Sunday for your newsletterer. Those are the best Sundays.

These are the best stories for you to read before we get to tonight’s picks.

OK, let’s make some money

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

Buccaneers at Bears, 8:20 p.m. | TV: Fox
The Pick: Over 44.5 (-110)
: I want to take the Bucs in this spot because it’s Tom Brady, and betting on Brady has been a great way to make money for 20 years. The problem is the whole world seems to be on Tampa here, yet the spread has hardly budged during the week. That scares me a little. It’s not a problem, though, because I’m also quite fond of the over in this matchup as the total feels a little too low.

I understand that both of these defenses are ranked in the top seven in the NFL in DVOA, but it’s a short week for both teams, and I think that’s a bigger advantage for the offense. While the Bucs are a little banged up on offense, those injuries aren’t on the offensive line. Also, it doesn’t hurt my confidence that Khalil Mack might be less than 100% for the Bears tonight. As for the Bears offense, while it’s overall performance against the Colts was awful, the deep shots were there. Nick Foles just missed them. I think he’s a touch more accurate on Thursday night.

Key Trend: The over is 5-1 the last six times Tampa has been favored and 20-7 in its last 27 road games.

Here’s what SportsLine has to say about the game: SportsLine’s Advanced Computer Model has a pick for tonight’s game as well, and I always wonder if the computer will agree with me before checking. Cuz, if I’m being honest, I don’t really want to fight a computer. I mean, I will if it’s looking at me funny, but it doesn’t mean I want to, you know?


💰The Picks


Getty

⚾ MLB

Yankees vs. Rays, 7:10 p.m | TV: TBS
The Pick: Rays (+122) — 
I’m bound to get one right in this series eventually, aren’t I? I mean, I’m 0-3 through the first three games, so I’m either an idiot, or I’m very due. I’m choosing to believe I’m due, but you’re free to feel however you like. Just know that I have feelings. Anyway, it’s looking like a bullpen night for the Rays. Ryan Thompson is “starting,” but he’s not a starter and started only once this year. A bullpen day is bad news for the Yankees, as the Rays had the best bullpen in baseball using fWAR. New York is starting lefty Jordan Montgomery, and the Rays mashed against southpaws this season, finishing fourth in MLB with an isolated power of .217 against them.

Key Trend: Tampa is 4-1 in its last five games as an underdog.

🏈 College Football

Tulane at Houston, 7:30 p.m | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Under 60 (-110) — 
I’m waiting for news this game has been postponed because all of Houston’s scheduled games have been postponed so far. The Cougars were supposed to begin their season on Sept. 3 against Rice, but the game was postponed. Then games against Baylor and North Texas followed, and none were because Houston had positive COVID-19 cases. It was always their opponent. But now? Now they finally get to play (fingers crossed)! I would expect them to be a bit rusty on offense. Tulane has been very Jekyll and Hyde this season, looking great for half the game, and awful the other half. All of which leads me to believe the total for this one is just a little too high.

Key Trend: The under has gone 4-1 in the last five meetings. 

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: SuperContest guru R.J. White is 20-9 (69 percent) in his last 29 ATS picks for or against the Buccaneers and he has a strong play on Thursday Night Football.


💸 The DFS Rundown


USATSI

Your MVP or Captain

Tom Brady — If anybody in this game will have a big night, it’s going to be one of the quarterbacks, and if we’re choosing between Brady and Foles, I’ll take Brady. He’s coming off a 369-yard, five-touchdown performance last week, but I wouldn’t expect those results tonight. I’d expect something more in line with the three-touchdown performance he had against Denver on the road the week before. If you’re looking to fade Brady in a couple of lineups, the only other players I’d strongly consider for MVP are Foles and Allen Robinson.

Value

Darnell Mooney — Mooney was placed on the injury report this week, but if he’s active tonight, he’s a great option. He’s been featured in the Bears offense since Week 1, and it looks like the coaches are getting more confident in him while losing confidence in Anthony Miller. The rookie saw 11 targets through his first three games but had nine balls thrown his way against Indianapolis last week. His targets are up, as are his offensive snaps.

Full lineup advice

SportsLine’s team of DFS insiders has you covered for daily fantasy sports. Mike McClure has won almost $2 million playing DFS and is one of the top MLB DFS experts anywhere. Check out his MLB picks here, and be sure to see what he’s picking for NBA DFS here too. Use SportsLine’s all-new DFS Optimizer to get optimal NFL DFS picks from 10,000 simulations.


 🏈 Thursday Night Football Props

 
USATSI
  • Tom Brady Over 1.5 TD Passes (-150)
  • Scotty Miller Under 50.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
  • David Montgomery Over 47.5 Rushing Yards (-115)
  • Jimmy Graham Touchdown (+250)

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