NFL picks Week 4: Expert predictions for Patriots vs. Buccaneers game

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Expert predictions for Patriots vs. Bucs Week 4 game originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady's return to Foxboro to play against his former team, the New England Patriots, is the marquee game of the NFL's Week 4 slate.

This game has been circled on football fans' calendars since the day the 2021 schedule was announced in the spring.

The Buccaneers are the betting favorites, and for good reason. They are the defending Super Bowl champs and their offense has been red-hot through the first three games. Brady himself is off to a fast start, ranking No. 2 in the league in passing yards (1,087) and No. 1 in passing touchdowns (10).

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The Patriots are 1-2 and played poorly in all three phases in a loss to the New Orleans Saints last week. New England's 18 points scored per game is the sixth-fewest in the league, while Tampa Bay's 34.4 points per game ranks second behind the Arizona Cardinals.

The overwhelming consensus is the Buccaneers will leave Gillette Stadium with their third victory of the season. Not only that, plenty of experts are predicting a double-digit win for Brady's Bucs. So, if the Patriots need any extra motivation entering this game, they can find it by looking at all the predictions stories published this week.

Here's a roundup of expert picks for Sunday night's Patriots-Bucs showdown (with score predictions, if provided).

Mike Reiss, ESPN: Bucs 27-20

Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots

Rob Ninkovich, ESPN: Bucs

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times: Bucs 31-17

Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Bucs 30-22

Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Bucs 31-17

Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated: Bucs

Conor Orr, Sports Illustrated: Patriots

Mike Jones, USA TODAY Sports: Bucs 27-24

Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News: Bucs

Emmanuel Morgan, New York Times: Patriots +6.5 (all NYT picks were against the spread)

Bleacher Report's NFL Staff: Bucs 31-21

Bill Bender, Sporting News: Bucs 31-21

FiveThirtyEight's model: Bucs 64 percent, Patriots 36 percent