The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears both enter their Thursday night matchup with a 3-1 record, but the gap between the teams is much larger than their place in standings would indicate.

Tampa Bay is favored by 5.5 points in Chicago, according to betting odds compiled by OddsShark. The total is 44.5, making it the lowest on the entire Week 5 schedule.

With three straight wins after an opening week loss to the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay appears to be rounding into form. Chicago might have peaked already, coming off its first loss of the 2020 NFL season.

Tom Brady had his best game as a Buc in Week 4. The quarterback set season-highs with 369 yards, five touchdown passes and a 117.0 passer rating in Tampa Bay’s 38-31 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

LA hadn’t given up more than 21 points in regulation over the first three weeks, including a matchup with Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Tampa Bay has scored at least 23 points in every single contest, putting up no fewer than 28 points during its winning streak. The Bucs are scoring 30.0 points per game.

Even after surrendering 31 points, Tampa Bay ranks fourth in both opponents’ yards per play and total yards allowed. Defense might be the Bucs’ strength, despite having a Hall-of-Fame quarterback and one of the league’s most talented receiving corps.

If Chicago hopes to keep its winning record for the remainder of the season, it’ll have to be the defense that leads the way. The Indianapolis Colts beat the Bears 19-11 Sunday afternoon as Chicago’s offense put up a season-low in points with Nick Foles making his first start under center.

Foles had a 76.4 passer rating after leading the Bears to a Week 3 comeback victory in relief of Mitchell Trubisky. Chicago ranks 24th in total yards and 25th in points per game.

The Bears have both a 16-point comeback and a 17-point comeback in the fourth quarter this season. Chicago defeated the winless New York Giants 17-13 in Week 2. The Bears have beaten opponents that are a combined 1-10 heading into the Week 4 Monday night games.

Chicago is averaging nine points through the first three quarters of each game. A comeback attempt against Tampa Bay’s defense would likely be unsuccessful.

All of the Bucs’ victories have come by a touchdown or more.

The trend of home teams winning big on short rest hasn’t held this year. The Jacksonville Jaguars lost by 18 points as Thursday night home favorites in Week 3. The New York Jets were beaten by nine points in Week 4 by Mark Rypien and the Denver Broncos.

Don’t expect Foles to beat Brady this time around.

Prediction: Tampa Bay over Chicago, 24-17

Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady, #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, celebrates after defeating the Los Angeles Chargers after a game at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 4, 2020, in Tampa, Florida. James Gilbert/Getty Images