Betting the Bucs is a new segment that focuses on the gambling lines for each Bucs game during the season. We’ll take a look into different aspects of the game to help make your decision on whether to bet for or against the Bucs. We’ll also take a brief view at the slate of Sunday games around the rest of the league.
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The Line: Bucs -9.5, Over/Under 54
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This is more of a crazier game between a 9-5 team and 5-9 team than you might normally think. The Bucs are looking to reach the postseason for the first time since 2007 by clinching on Saturday, while the Lions are missing part of their coaching staff, including their interim head coach, due to COVID-19. How do you prepare for a team that’s literally on their third coach of the season? As Bruce Arians put it, you can throw out the tendencies.
Tampa Bay definitely has much more to play for as they can guarantee a playoff spot. They also have much to prove after consistently having slow starts, meaning this won’t be a game that they’re going to walk into expecting to win. If you’re the Bucs, the best situation would be to follow the blueprint from the second half a week ago where they scored 31 points in the second. What goes into that is feeding Mike Evans, Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin so the ball is in their playmakers hands at all times.
If there’s anything that comes with having completely different play callers is that the Lions could be out of sorts. There’s only so many games that the Bucs can start out slow, so if they can jump out to a quick lead, their defense always plays better when they’re ahead. Let Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett go hunting as the Bucs shut things down on defense. The Lions do not have a good record at home going 1-5 ATS, and though the Bucs are 5-2 on the road, they’re only 3-4 ATS. With that said, their 4-3 record ATS at home shows that they like to be balanced in their record. The Bucs continue their success on the road and have a belated Merry Christmas with a win and ticket to the postseason.
The Pick: Bucs -9.5
At a 25-26-1 record, I’m that close the getting back to .500. Hopefully Santa will be good to me this weekend and I’ll get a gift of a winning record for Christmas. Here’s what I’m looking at for Week 16.
Saints -7.5 vs. Vikings
New Orleans can’t be happy with a loss to the Chiefs last week. They can clinch the NFC South division on Christmas, so there’ll be a lot of motivation. The Vikings are unraveling and that will continue.
Chiefs-Falcons Over 54
There’s not an over that can be placed that the Chiefs can’t hit. In this situation they’re playing a Falcons’ defense that allows tons of points. Atlanta will do enough to help the cause and keep a lopsided game competitive.
Titans +3.5 at Packers
The Packers have one quality win this season and that was in Week 3 against the Saints. I’m not saying they won’t win, but the Titans are a tough team to play. Ryan Tannehill has caught fire lately and you always have to worry about Derrick Henry.
Bill -7.5 at Patriots
Speaking of quarterbacks that have caught fire, Josh Allen and the Bills are rolling lately. Their offense just keeps scoring and scoring as they’re playing their best football at the right time. The Patriots don’t have anything to play for and have a struggling offense. The Bills keep it going and cover as well.