Betting the Bucs is a new segment that focuses on the gambling lines for each Bucs game during the week. 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 +1.5, Over/Under 55
This game has all the makings for a potential shootout at Raymond James Stadium in the Bucs’ most important game of the season. Through two games on their home turf, the Bucs have hit the over both times in their victories over the Panthers and Chargers, while scoring at least 30 points each time. In fact, Tampa Bay has reached the over in 15 of their last 19 games at Raymond James Stadium.
Let’s not forget either that the Bucs are getting healthier on offense. Chris Godwin will be able to play for the first time since Week 3, and running backs Leonard Fournette (questionable) and LeSean McCoy look to be on pace to play as well. Not to mention that Mike Evans had an extra couple days to recuperate from an ankle injury. Add a fully healthy offense to a team that’s angry after scoring just 19 points a week ago should result in the Bucs reaching the 30-point mark for the third time at home this season.
The Packers have held their end of the bargain offensively as well, hitting the over in their last three match-ups while averaging 38 points a game. If that wasn’t good enough, Green Bay is also getting healthier with star wide receiver Davante Adams returning to the lineup. Even if Bucs’ top corner Carlton Davis plays, he won’t be at 100 percent, and with the Packers ability to avoid getting sacked or turning the ball over, Aaron Rodgers won’t have issues attacking vertically with Tampa Bay missing Vita Vea on the defensive line as well.
If there’s anything that would concern me for Green Bay, it’s that they’ve lost their last three games after the bye. In that time, the Packers have averaged just a pedestrian 17 points. With that said, the last time they had a bye this early in the season was 2009. It’s a high number at 55 points, but with these caliber of teams, it’s a number that can be reached.
The Pick: Over 55
Now let’s take a quick look around the rest of the league and see what else is on the board.
Ravens -8 at Eagles
Baltimore has one of the top defenses in the league and I don’t see how the Eagles move the ball with a depleted offensive line and a lack of weapons. The Ravens jump out with an early touchdown as this one gets out of hand quickly.
Washington +3 at Giants
The Giants refuse to score offensive touchdowns, only reaching the end zone six times this year. Now they face Chase Young and Montez Sweat on Washington’s defensive line. If Alex Smith gets the start, you’re looking at a fired-up team.
Steelers -3.5 vs. Browns and Under 51.5
The Browns’ run-heavy offensive style is best fit for when they have the lead. What happens when they face a tough Steelers’ defense that won’t let them pull ahead? I expect to see a typical knock em’ out, drag em’ out, NFC North battle.
Dolphins -9.5 vs. Jets
Anytime the Jets are less than a double digit underdog, you bet against them. Simple as that. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is. The Jets are 0-5 against the spread and show no signs of stopping that trend.