Chargers Bucs Odds
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4) host the San Diego Chargers (4-4) Sunday in non-conference action. Oddsmakers have listed the Buccaneers as a three-point favorite and have set the total at 47.5.
Why Tampa Bay Covers
The Buccaneers have been playing good football all season and appear to have turned a corner. They have won back-to-back games on the road by double digits and three of their last four games overall. Even during their 1-3 start, they didn’t have a loss of more than seven points. The Bucs are 6-2 against the spread in all games this season.
While the Bucs are rolling, the Chargers are sliding. San Diego has lost three of its last four both straight up and against the spread since getting off to a 3-1 start. It is 0-2 straight up and against the spread in its last two road games.
Tampa Bay has taken care of business against AFC opponents this season. It has earned wins and covers against the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders. The Chargers, on the other hand, are 0-2 straight up and against the spread versus NFC opponents this season with losses to the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. Dating back to the beginning of last season, the Chargers are 0-6 against the spread versus non-conference opponents.
The Bucs have had their offense going. They have scored 36 points or more in three of their last four games and put up 42 in their most recent game. Their offensive output is significant because they are on a 27-12 against the spread run after scoring 30 points or more in their last game. Zooming in, they are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game.
Why San Diego Covers
The Buccaneers have the worst pass defense in the NFL. They rank dead last in the league with 321.1 yards allowed per game through the air. Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers is capable of taking advantage.
Rivers is coming off his highest rated passing game of the season. He posted a passer rating of 125.0 by completing 18 of 20 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in last week’s 31-13 win against the Chiefs.
The Bucs have allowed their opponents to complete 64.5 percent of their passes, and that number rises to 68.5 percent in the games played in Tampa Bay. Their poor pass defense could get them into trouble as the Chargers are on a 15-5 against the spread run versus teams that allow a completion rate of 64.0 percent or worse. The Chargers have defeated these teams by an average of 9.0 points.
The Chargers have won each of the past two meetings in the series both straight up and against the spread by margins of seven and 17 points, respectively. They have also won four of the last five meetings both straight up and against the spread and are a perfect 2-0 against the number in games played at Tampa Bay during this stretch.
The Buccaneers have not been a very good investment at home where they have failed to cover the number in 23 of their last 31 games.