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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Predictions

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The Buccaneers are coming off of an up and down 2012 season that had them finishing in a three-way tie for second in the NFC South at 7-9. Tampa Bay started off slow with just one win in their first four games, but would return from their Week 4 bye and win five of their next six to improve to 6-4. Things quickly took a turn for the worst, as they would lose five straight before a 22-17 win at Atlanta in the season finale.

The offense got off to a strong start behind quarterback Josh Freeman and rookie running back Doug Martin, but would sputter in the second half due to inconsistent play from Freeman. There were mixed also results on the defensive side of the ball. Tampa Bay held opposing teams to a league-best 82.5 yards per game on the ground, but allowed a league-worst 297.4 yards per game through the air. The Buccaneers are hoping that a strong offseason will help them to improve against the pass and get back to playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Last Season
NFC South
Record
ATS Record
Home ATS
Road ATS
Over/Under
T-2nd
7-9
9-6-1
3-4-1
7-1
9-7
Offense Rank
Defense Rank
Turnover Margin
Points For
Points Against
9th
29th
+3
24.3
24.6
2013 Roster Changes
Draft Picks
CB Johnthan Banks, QB Mike Glennon, DT Akeem Spence, DE William Gholston.
Additions
RB Jeff Demps, FB Brian Leonard, WR Kevin Ogletree, TE Tom Crabtree, G Gabe Carimi, DE George Selvie, DT Derek Landri, DT Andre Neblett, OLB Jonathan Casillas, CB Darrelle Revis, S Dashon Goldson, K Nate Kaeding, P Chas Henry.
Losses
RB LeGarrette Blount, WR Arrelious Benn, WR Sammie Stroughter, TE Dallas Clark, OT Jeremy Trueblood, DE Michael Bennett, DT Roy Miller, OLB Quincy Black, CB E.J. Biggers, CB Brandon McDonald, S Ronde Barber.
Key Numbers for 2013
Draft Grade
Preseason Power Ranking
Strength of Schedule
B-
20th
2.475
17th
Head Coach Greg Schiano
*Records for regular season only.
Overall
ATS
Home
Home ATS
Road
Road ATS
7-9
9-6-1
4-4
3-4-1
4-4
6-2
Off of a Bye
Off of a Bye ATS
Off of a Loss
Off of a Loss ATS
1-0
1-0
3-6
4-5
Schedule
2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
9/8 @ Jets
-1.5
0.53
9/15 Saints
+1.5
0.47
9/22 @ Patriots
+7.5
0.22
9/29 Cardinals
-4.5
0.67
Week 5 BYE
10/13 Eagles
-1.5
0.53
10/20 @ Falcons
+6
0.29
10/24 Panthers
-1.5
0.53
11/3 @ Seattle
+7
0.25
11/11 Dolphins
-1.5
0.53
11/17 Falcons
+1
0.49
11/24 @ Lions
+3.5
0.36
12/1 @ Panthers
+3
0.41
12/8 Bills
-3
0.59
12/15 49ers
+3
0.41
12/22 @ Rams
+1
0.49
12/29 @ Saints
+7
0.25
Estimated Wins: 7.02

Tampa Bay will have a chance to go into their Week 5 bye sitting at 3-1, but in order for that to happen they will likely need to knock off the Jets on the road in Week 1 and follow it up the next Sunday with a big home win over the Saints. They also have what appears to be an easy home game against he Cardinals, but it’s hard to like their chances at New England in Week 3.

One of the keys for Tampa Bay this season has to be playing better at home. Raymond James Stadium was once considered one of the toughest places to play. That hasn’t been the case of late, as the Buccaneers are a dismal 11-20 at home over the last four years, including 3-5 finishes each of the last two seasons.

This year they have five favorable matchups at home against the Cardinals, Eagles, Panthers, Dolphins and Bills. If Tampa Bay is going to be a true contender in the NFC South, these are five games they must win. They also will likely need to at least split their two home games against division rivals New Orleans and Atlanta.

When you look at the Buccaneers road schedule you can really see the importance of playing well at home. That Week 1 game at New York is the only away contest where they will go in as the favorites. They do have a few manageable games at Carolina, Detroit and St. Louis, but don’t figure to put up much of a fight at New England, Seattle, Atlanta and New Orleans.

Odds
Regular Season Win Total
to Win the NFC
to Win Super Bowl XLVIII
7.5
28 to 1
50 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Predictions

Tampa Bay showed flashes of what they are capable of last season, but I believe this team still has a ways to go before they have a legit shot at taking over a division that features two of the elite quarterbacks in the game in Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and New Orleans’ Drew Brees. Add in Carolina’s Cam Newton and it’s safe to say that the Buccaneers Josh Freeman is by far the worst quarterback in the NFC South. It’s a big reason why I’m picking Tampa Bay to finish last in the division and struggle to match last year’s seven wins. Let’s not forget that the only two teams they beat last year that finished with a winning record was the Vikings and Falcons and beating Atlanta in a pretty meaningless game in Week 17 doesn’t really count.

Offensively it all comes down to the play of Freeman. He’s got to figure out a way to be more consistent. He can’t blame the weapons he has around him. The Buccaneers have two big time playmakers at receiver in Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams and have added in Kevin Olgetree, who played well when given a chance in Dallas. They also have an emerging star at running back in Martin, who finished third in the league with 1,926 total yards from scrimmage.

Defensively we know that Tampa Bay has a strong front seven that can shutdown the ground game behind Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and a couple of talented young linebackers in Lavonte David and Mason Foster. The Buccaneers are hoping that the additions of cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Dashon Goldson will help them take big steps against the pass. There’s no question that Revis helps out the pass defense tremendously, but I’m not exactly sold on this unit making the kind of progress some might expect. Whether it’s Eric Wright or rookie Johnathan Banks at the other corner spot, I’m not sure they can handle the pressure of opposing quarterbacks coming at them on almost every pass attempt. At the same time, Goldson and returning safety Mark Barron both pack quite a punch against the run, but neither is particularly strong against the pass.

Projections
NFC South Finish
Division Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
4th
2-4
6-9
Under 7.5
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About the Author: Jimmy Boyd is known for his consistency. He's a proven winner in college and pro football, college and pro basketball and pro baseball. He finished as the No. 1 ranked MLB handicapper in 2007 by earning $1,000/game bettors $50,050. He also finished as the No. 1 ranked basketball handicapper in the 2008-09 season, profiting $1,000/game bettors 38,530. His basketball plays have banked $1,000/game bettors nearly $80,000 the last five years. Check out Jimmy's premium picks for tonight!
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