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Bears Buccaneers Betting – Bucs Pressure Bears, Come Away With Win At Wembley

Posted by Stan Simmons on 10/17/2011 7:08:38 PM

Online betting players checking out the NFL will have to follow the league overseas this week as Chicago and Tampa Bay do battle at Wembley Stadium in London, which is hosting an NFL game for the fifth straight season. Both teams are coming off wins, but Chicago’s line has to prove they can consistently protect their quarterback and Tampa Bay will put some pressure on them.

What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, October 23rd, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1 ½)

Why Bet On Chicago Bears (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS)

Jay Cutler showed what he can do when he has protection, carving up Minnesota in a 39-10 rout at home by going 21-of-31 for 267 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Cutler was sacked just once, which is like not being sacked at all for him, and he played like a quarterback that was confident his line would hold up; left tackle J’Marcus Webb in particular was excellent against the Vikings’ Jared Allen, who led the league in sacks heading into this game. Devin Hester had 91 receiving yards and a score, while adding the 17th return score of his career with a 98-yard kickoff return early in the third, and this was huge as the Vikings forced a turnover to start the second half and then marched down the field for a score. Any momentum they had was snatched away by the electric Hester, and it was nail in the coffin for this NFC North game. Defensively, the Bears put in the box to stop Adrian Peterson, who had 53 yards on the ground and forced Donovan McNabb to beat them, which played right into their hands.

The Bears have to carry this performance over to Wembley Stadium in their first trip overseas for the NFL International Series, and they have to replicate it against a defense that forced three turnovers out of New Orleans last week. The line has to play well two weeks in a row to give the Bears a chance to put some points on the board. Hester (chest) was taken out of Sunday night’s game for precautionary measures, but he’ll probably be in the lineup, as is end Julius Peppers (knee), who wasn’t supposed to play against the Vikings, but had two sacks.

Why Bet On Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS)

NFL betting players probably didn’t Tampa Bay much of a chance after they were humiliated 48-3 in San Francisco, but the Buccaneers showed a lot of poise in a 26-20 win over the Saints at home, and they picked it up on both sides of the ball. Josh Freeman was 23-of-41 for 303 yards and a pair of scores and no picks, while Earnest Graham filled in for the injured LaGarrette Blount by running for 109 yards on 17 carries. But the defense really stepped up with four turnovers, including three picks of Drew Brees, and that is a rarity. The Bucs are the league’s youngest team and their head coach, Raheem Morris, is the youngest in the NFL, so it was incredible that they could pull themselves together after getting destroyed by the 49ers, especially against a division rival.

The Buccaneers have to get a pass rush going if they’re going to disrupt Cutler, even though they didn’t sack Brees once. You can’t depend on your defensive backs to get three picks a week. Tampa Bay also has to be able to run the ball against the Bears to keep Peppers honest, because if they can’t block him, Freeman is going to have a long day. When it comes to injuries, Blount (knee) doesn’t look like he’ll be back, so the onus is on Graham to have a good game. Center Jeff Faine (biceps) should be watched as well after leaving the New Orleans game in the second half.

How It Will Play Out

Both teams have similar records, but with this game being played in England, it’s tough to estimate where the line will land. Either way, it won’t be a large line, no more than a field goal either way. Tampa Bay is 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings with Chicago since 2002, with three games going under the posted total. The Bucs lost to New England 35-7 in London two years ago, while the Bears have never played in Europe, so that could play into it.

We’re leaning towards the Bucs because as good as the Chicago line was on Sunday night, we can’t forget how bad they were for the rest of the season, so they need to do it a couple more times before we can have faith in them. The Bears won’t be able to load up and stop the running game as Freeman can hurt them through the air and he should be confident after his game against the Saints. You should take Tampa Bay in your sports betting book this weekend.

Bears Buccaneers Betting Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers


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