Lions Buccaneers Betting – Bucs Edge Lions In Meeting Of Playoff Darkhorses
Online betting players should definitely check out Sunday’s clash between Detroit and Tampa Bay, two young teams that many feel could crack the postseason with a few breaks. There could be a few mistakes made by both teams as they’re lacking in experience, but lean towards the Buccaneers in the Sunshine State.
What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, September 11th, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -1
Why Bet On Detroit Lions
The Lions may have gotten some NFL betting players excited with a 4-0 preseason, and while Detroit also did that in 2008 when they went 0-16, this team should be able to avoid the same fate. But their hopes are all based around one phrase: “if Matt Stafford can stay healthy”. The strong-armed quarterback looked great in the preseason, but until he can make it through a 16-game slate, the questions will be there. He has one of the best receivers in the game in Calvin Johnson and an improving tight end in Brandon Pettigrew, but the line has to keep him upright. Even without rookie Nick Fairley, the Lions are still strong on the defensive line with Ndamokung Suh, while Stephen Tulloch was brought in to strengthen the linebacking corps.
However, the Lions still have some work to do in the secondary, particularly at the corners, and up front, we’re not sure how Fairley will fare when he returns. Offensively, the Lions are being cautious with Jahvid Best, who is set to be Detroit’s feature back, but he has been battling a concussion. The Lions need a running back to open up the passing game for Stafford and company, but can Best stand up to the rigors of being an every-down back? Maurice Morris and Jerome Harrison will be waiting for their chance.
Why Bet On Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs surprised everyone with their 2010 success, and this year a playoff spot is in their crosshairs, although they’re in the tough NFC South with Atlanta and New Orleans. Josh Freeman looks to continue his ascent up the quarterback ladder, and he is remarkably poised for such a young pivot, which is why Tampa Bay always feels they have a chance if they can keep it close down the stretch. Running back LeGarrette Blount has to prove that last year was no fluke, and the same goes for second-year wideout Mike Williams, which will open things up for tight end Kellen Winslow. Defensively, the Bucs showed improvement through the 2010 season and received a major boost when cornerback Aqib Talib wasn’t suspended for off-field troubles. With the ever-dependable Ronde Barber on the other side, the Bucs have a solid corner duo and that is half the battle in the pass-happy NFL.
Tampa Bay is still pretty young on both sides of the ball, so they could be prone to mistakes throughout the season. The jury is still out on Blount, who will face a number of seven and eight-man fronts this year until he proves that he can keep defenses honest. Tampa Bay has to improve defensively if they hope to overtake the Falcons and Saints in the South, but they have to generate a pass rush as the Bucs were tied for second-worst in the NFL in terms of sacks last season.
How It Will Play Out
The Bucs are a slight 1-point favorite at home according to NFL betting odds, and last season they were just 3-5 ATS at Raymond James Stadium, while they were also 3-3 ATS as a favorite. The Lions were 5-3 ATS on the road in 2010 and 9-4 as an ATS underdog, and against Tampa Bay, Detroit is 2-3 SU in their last five meetings, but 4-1 ATS. Two games came in under the posted total, along with a push.
This is going to be an intriguing matchup of two of the NFL’s up-and-comers, as both teams have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but that talent still has some maturing to do. We have to lean towards the Bucs in a close one as they should be able to slow down the Lions’ passing game, and the matchup of Johnson and Talib out wide is going to be fun to watch. Look for Tampa Bay to grind out the game with Blount in the backfield, and take the Bucs in your sports betting book.
Lions Buccaneers Betting Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -1