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Rams Buccaneers Betting Tips – Bucs And Rams Find Themselves In No-Man's Land

Posted by Tony Bryant on 12/18/2012 5:40:49 PM

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost all hope of the playoffs, and last weekend, the St. Louis Rams encountered the same sad fate. These teams will slog through a now-meaningless game.

St. Louis Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sunday, December 23
Online betting line: Tampa Bay -3

Why St. Louis Will Win

In much the same way that an online poker game is unpredictable, the NFL throws curveballs all the time. Among members of the football cognoscenti, it was believed that at the beginning of the season, the St. Louis Rams would not amount to anything. This franchise was buried at the bottom of the NFC West and did not seem to have much of a future. It's true that the Rams won't make the playoffs again this season, but their outlook is so much brighter than what it used to be. New coach Jeff Fisher has this team primed for 2013. He has raised the bar in the Gateway City by making shrewd deals that gave the Rams more heft and strength in the trenches on both sides of the ball. This team's defense did get shredded this past Sunday by Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings, but then again, just about every NFL team has been punished by Peterson this season. That's no real reason to downgrade the Rams. At 6-7-1 this season, St. Louis can finish with a winning record if it can win its last two games. That's a powerful testament to the level of improvement the Rams have generated in 2012.

The other big reason to take St. Louis this upcoming Sunday is that Tampa Bay seems to be mentally checking out. The Buccaneers were 6-4, but they have now lost three straight. What has to be much more concerning for head coach Greg Schiano is that the Bucs lost at home to the lowly Philadelphia Eagles. This past Sunday's blowout loss at New Orleans was not too surprising – the Saints were angry and proud after being vindicated by former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue in a high-publicity hearing stemming from the bounty scandals of the offseason. However, it's that home-field loss to Philadelphia which should stick in a bettor's mind. Do you really trust Tampa Bay to win at home here?

Why Tampa Bay Will Win

When NFL betting commentators give this game a thorough examination, they will certainly take note of the Buccaneers' recent struggles, but they will also point out how poorly St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford performed this past Sunday against Minnesota. It was Bradford's pick-six in the second quarter which enabled Minnesota to take a commanding 17-point lead and run away from the Rams. Bradford has not been horrible this season, but he has been inconsistent enough to hurt his team on many occasions. His receivers, though, have also dropped lots of important passes – not just second-down passes near midfield in the second quarter, but touchdown-producing passes in third and fourth quarters. The Rams' passing attack does not suggest that they can outscore the Bucs on Sunday.

Who Will Win

It’s going to be a battle of teams that are suffering letdowns after falling out of the playoff hunt. The Rams, though, are experiencing a fresher kind of pain after being eliminated this past Sunday. Tampa Bay was eliminated the previous Sunday, so the Rams will likely hurt more and play at a lower level. Therefore, take Tampa Bay here.

NFL Football Betting Pick: Tampa Bay


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