Buccaneers 2018 Schedule Betting Breakdown: Tough Sledding Early

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 5:02 PM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 24, 2018 5:02 PM UTC

Tampa Bay's schedule ranks fourth overall based on last year’s win-loss records. Here’s a look at all the dates, including some spots to back and fade the Bucs against the spread.

Playing New Orleans, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh right out of the gate would be difficult for any team. For a club coming off a five-win season, it's downright brutal.

Below you will find the Buccaneers’ straight-up and against-the-spread records from last year’s NFL regular season, including average margin of victory, 2017 average odds, 2017 win totals and 2018 pre-scheduled figures, and projected strength of schedule using opponents’ combined record from 2017.

2017 SU Record: 5-11 (-2.9 avg. margin)

2017 ATS Record: 6-8-2 (-0.7 avg. margin)

2017 Average Line: 2.2

2017 Win Total: 8.5 (-120)

2018 Win Total 5Dimes (pre-schedule): 6.5 (-130)

2018 Strength of Schedule: 4, opponents were 136-120 (.531)

Three Games to Back ATS

Browns, Week 7; Bengals, Week 8; Giants, Week 11

Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter is a pedestrian 14-18 SU (15-15-2 ATS) since taking over in 2016. Nearly half the team’s wins have come squaring off in limited engagements against the league’s weakest. The Bucs are 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS in this span versus opponents with a -3.5 point differential or less the prior season. The defense stands tall, yielding 16.6 points per game. Three opponents fit the bill in 2018: the Browns (-11.0), Giants (-8.9), and Bengals (-3.7).

Three Games to Fade ATS

Steelers, Week 3; Panthers, Week 13; Falcons, Week 17

Quarterback Jameis Winston makes a ton of big plays down the field in Tampa Bay’s vertical passing offense. His performance, however, slips badly against successful pass rushes. Winton’s 85.5 percent passer rating against the blitz ranked 25th among his peers in 2017. Poor decision making and turnovers are an issue.

Here’s one situation to anticipate Winston’s poor showings in the betting market. The Bucs are 5-14 SU and ATS all-time with Winston under center against defenses that averaged more than 2.375 sacks per game the previous season. In 2017, the team went 0-5 SU and 1-3-1 ATS, losing by 8.4 points per game. Tampa averages 2.2 turnovers with Winston tossing 23 interceptions total. Yikes.

Trap Game Potential

Redskins, Week 10

Tampa Bay catches the Redskins at home following a pair of road tests at the Bengals and Panthers. Koetter is 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS in this spot. The Redskins also blitzed on 42 percent of snaps last season, the second-highest rate in the NFL. They will give Winston a lot of trouble. Look for Washington to sneak a win here.

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