Game-by-Game Predictions for Buccaneers Win Totals

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 7:32 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jul. 22, 2014 7:32 PM GMT

Can Tampa Bay Buccaneers defy the odds and challenge meaningfully in a tough NFC South division? Some NFL experts and analysts seem to think so, going so far as to suggest they’d experience a renaissance season as did the Chiefs and Panthers last season. Indeed, odds makers chalk the line at 6.6 regular season wins with the Over favoured significantly.

Buccaneers to have renaissance
A complete overhaul, top to bottom, of the Buccaneers has many spotting the Tampa Bay franchise in the upcoming NFL season. From new coach Lovie Smith and new General Manager Jason Licht to whole sale changes to the team, it’s a brand new Buccaneers set to launch on the NFL 2014-2015 season.

It’s a tough NFC South division make no mistake, where the battle for top spot has been fierce historically. Tamp Bay only rallied to a 4-12 mark last season, well behind the top tandem of Carolina (12-4) and New Orleans (11-5) – both of which advanced into the post season. Challenging for top spot this season is a bit of a stretch, therefore, particularly as the New Orleans Saints are poised to take over the division according to odds makers at fancied +140 NFL odds. Where the Buccaneers good potentially make it interesting is the battle for second place, a battle slated between them and the Panthers according to NFL experts.

 

Week 1 vs. Carolina Panthers
The opening clash against divisional rivals Carolina Panthers is the perfect opportunity for the Buccaneers to make good on all the hype. Cam Newton had ankle surgery during the offseason, so there is a chance he might not be 100% or even fit enough to start. What’s more, the Panthers have undergone big changes as well, none of which deemed improvements. All this together points to a possible statement-making home win.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 2 vs. St Louis Rams
Few teams enjoy playing the St. Louis Rams –as their moniker indicates they have a penchant to ram the opposition, apply the pressure as few teams can. But the Bucs will be at home and the Rams didn’t travel well last season, going only 2-6 on the road. Importantly, newly acquired quarterback Josh McCown could be the difference. He’s not flashy but he’s calm under pressure. He should handle the Rams better than Mike Glennon did in the 23-13 defeat to St. Louis on the road last December.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 3 @ Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons had a similar 4-12 season, which included a 3-5 record at home and a 1-7 record on the road. One of those rare home wins on the season came at the expense of the hapless Buccaneers in Week 6, down in the doldrums after a five-game losing streak to open the 2103 season and mired in strife on and off the field. The Bucs turned the tables later in the season, to split the series. Both sides are looking to turn their fortunes around this season and each has taken steps towards that objective in the offseason, making this a coin toss of a game. If forced to make a decision, the balance tips in favour of the Bucs in our opinion.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 4 @ Pittsburgh Steelers
At first glance, this game would appear to be a straightforward win of the hosts. Granted Buccaneers are improved since last season, but beating the Steelers on their turf is going to be a tough ask for Lovie Smith and Company to orchestrate.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 5 @ New Orleans Saints
It’s the Superdome: the least welcoming Stadium in the league. The Saints went 8-0 last season on home ground and it was no fluke they did. Need we say more?
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 6 vs. Baltimore Ravens
If the Buccaneers are going to take an “elite” win on the season, it could come against the Ravens, a side that hasn’t travelled all that well in recent seasons, not least of which last term when they went only 2-6 on the road. If Flacco has one of his off travelling days, the Bucs could take the win.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 7 - Bye

 

Week 8 vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings have too many question marks hanging over them going into the season, prompting rather low expectations. Then again, they have Adrian Peterson, amongst several others. It remains to be seen how well the Vikings play this season, if they’ll be better than their 5-11 mark on 2013. In any event, this should be a close affair. Bucs should win but Vikings could get one over the Bucs at home. It’s a tossup.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 9 @ Cleveland Browns
Just like the Bucs, the Browns have undergone key changes in the offseason. The difference: the Bucs have more established talent, the Browns are in the process of developing and harnessing talent. On balance, the Bucs should have the advantage and that could deliver the road win.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 10 vs. Atlanta Falcons
Last season, the pair split the series with each winning at home. The Bucs have the look of a team headed in the right direction in the NFC South; hence, we think they have it in them to sweep the series against the Falcons this season.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 11 @ Washington Redskins
The Redskins and Buccaneers have matched up rather well over the last few meetings, delivering close contests and thrilling football. This could go either way, but we like the Bucs to take this one on the road, especially if they’ll be in the position to make a playoff push.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 12 @ Chicago Bears
Josh McCown vs. Jay Cutler serves as a rather interesting matchup, don’t you think now that they are on opposite sides. Which way this one goes, is anybody’s guess, but forced to make a choice, we’re giving it to the hosts. Chicago went 8-8 last season, which included a 5-3 record at home. Beating the Bears at home will take some doing by the Bucs, indeed.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 13 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are coming off a solid season behind an 11-5 record and a playoffs berth, largely down to home form that was scintillating (8-0). On the road, Andy Dalton is a bit of an enigma, from game-to-game he blows hot and cold. He can carry a side to victory. Similarly, carry them to defeat. It remains to be seen how well they play this season on the road. That said, on paper, they do have the edge being solid on both sides of the ball.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 14 @ Detroit Lions
At first glance, this isn’t going to be an easy matchup for the Buccaneers. Lions were third in passing attack last season (280.1), sixth against the run (99.8) and 17th in rushing (112.0) amongst other variables. Then again, the Bucs did upset the Lions 24-21 last season after intercepting Matthew Stafford three times. Lions have had a proclivity to self-destruction in recent seasons – they went 4-12 in 2012, 7-9 in 2013. Bucs could do some damage again in Detroit this season, especially when considering there is more talent this season on the bench.
NFL Pick: Win

Week 15 @ Carolina Panthers
The second meeting in the series between the Buccaneers and Panthers hinges on what sort of offense the Panthers bring to the table. Many believe the Panthers will struggle this season, be lost potent on offense than they were last season. If that becomes the case, the Buccaneers could potentially win this road game to sweep the series.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 16 vs. Green Bay Packers
The most lethal offense in the league descends on Tampa Bay in December. If Aaron Rodgers is healthy and 100% fit, he could lead the Packers to a big road win at the expense of the Bucs.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 17 vs. New Orleans Saints
Last season, the Saints swept the series winning 16-14 on the road and 42-17 at home. They close the season on the road in Tampa where, by all accounts, they should be the favourites to win straight up.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

NFL Betting Verdict
While we have the Buccaneers closing the season on back-to-back losses, overall the prognosis appears good with a generous 10-6 mark on the season, a feat that would see the Buccaneers go well beyond the forecasted 6.5 chalk line by odds makers. So you can back the Over at -160 on your NFL Picks or, if you disagree with our predictions, you can back the Under at +130. 

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