Let’s take a closer look at the NFL odds for this non-conference matchup at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 8, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX.
Better things to come
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the 2012 season with a 7-9 straight up (SU) and 10-5-1 against-the-spread (ATS) record under first-year head coach Greg Schiano, who left his collegiate post at Rutgers.
The Buccaneers are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 road games, with the OVER going on an 8-3 run in that situation.
The New York Jets are in rebuilding mode after missing the playoffs in two consecutive seasons, as it finished with a dismal 6-10 SU and 7-9 ATS record and was outscored by 94 points in 2012.
The Jets will try to snap an 0-4 ATS run at home, which is certainly possible due to grabbing the cash in their last four meetings with the Buccaneers.
NFL handicappers are certainly aware that the Buccaneers have one of the more balanced offenses in football, with quarterback Josh Freeman and running back Doug Martin leading the way.
Freeman set team records with 4,065 passing yards and 27 touchdowns a season ago, while Doug Martin entered the league and amassed 1,926 yards of total offense, including 1,454 on the ground.
For some reason, the national sports media is enamored with New York’s quarterback situation again, as former USC Trojans star Mark Sanchez likely has one more year to turn the corner.
He doesn’t have Tim Tebow around anymore, but the Jets did draft West Virginia signal-caller Geno Smith in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Buccaneers as one of their early Week 1 NFL picks, but please be aware that the Jets opened up as 2.5-point favorites in the betting odds on April 19—removing a lot of value in this selection.
Depending on what transpires in the offseason, I believe Tampa Bay could continue to receive action in the betting market, which is why I recommend a play at this level.
NFL Week 1 Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -1