NFL Picks: Low-Scoring Game Expected Between Buccaneers & Redskins

Jason Lake

Friday, October 23, 2015 11:51 PM GMT

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are bad at a lot of things. Washington is surprisingly competent at just about everything. Figuring out Sunday's NFL picks won't be easy.

Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 23: 22-15 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 14-24 Total
How bad is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense? They didn't even score a single point last week. Okay, that's because they had the week off, but still. According to Football Outsiders, Tampa Bay ranks No. 31 overall (No. 31 pass, No. 23 rush) in offensive efficiency heading into Week 7. Rookie QB Jameis Winston has been one of the very worst quarterbacks in the league – not as bad as Peyton Manning, mind you.

The Tampa juggernaut collides with Washington this Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX), a team that's risen into the top half of the table in defense at No. 13 overall (No. 11 pass, No. 16 rush). The Buccaneers also have a 50-percent chance of getting soaked, according to Sunday's weather reports for Landover. That gets us at least part of the recipe we need to put the UNDER in our NFL picks. Will we bake this cake, or will this cake bake us?

 

Lowered Expectations
The sharps are already lining up for a slice. This total opened at 44 points on our NFL odds board, and after nearly two-thirds of bettors landed on the UNDER, most books at press time have adjusted downward to 42.5 points. Good to know that we're on the right side of recent history, but we've lost value on the UNDER now that it's off the somewhat magical numbers of 44 and 43.

We're also not getting much support from the other side of the ball. Washington's No. 18-ranked offense (No. 10 pass, No. 29 rush) does have some warts, and Tampa Bay's No. 15-ranked defense (No. 24 pass, No. 11 rush) has been somewhat competent, but as you can see by those pass/rush splits, Washington's strength plays to Tampa Bay's weakness. Kirk Cousins could end up having another one of those monster days for D.C.

 

Reed-Option Offense
That's if the Washington Redskins can put together a healthy team around Cousins. It isn't time for fans to panic yet, but LT Trent Williams missed last week's game against the New York Jets with a concussion, and TE Jordan Reed has missed two games with the same malady. While both players could return this week, WR DeSean Jackson is out with a hamstring injury, and RB Chris Thompson (back) is listed as doubtful.

Washington also has injury concerns at the corners with both DeAngelo Hall (toe) and Chris Culliver (knee) expected to miss Sunday's game, so we could still see Tampa Bay put some points on the board. We're betting the UNDER anyway. There aren't nearly enough reasons to do otherwise, neither on the field nor in the skies above Landover. Let's crank up the orgone generators, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

NFL Pick: Take UNDER 43 at Bovada

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