What flavor would you like for your NFL picks this week? Guava is the sharp choice: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are drawing big early action for their game against the heavily-favored New Orleans Saints.
Jason’s record after Week 4: 12-14 ATS, 5-4-1 Totals
Profit: minus-5.6 units
We love to say we told you so. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were on our Week 4 NFL betting menu as a strong “buy low” candidate against the self-destructing Pittsburgh Steelers. Even the sharps didn’t want too much to do with the Bucs – the early action was on the Steelers, as was the late action and most of the action in between. Tampa Bay won 27-24 as a 7.5-point road dog.
So what if we told you Tampa Bay was available at +11 this week? Now all the sharps on board: According to our NFL consensus reports, the Bucs were the unanimous choice at the open for their Sunday matinee at the Superdome (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are the most public team in football betting, and they have the same 1-3 SU and ATS record as Tampa Bay. Of course the sharps are interested, and the early flow of NFL picks supports this.
Mikey Is a Ladies’ Man
The reasons for betting on the Buccaneers are pretty much the same as they were last week. You just won’t get quite as much value out of them now that they’ve cracked the win column. The quarterback change from Josh McCown to Mike Glennon has borne fruit: Glennon (79.7 passer rating last week) didn’t produce a masterpiece against Pittsburgh, but he did do enough to keep Tampa Bay alive long enough for the Steelers (125 yards in penalties) to cough up the cash.
Sharps are also understandably interested in fading the Saints after yet another disappointing performance, this time against the Dallas Cowboys (+3 at home). Dallas was up 24-0 at the half as the New Orleans defense once again failed to show up. Now the offense is in question, as well. Left tackle Terron Armstead needs to pass the league’s concussion protocol if he’s going to suit up on Sunday. Center Jonathan Goodwin (ankle) is already missing from the offensive line – that’s the two most important positions on the line with a right-handed quarterback like Drew Brees.
He’s Got Crazy Flipper Fingers
Despite their loss, the Steelers were also a perfect 100 percent on the first consensus reports for Sunday afternoon’s road tilt (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Didn’t we just go through this? Well, sort of: Jacksonville is serving up bagels just like Tampa Bay was at 0-4 SU and ATS, but in this case, the Jaguars have already broken the seal on their new quarterback, Blake Bortles. It wasn’t enough to prevent the Jags (+13 away) to lose 33-14 to the San Diego Chargers.
And weren’t the Chargers supposed to fall apart after they lost center Nick Hardwick (neck) for the season? Well, they’re 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS this year, and our consensus reports show nearly 60 percent support for the Bolts in Sunday’s matchup (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS) against the New York Jets (1-3 SU, 0-3-1 ATS). Perhaps we’ll finally see Mike Vick take over for Geno Smith (75.1 passer rating) at some point during that game. The Jets have the defense and the running to compete if they can sort out their quarterback situation.
Finally, we have a Washington team (1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS) that might be having second thoughts about Kirk Cousins after he threw four second-half interceptions in a 45-14 loss to the New York Giants (+3 away). Next on the docket: the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks (2-1 SU and ATS), who will be fresh off a bye week. The sharps liked the sound of that, pounding the Seahawks at a 61-percent clip when they opened as 8-point road faves (+105). Action has evened out since then with the spread moving to nine points (+115). Hmmm… practically the same NFL odds when you factor in the juice. Very interesting indeed.