NFL Week 3 Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, August 24, 2017 8:56 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 8:56 PM UTC

It's an old "NFC Norris" clash from the site of Super Bowl LII as Tampa Bay visits Minnesota. The Bucs of course moved to the NFC South in 2002.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings (TBA)

The Bucs were due to open the season on the road but Hurricane Irma changed that. They play away from home for the first time and their first-ever look at U.S. Bank Stadium. Survivor Pick: Minnesota.

We try to get this information out as early as possible, so I'm going to assume that quarterback Sam Bradford is playing for the Vikings -- if he's not, go ahead and take Tampa Bay on the spread and for a Survivor pick. Bradford sat out last week's visit to Pittsburgh with a bone bruise on his knee. Case Keenum got the start and was about as bad as one would expect in completing 20 of 37 for just 137 yards and a rating of 65.9 in a 26-9 loss. Never thought I'd say Bradford is a huge upgrade on any QB, but that's the case here. Bradford was great in a Week 1 win over the Saints, but then again every QB is great vs. the Saints. Tampa had its Week 1 game in Miami moved to Week 11 due to the hurricane, but the Bucs weren't rusty at all in crushing Chicago 29-7 last Sunday. Tampa Bay is a good team, but you can't take much from that because the Bears aren't good.

  • Buccaneers are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games in September.
  • Buccaneers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 14 points.
  • Vikings are 23-7 ATS in their last 30 home games.
Free NFL Pick: Vikings (if Bradford)Best Line Offered: Bovada

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The biggest improvement an NFL team makes is between Weeks 1 & 2 so we should have a better grasp of how good Tampa is after this game. Not to pile on the Bears, but nearly shutting them out doesn't float my boat. Jameis Winston and Mike Evans certainly looked in sync. The Vikings were one of the NFL's best defensive teams last year, but like any club plays better on that side of the ball at home. Offensively, Dalvin Cook has the most rushing yards (191) by any Vikings player in his first two career games, topping Adrian Peterson by 22. I would like the under here regardless of Bradford, but I'd bet my house on it if it's Keenum under center for any reason.

  • Under is 6-1-1 in Buccaneers last 8 games overall.
  • Under is 16-5 in Vikings last 21 vs. a team with a winning record.
Free NFL Pick: Under (Regardless)Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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