Pro Football Pick Against The Spread - L.A Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccs Players Celebrate

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 9:04 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2016 9:04 PM UTC

It's a matchup of 1-1 teams on Sunday in Tampa as the Los Angeles Rams make the cross-country trip to face the Buccaneers in a late-afternoon start. That time does matter. Here's our NFL Pick.

Rams What To Watch For
That this is a 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff instead of Tampa's usual 1 p.m. ET home game is important because the Rams are in their first year as a West Coast team and those clubs often struggle with the 10 a.m. Pacific time kickoffs. So that's a break for L.A.

Is this the week the Rams finally score a touchdown? I believe yes, although that's not going out on a limb. After being shut out in a putrid offensive performance in Week 1 at San Francisco, the Rams managed only three field goals last week in their first official game back in Los Angeles but upset Seattle 9-3. The Rams defense limited the Seahawks to 306 yards and one field goal in their third straight victory against Seattle. The Rams are the only team without a touchdown in 2016.

Case Keenum was better in Week 2, going 18-for-30 for 239 yards with no turnovers. But he's still the NFL's lowest-rated quarterback by far at 57.8 and has thrown for 369 total yards, the fewest of any QB who has played two full games. Keenum will start against the Bucs because No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff simply isn't ready yet. After being inactive for Week 1, Goff was the primary backup vs. Seattle so he's one hit from making his NFL debut. Thus we could see a matchup of the past two top overall picks with Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston the No. 1 pick last year.

The Rams have an interesting streak going. They have been 1-1 in each of the past four seasons but lost the third game in all four -- scoring seven points  or fewer in three of those.

L.A. is 1-1 ATS on NFL odds and 0-2 O/U.


Bucs What To Watch For
Tampa Bay (1-1) followed an impressive 31-24 win in Atlanta in Week 1 by laying an egg last Sunday in Arizona in being blown out 40-7. Winston threw four touchdown passes against the Falcons but looked more like a 22-year-old against the Cardinals in completing 27-for-52 for 243 yards, one touchdown, four picks and a rating of 39.2.

More bad news from that game: Bucs top tailback Doug Martin, the NFL's second-leading rusher in 2015, suffered a hamstring injury and is expected to miss three weeks. Tampa will turn to Charles Sims as the primary back and newly-signed Jacquizz Rodgers as a change-of-pace guy. Sims has rushed 13 times for 33 yards this season with six catches for 36 yards and a touchdown. Sims had nearly 1,100 yards from scrimmage in 2015.

This is Tampa's home opener. The Bucs last won one in 2012 and were slaughtered 42-14 by Tennessee last year. Meanwhile, the Bucs have lost each of the past four seasons to the Rams. Last year it was 31-23 in St. Louis, the Rams' final game in that city. Winston threw for 363 yards and two TDs with a pick. Mike Evans caught nine for 157. Martin rushed for 91 yards. Keenum threw for 234  yards and two scores for the Rams.

The Buccaneers are 1-1 ATS on NFL picks and 1-1 O/U.

Picks: Really like the Bucs to finally beat the Rams and love the 'under.' Tampa is 10-4 ATS in its past 14 after an ATS loss. The 'under' is 8-1 in the Rams' past nine after a win. It is 5-1 in the past six meetings. 

Remember to visit SBR's list of top rated sportsbook bonuses to see for yourself who is offering the best deal on the web. 

Free NFL Picks: Buccaneers -5.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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