Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2019 Betting Predictions, Odds and Expert Best Bets
Best Bet – Buccaneers over 6.5 Wins (-120)
Worst Bet – Buccaneers +3500 to win NFC
Tampa Bay is looking for a program reset. Last year they were able to move the ball through the air and score some points but their defense was so porous it seemed that no total on the board was ever enough. To get some better results they have decided to bring in veteran coach Bruce Arians. The team is not going to turn things all the way around in one season but Arians is an experienced guy who wants to win now. He may not be looking for a five year turnaround program but the Bucs have finished in last place in the division in 7 of the last 8 seasons so expectations may need to be tempered. The NFL is known for quick teams taking advantage of weak schedules combined with improvement to great effect, but there are limitations
QB Jameis Winston seems to always be at the center of attention. It happened in high school and at Florida State and with Tampa and not always for the best of reasons. He has proven to be a productive quarterback but is likely never going to be among the most efficient passers in the league. That makes him fun to watch even though he may never be a big winner. One thing he has proven so far is that he has a chemistry with WR Mike Evans and those two have connected often over their careers for big plays. Evans is one of the best receivers in the league and his size allows Winston to be less than precise all of the time. At running back there is a lot of buzz about RB Ronald Jones, formerly of USC. He has great athletic talent and most think Arians will unlock his potential in a sort of Alvin Kamara-lite kind of way. This was the top passing offense in the NFL last season and with Arians at the helm it could get even better if Jones excels and TE OJ Howard becomes what everyone thought he could be when he was drafted.
The defense was a sieve last season and they are hoping they have addressed it in a couple of ways. First they went defense with 6 of their 8 draft picks. First rounder Devin White is a super speedy linebacker who can cover a lot of ground and make up for mistakes. Mike Edwards, another player from the talent-rich SEC is expected to start at safety, making the middle of the Bucs defense much more formidable. With all that speed the Bucs are hoping they can also get more turnovers. The offense can be prolific but giving them more chances to put the ball in the end zone will yield more points. The second thing they did was bring in Todd Bowles as the defensive coordinator. When he was with Arians in Arizona he got the defense to be good enough to land him a head coaching job. He has a job to do here. His defenses are usually pretty aggressive, but he might not have the pass rush talent he has had to work with in the past.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Total Wins: O/U 6.5
When I go game by game this number looks really sharp. Tampa has a chance to get off to a good start with home games against the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants in weeks 1 & 3, but overall the schedule is tough and I am not sure I believe in Arians as a turnaround artist. Improvement might be more about Bowles and what he can do with the defense. He has proven to be a great coordinator in the past and they need him to work quickly. Recommendation: Over, but it is probably going to be tight.
Odds to make the playoffs: Yes +400 , No -600
The odds are clear that this is not really a likely outcome. It is hard to argue with that given their chances of even having a winning record or even winning the division. Tampa is on my short list of teams I think will be noticeably improved this season but this is too much to ask for from this team this season. Jameis would have to really be sharp all season long. In case you were wondering the Bucs have not made the playoffs since 2008. Recommendation: Take a pass.
Odds to win NFC South: +1200
I like this one a lot better than the above and not just because of the better payoff. The primary reason is that you get six division games that can really make or break whether you win it. Right now I see the Bucs going 2-4 in the division but if they flip that to 4-2 things get interesting really quickly. Factor in that payoff and this wager it way more interesting to take. Recommendation: Maybe combine with New Orleans but not with the same investment level.
Odds to win NFC Championship +3500
The odds here are big but I think they would have to be bigger to get my attention. Though I can see how Tampa is better I still don’t see them as being good enough to win in the playoffs. Obviously if they even made it there would have been improvement, but trusting Winston in the playoffs would be a real stretch and the defense would have to not only be better than it was a year ago it would have to be good. I don’t see adding a couple of rookies as making enough of a difference. Maybe next year. Recommendation: Pass
Odds to win Super Bowl 54: +8000
This is similar to the above. I might have actually liked their chances to make the playoffs and go on a run better if they had decided to go in a different direction at quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been known to go on hot streaks before which is why they call him “FitzMagic”. He is elsewhere this season and even though the payoff would be a sweet score I can’t get behind them winning it all with Winston.
Recommendation: Pass. There are better long shot teams out there.