The great season continues for readers of this blog.
Carolina and Tampa Bay went well over and the Chargers got the job done on the road at Seattle for a 2-0 Week Nine result. My NFL record is now 9-3 +8.92x entering Week Ten.
My first bet for Week Ten is Tampa Bay may look ugly at first glance, but the upside is tremendous.
Tampa Bay has a horrendous defense.
The market value of the defense took a huge blow against the Carolina Panthers where Cam Newton and company toyed with them for the better part of the opening three quarters. The Buccaneers rank 30th in passing defense success rate and 24th in rushing defense success rate.
There is an upside and a downside to every bet, and the Buccaneers defense is definitely the downside to this bet.
I think the downside is mitigated this week due to the Redskins offensive make up.
Tampa Bay has struggled overall, but much of their issues have come defending pass-catching running backs. No team has faced a more daunting schedule of opposing pass-catching backs. So far this season Tampa Bay has faced Christian McCaffrey, Joe Mixon, Duke Johnson, Tarik Cohen, James Conner and Alvin Kamara.
Outside Todd Gurley, the Bucs have faced the murders row of dynamic backs.
In total, they have allowed at least 100 yards to backs in all but one game, and given up 1,100 yards to backs in 8 games combined between the ground and air.
With Chris Thompson expected to be on the sidelines, the Redskins will be the first “traditional” offense the Buccaneers will have faced this season. Adrian Peterson has been targeted by Alex Smith just 15 times in 7 games.
With no dynamic back to deal with, the Buccaneers can simplify their defensive game plan and stay disciplined.
Tampa Bay has struggled the past couple of weeks defending misdirection. While Peterson is not an exclusive between the tackles runner (55 carries off tackle this season), the Buccaneers can make him a one-dimensional off tackle runner this Sunday due to the injury concerns.
Washington is dealing with as bad of a cluster injury on the offensive line as you will ever see.
Shaun Lauvao (59th graded guard in the NFL), Brandon Scherff (18th graded guard in the NFL) and Trent Williams (14th graded tackle in the NFL) are all ruled out for Sunday. Morgan Moses, the fourth offensive line starter on the injury report has missed both days of practice this week. The Redskins SIGNED three different offensive linemen this week to make up for the huge hole.
There is a very good chance that come Sunday the Redskins offensive line will be Chase Roullier (24th graded in the league), one backup tackle and three new free agent signings with no team experience.
This is a massive set back for the Redskins ground game and will certainly stymie their offense.
The upside in this game becomes the Tampa Bay offense. Given the state of the Redskins offense, the cover won’t require a massive output from the Buccaneers offense. There is little doubt the team is much more explosive under Ryan Fitzpatrick. In his starts, the team has picked up 136% of their opponents average allowance per play in the air.
The Redskins are as overrated of a team as there is in the NFL.
Despite their record and off-field praising, the defense as a whole rank as the 17th most efficient team in the league, and allows opponents to gain 110% of their average gain in the air.
This gets even less impressive considering these numbers came against an average opposing schedule of offense.
Mike Evans and Peyton Barber both are expected to play after beginning the week on the injury report, which means the Redskins will have to face a loaded Tampa Bay offense.
In three other games against Top 10 offenses this year, the Redskins allowed 98 points, 6.8 yards per play and a 54% success rate. Add in the suffocating extreme heat forecasted in Tampa Bay for Sunday and there is little doubt in my mind the Buccaneers put up enough points to get the win and cover. The line move is well validated and taking Tampa Bay at -2.5 is well worth the wager.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers -2.5 (1.78) risking 1.28x
Adam was a guest on the Matchbook Betting Podcast this week as he joined Nat Coombs Mike Carlson and Matchbook’s Sully to preview Week 10 of the NFL season. If you haven’t already subscribed, search for ‘Matchbook Betting Podcast’ on your preferred podcasting app.