Denver Broncos (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS)
NFL Week 4
Date/Time: Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 4:05 PM EST
Where: Raymond James Stadium
by Jeff Hochman, Professional Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread:DEN -3/ TB +3
The Denver Broncos will look to stay undefeated when they travel to the Sunshine State in this Week four matchup against the Buccaneers. Last Sunday, Denver defeated the Bengals 29-17 as 3-.5-point underdogs. Trevor Siemian had a career day throwing for four touchdowns with 312 passing yards. Denver outgained the Bengals by 23 yards and sit 1-2 ITS (in the stats) this season. Tampa Bay is coming off a disappointing loss against the Rams, after getting crushed by the Arizona Cardinals two weeks ago. In fact, there were plenty of professional bettors and sharp handicappers that loved the Buccaneers last week. We all know they lost to the Rams 37-32 as 4-point home chalk, in a wild game that was delayed by Lightning late in the 4th quarter. The good news for Tampa Bay is the fact they outgained the Rams by 152 yards and enjoyed a 30/17 First-Down advantage. Jameis Winston had a field day against he Rams' pass defense, throwing for 405 and three touchdowns. He threw 58 passes, but completed just 36. Not good. Tampa Bay really misses RB Doug Martin who remains OUT with a bad hammy. The Buccaneers are also 1-2 ITS this season.
There are certain games during the season where you look at the line and you think you know the right side, but actually Vegas is setting a trap. This is one of two games on the slate where the odds-makers are begging you to bet the favorite. Don't fall for it. Take last week for example, when the Arizona Cardinals were "only" -4 (closed at -3.5) points at Buffalo. You know what happened. The Bills won outright. The Broncos' defense has play-makers at all three levels and the offense has been surprisingly efficient with a rookie QB under Center. They have scored 84 points in their three wins, while surrendering just 57 points. The +27 point differential ranks third. Only the Eagles and Patriots are better. This will be Denver's second consecutive road game after three very impressive wins and covers. The Buccaneers will be playing its second consecutive home game after losing SU and ATS in their very last game. This NFL betting system has been very profitable over the years.
I think Tampa Bay will look to run the ball more with Charles Sims, Peyton Barber, and Jacquizz Rogers. This will have a two-prong affect. First, Tampa Bay can shorten the game, keeping its defense fresh for the 4th quarter. Second, they will be able to set up some big passing plays later in the game. Jameis Winston has quarterback rating near 90 on all play-action passes in his career. If you haven't seen him play you must. Winston is definitely a franchise QB and one of the 10 best in the entire league right now. A successful running game will certainly enhance the Buccaneers' chances of pulling off the upset. This game is basically the Buccaneers' Super Bowl, playing against the defending Champs, while not wanting to start the season 1-3.
The public is all over the Broncos in this game. At one high-limit sportsbook, 90% of the bets are on Denver. At another, 83% of the money is on the road team. The general public only remembers what they saw last week. A big mistake when handicapping NFL games. Keep this in mind. Jo Public bets teams while us wise guys bet numbers. This line may go up so I would wait it out. I don't see this going below 3, barring a major injury in practice. I saw that the Buccaneers are 10-5-2 ATS as a home underdog against undefeated teams. It would not shock me if the Broncos won by 3 points or less. Tampa Bay at +4 or +4.5 would be very attractive so let the public drive up the price. Lets see where it goes this Weekend.
Denver is 9-2 SU and 7-3-1 ATS when the line is +3 to -3 over the last three seasons. Tampa Bay is 3-14 SU and 5-12 ATS in home games over the last three seasons. Those trends are meaningless as the Buccaneers now have a franchise QB and improving talent on both sides of the ball. The Broncos are 2-3 ATS as road underdogs of 3 points or less over the last three years. You can be sure all the sportsbook managers and bookmakers will be rooting for the home team in this one. You should too.
Jeff's Pick to Cover the Point Spread:Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3
Yes, the Broncos look very good while the Buccaneers look awful. So why is the spread just 3 points? I think this is a classic trap line. The Broncos do have some issues to work out. The secondary and offensive line could be missing some key contributors. Second straight long road trip for the defending Super Bowl Champions. Tough. The Buccaneers have to be motivated after allowing 37 points to the Rams at home last week. Should be more focused in this one!
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