Los Angeles Rams (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date/Time: Sunday, September 25th, 2016 at 4:05PM EST
Where: Raymund James Stadium – Tampa, FL
by Bob, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: LA +4 / TB -4
Over/Under Total: 41.5
This Sunday is one of those rare east coast games that will kickoff at 4:00pm rather than the usual 1:00pm. The Los Angeles Rams who are 1-1 will head into Raymund James Stadium to take the also 1-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In week one Tampa’s offense looked like world beaters against the Falcons, while the Rams had a hard time even getting a first down in their 28-0 loss to San Francisco. In week two, while the Rams offense still was not clicking, they were able to sneak out a 9-3 win against the Seattle Seahawks. Tampa in week two got their first loss of 2016 when they went down to the Arizona Cardinals 40-7. This game is interesting because I really do not know what to think about either team.
The line sits with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a four point favorite at home over the Rams. The total points are set at 41.5 combined. For some reason, there is much action on Tampa to get the road cover. 64% like the Bucs to get the win over the Rams while 56% like it to stay under the total of 41.5.
The Rams are back in LA and people are loving it. What they are not loving is the absolute lack of offense. From the play of quarterback Case Keenum to the fact that Pro Bowl running back, Todd Gurley, has not even gained 100 yards…on the season. Not to mention, the LA Rams through two games, have not scored a touchdown…not one. This is bad, real bad. Oh, and there is more. The Rams had the number one overall pick in the NFL draft and took quarterback Jared Goff. There are rumblings now that Goff may not even play in 2016. This is a mess. We could potentially see Cleveland and Los Angeles again battling for the number one pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. The one bright spot for the Rams is the fact that their defense has actually played pretty well. They lost week one to the 49ers 28-0 but I put much of that blame on the offense who not only put the defense in bad spots, but also gave them no time to rest. Against the Seahawks, the defense was lights out. The key this weekend is to get some offense. The offensive line needs to create lanes for Todd Gurley to get going. If Gurley can get back to his usual ways, then Case Keenum will be able to use playaction to create bigger plays under center. Defense, just keep doing what you’re doing.
Tampa Bay came out against Atlanta in the Georgia Dome and looked pretty good. Actually they looked really good on offense. Winston threw for four touchdowns and 281 yards passing against the Falcons defense. Against the Cardinals…not so fast. Jameis Winston threw for just one score and four interceptions against the Cardinals defense. Not only that, running back Doug Martin underwent an MRI on his hamstring and he will be out for this weekend’s game. Honestly, I do not see that as too big of an issue only because Tampa is playing a Rams team that cannot buy a score. If the Tampa Bay defense just keeps the Rams in check, Winston and Company will be able to get enough points to at least escape with a win. It may only take 13 points to win and cover this game.
Doug Martin for Tampa is their key injury. Ryan Smith, Luke Stocker, and Devonte Bond are all questionable and appears will play. For the Rams, wide outs Pharoh Cooper and Nelson Spruce are also listed as questionable and no decision has yet been made on either. I have a feeling both dress and play.
I am not sold on Tampa being a good or great team just yet, but this Rams offense is putrid so far. I like Tampa to win this game something like 20-10 and go to 2-1 on the season as well as cover the four.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE TAMPA BAY -4 AND UNDER THE POSTED TOTAL OF 41.5
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