Cleveland Browns vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick
Cleveland Browns (2-3 SU, 4-2 ATS) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS)
NFL Football Week 7
Date and Time: Sunday, October 21st, 1:00pm EST
Where: Raymond James Stadium - Tampa Bay, FL
By: Bob Clark, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CLE +3/TB -3 (Bovada)
Over/Under Total: 50
BROWNS AT BUCS…INTRODUCTION
Well, it is safe to say that the Cleveland Browns are finally improving. They have already won two games in 2018 and they were very close to getting another couple of wins as well. This weekend, Cleveland will travel south to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who themselves are having some issues as of late.
Although the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost three straight games, they are favored in this week’s game against the Cleveland Browns. Tampa is a three point favorite at home while the total points are set at 50 total combined between the two teams. The betting public so far likes Tampa in this one. 66% of the documented action is on Tampa Bay to get the home cover. As for the total points, I do not even want to touch it. The public is about 50/50 and I am torn on which way to lean, so I will just be picking the actual spread in this one.
KEYS FOR THE BUCCANEERS
I called it. Remember the first couple of weeks when Tampa was winning games and Ryan Fitzpatrick was looking like an MVP? LOL…yeah, what a joke that was. I knew without a doubt that this team would crumble and I do not see it getting any better anytime soon. Luckily for the Bucs, they get to play a team this week that is still trying to learn how to win games on a regular basis. After losing last week to Atlanta and giving up about a million yards to Matt Ryan, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers parted ways with defensive coordinator, Mike Smith. They decided it was time to go a new direction seeing as how the defense had been getting shredded week after week. Taking over for Mike Smith will be Mike Duffner who previously was the linebackers coach under Smith.
So obviously the defense is a huge key for Tampa to have any success this weekend. Not only that, but these guys need to just play better football all around. Jameis Winston is back as the starting quarterback and against the Falcons he looked decent at best. Winston passed for nearly 400 yards and four scores but he also threw two interceptions, one which came on the Falcons seven yard line that could have been the game changer. The Buccaneers are still the NFL’s top passing attack but the yards mean nothing if you cannot score and you continue to make mistakes. Tampa needs a clean game. Solid defense, no turnovers, no special teams blunders and then I could see them winning this game easily.
KEYS FOR THE BROWNS
As much as I despise Ohio sport teams, I cannot help but show a little love and support to this year’s Cleveland Browns. Finally these guys are improving and you can see that in the coming future, they may actually have themselves a pretty good little team up there. For this game against the Bucs, the Browns just need to protect the ball and control the tempo. Cleveland loves establishing the run and slowing the game down and that is exactly what they need to do on Sunday, especially against a team that has the defensive struggles that Tampa has. Not only that, but Baker Mayfield, the Cleveland signal caller MUST MUST MUST protect the ball. Mayfield has shown signs that he can be a legit QB in this league, but four touchdowns, five interceptions, and three fumbles…that ratio needs to improve and I am pretty sure with time it will. Not only does the Cleveland offense need to expose Tampa’s bad D, but the Browns defensive front needs to get after Jameis Winston. Winston is prone to making mistakes, especially when under pressure. If the Cleveland defense can force turnovers, it will make Tampa have a very bad day.
Although Cleveland is nowhere near a good team yet, I think they are catching Tampa at just the right time. Not only do I think Cleveland goes into Raymond James Stadium and covers, I think they win outright. It will be ugly, it will be gritty, but Cleveland is going to walk away with a 24-22 win on Sunday afternoon. Tampa has hit a low point in 2018 and not only will they lose this game, but I can see them totally falling apart and making a coaching change come the offseason.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE CLEVELAND BROWNS +3