New York Giants (4-4 SU, 4-3-1 ATS) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4 SU, 4-3 ATS)
NFL Week 9
Date/Time: Sunday, November 8, 4:05pm
Where: Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, Florida
by Bob, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NYG -2 / TAM +2
Over/Under Total: 47.5
This Sunday in warm Tampa, Florida, the New York Giants will come to town to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New York is coming off of a heartbreaking loss to the Saints in a game that saw them score 49 points…and lose. Those are always hard to swallow, especially in the NFL. Tampa on the other hand is coming off their best win of the season after they went into the Georgia Dome and upset the then 6-1 Atlanta Falcons in front of their home crowd. The Giants are 4-4, yet somehow still lead the NFC East division while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 3-4 and sit dead last in the NFC South division.
This line opens with the New York Giants as a two point road favorite over the Bucs. The total points for the over under are 47.5 combined. Currently, the action is being laid hard on the Giants. As of Tuesday at noon, eastern standard time, 71% of the action laid was on the Giants to cover while 59% thought the game would go over the 47 points. Against the spread this year, both teams are pretty even. The Giants are 4-3-1, while the Buccaneers are 4-3. This is one of those games that the average fan would think the Giants should be a 4.5-6.5 point favorite, so why such a tight spread? Lets take a closer look.
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The Giants are feeling extremely luck, or blessed, however you say it, to be in first place in the NFC East. They started the season 0-2, losing both games in heartbreaking fashion late in the fourth quarter. Since that 0-2 start, the G-Men have gone 4-2 and if not for Drew Brees throwing seven touchdowns in one game, they would probably be 5-1 over that span. However, the Giants are in first place and sit at 4-4. Every game is important to them though because the NFC East is a very tricky and interesting division. 8-8 this year could potentially win it, but getting over .500 would be a huge plus for New York. While checking the numbers on these two teams, I was shocked to notice that the New York Giants are actually the 5th best scoring team in the NFL putting up right at 27 a game. The defense however needs some work while letting opponents score 26 a game. This defensive number can be a little misleading seeing as how 52 points were scored in one game. I believe that to be an anomaly and it causes the number to look worse than it is, but regardless, the defense needs to shape up, especially in late game situations. The key this weekend for New York is the defense. They cannot allow Doug Martin and Jameis Winston to get rolling. New York needs to keep the Tampa offense off the field and take advantage of any mistakes the Bucs may make.
Tampa Bay is 3-4 but seem to be getting better and better each week. Winston is learning the quarterback position and the defense is making plays. Just last Sunday, they forced four Atlanta turnovers, although two of them were nothing more than Atlanta blunders, but still, Tampa recovered and took advantage of the situation. From a stats standpoint, the Bucs are pretty average. Actually, they are better than I expected in some areas. They are the 16th ranked scoring offense which puts them right in the middle of the NFL, and they boast the 4th best rushing attack while gaining over 130 yards a game on the ground. This weekend though, the focus needs to be on the defense. Everyone has made a huge deal about Drew Brees and his seven touchdowns, but lets not forget that in that game, it took a last second field goal for the Saints to win. Eli Manning nearly matched Brees pass for pass while himself throwing for six touchdowns and over 350 yards. Eli may have had the more impressive day seeing as how he threw zero interceptions to Brees’ two picks. Anyhow, point being, if Tampa allows Eli to do that again, game over.
This is a tough one. New York has been on the road now in the NFC South for a second straight week and maybe this has taken a toll on them. However, the only reason, and I mean the ONLY reason I am taking Tampa in this game is because of the betting public. There is way too much action on a side that seems too good to be true. Take the Bucs. They’ll win this game something like 23-21.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE TAMPA +2
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