Oakland Raiders (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS)
NFL Week 8
Date/Time: Sunday, October 30, 2016 1:00 PM EDT
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
by Keith, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OAK +1/TB -1
Over/Under Total: 49
The Oakland Raiders (5-2) will travel to Tampa, Florida to square off with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3) in an AFC/NFC showdown set for a 1:00 PM kick-off to be aired on FOX. The Raiders come in off a 33-16 win at Jacksonville, while the Bucs come in off a 34-17 win at San Francisco. The Bucs enter on a two-game winning streak while the Raiders boast the second seed in the AFC currently behind the New England Patriots who stand at 6-1 respectively.
A series of proficient draft classes is finally starting to pay off for the up-start Raiders. Featuring talent such as Khalil Mack, Derek Carr, Michael Crabtree and Amare Cooper, the Raiders have been on a tear as of late and continue to show their relevance in the AFC as a contender for both the West division and a wild-card berth. Let us not also forget highly-touted fantasy star running back Latavius Murray who has emerged as an offensive weapon out of the backfield. The Raiders own wins this season over New Orleans, as well as Tennessee, Baltimore and San Diego. The Raiders have fallen to both Kansas City and Atlanta at home despite boasting a perfect 4-0 road record.
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The Buccaneers have since revived their season after starting off at 1-3. The Bucs feature a dynamic wide receiver in Mike Evans. The Buccaneers own wins at Carolina and Atlanta, showcasing their supremacy within their division. Conversely, the Bucs have struggled when they have lost as the Cardinals, Broncos and Rams all had their way with the Bucs defense scoring at least 27 points in each of those fixtures. Since then, the Buccaneers have clamped down after losing three in a row and since won their last two, showing great improvement in a very short span of time. Tampa Bay features a former Heisman winner and College Football National Champion in Jameis Winston at quarterback who has since evolved in to one of the NFLs rising stars.
This one should be an explosive offensive shootout as the primary strengths of both teams rests in their offensive abilities. These two teams can easily go off for a combined 60 points, so 49 is a very friendly offering. To the naked eye, this market seems like a gift to any Raiders taker. When we say it seems too good to be true, it almost always often is. The Raiders are undefeated on the road this season, so many would ask why are they a dog at Tampa Bay when the Bucs are 0-2 at home in their own right.
Very simple, the book is aware of something and that is why the market is set up and shaped the way that it is. Oakland could have easily lost at New Orleans in Week One be that they won by just a point. A similar narrative transpired in Baltimore when once again the Raiders squeaked out a victory against the Ravens. For all intent and purposes, the Raiders could easily be 3-4 and be a heavy pooch in this game be that the Buccaneers have since won games in convincing fashion. Typically in games primed to be shootouts, the home team has the advantage be that games of this nature often finish with the last possession being the deciding one. If that were the case, home field advantage would certainly aid the Bucs by hook or by crook. Oakland is an excellent football team but they are not a franchise that is a true number two seed by any stretch. The Raiders have taken advantage of a weak schedule against teams with vulnerable defenses and made the most of it. Contrarily, Tampa Bay lost to some quality opponents in both Arizona and Denver while managing to pull off wins at both Carolina and Atlanta. The .500 record up to this point actually bears good signs for a young Tampa Bay team. This contest will serve as a great measuring stick to determine the true status of both of these teams and with that being said we are keen to go in on Tampa Bay spotting the incremental point.
KEITHs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAMPA BAY -1 and OVER 49
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