San Diego Chargers(4-4SU,4-4ATS) vs.Tampa Bay Buccaneers(4-4SU,6-2ATS)
Where:Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
byJeffHochman,Pro Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread: SD+3/TB -3
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The San Diego Chargers and Tampa BayBuccaneersare both looking to go over the .500 mark, and a possible run to the playoffs in this week 10match-up. Last Sunday, the Chargers completed the season sweep of the hapless Kansas City Chiefs. They won 31-13 as 7.5-point home favorites and out-gained the Chiefs by 50 yards. It was the first time this season the Chargers won the stats in two or more straight gamers. If anything, theChargersare consistent in manyareas. They are 4-4SU, 4-4 ATS, and 4-4 ITS (in the stats) this season. IfSan Diego wins this game, it would be just the second time they have won two or more games in a row all season. The Tampa BayBuccaneerswontheirsecond straight game in defeating the Raiders 42-32, as 1-point home dogs last week. They out-gained Oakland by 91 yards, and have now won the stats in four straight games after dropping the stats in their first four tilts.
Nobody really talks about the Buccaneers defense, especially the linebackers, as they are very athletic and pursue the ball really well. Tampa Bay will bring in the league’s top-ranked run defense, so the Chargers will need its offensive line to get their big bodies on these linebackers. Ryan Matthews will not have any space to do his thing, if the Chargers don’t pass the ball down field and losen up the Bucs defense. The Chargers aredinkinand ducking more this year than ever before. Antonio Gates needs a big game against a team that usually shuts down good pass-catching tight ends. The Chargers have only 12 TD passes this season. Look for Gates to be a factor in the red-zone, as the Chargers know they haven’t been targeting him nearly enoughin recent weeks.
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The big key for the Chargers will be shutting down Doug Martin. The rookie RB from Boise State has been the talkof theleague with his 251 yard week 9 performance. He has vision,power, speed, and can make people miss. He kind of reminds me ofEmmittSmith from the glory days of the Dallas Cowboys. San Diego will bring in theNFL’s4thbest ranked run defense. You can be sure that San Diego wants QB Josh Freeman to try to win the game rather than letMartin go off. Dough Martin does not fumble either.TheBucshave turned the ball over just seven times, while the Chargers have coughed it up 17 times through the first 9 weeks of the season. If this game comes down to the wire ball protection becomes more important.
Tampa Bay has been putting upsome huge numbers on offense. TheBucsoffense ranks first in yards per play (6.2) and they rank fifth in the NFL in points per game (28.2). Josh Freeman is having a nice bounce back season. He ranks second in the NFL with an average of 8.1 yards per pass attempt, fifth in Touchdown passes, and ninth in QB rating. Former Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson ranks seventh in receiving yards per game and TD receptions. Hehas beenhugefor Tampa’s resurgent offense. On the flip side, the Chargers defense has done a pretty good job. They are ranked fifth in rushing yards against and they rank 12thin passing yards against. They have struggled of late in stoppingthe passing attack though.Look for Philip Rivers to have a big day against a defense that allows eight yards per passattempt, which ranks 27thin the NFL
The Chargers are 7-1SUand 6-2 ATSvs. theBuccaneerswith their last victory coming in 2008. TheOver has cashed seven times in a row, with the highest posted total of 43 points back in 2004. Thatcontest went over the totalby 12 points and this game sets up as another high-scoring affair. The Chargers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games in week 10. The Over is 4-1 in the Chargers last five games. The Over is 5-0 in theBucslast five games. The Over is 5-2 in theBucslast seven home games.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Spread:San Diego Chargers +3 & Over 47
The Chargers have the better defense by 65 yards and theBucsare just 1-7-1 ATS as a non-conference favorite. This game should be a high-scoring as both pass defenses do allow big plays. This total is only 4 points higher than the total back in 2004. We have twoproductiveoffensesgoing against two suspect pass defenses of late. The weather should be fine.Take SD and the Over!
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