Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Baltimore Ravens Pick
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-8 SU, 5-7-1 ATS) vs. Baltimore Ravens (7-6 SU, 7-6 ATS)
When: December 16, 2018, 1:00 PM EST
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
BY: Rick Wise
Point Spread: TB +8/BAL -8 (MyBookie)
Takeaways From Week 14
The Bucs dropped to 5-8 after a 28-14 loss to the New Orleans Saints Sunday in which they squandered an 11-point second half lead.
The Tampa Bay offense came into the game with the NFL’s top-ranked total offense and passing game but after starting strong and racing out to a 14-3 halftime lead they were shut out in the last two frames. They finished with season lows in total yards (274) and passing yards (174). Jameis Winston also struggled. He connected on just 47.4% of his passes, finishing 18-of-38 for 214 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception, and completely missed the mark on a lot of big throws.
On the other side of the ball, the Bucs defense also fizzled out after dominating the Saints’ sixth-ranked offense for two quarters. They allowed just 104 total yards and a field goal in the first half, but then disappeared halfway through the third quarter and surrendered 25 unanswered points and 184 yards of offense.
Meanwhile, the Ravens lost a heartbreaker 27-24 to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in a game they seemed to have control of until the very end.
Lamar Jackson didn’t get the win but he may have scored a moral victory. He finished 13-of-24 for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns passing and added another 71 yards on the ground. More importantly, though, Jackson was much more of a passer in this game than he had been in his first two starts, attempting 24 passes to 13 runs.
Defensively, the Ravens came up with the right formula for containing Patrick Mahomes and almost got it done. Defensive coordinator Don Martindale employed a mix of three and four man rushes and unconventional blitzes that kept Mahomes off-balance until late in the fourth quarter. If not for a ridiculous 4th down conversion by Mahomes near the end of regulation, Martindale’s gameplan would have gone down as a complete success.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Baltimore Ravens have played each other just five times, with their first meeting coming in 2001. They last squared off in 2014, a game which Baltimore won big 48-17. The Ravens lead the series 3-2.
For Tampa, listed as questionable for Sunday’s game are S Isaiah Johnson (concussion) and S Justin Evans (toe).
For Baltimore, listed as questionable for Sunday are QB Joe Flacco (hip), S Tony Jefferson (ankle), G Alex Lewis (shoulder) and LB Tim Williams (ankle).
When the Bucs have the Ball
Jameis Winston was intercepted on a desperation heave into the end zone with one tick left on the clock against the Saints or he would have made it three straight games without a pick. So, he’s trending in the right direction after throwing at least two interceptions in four of his first five starts this season. As a whole, Tampa dropped one slot to the league’s second-ranked offense but still owns its top-ranked passing game, which they’ll need this week against Baltimore’s second-ranked total defense and third-ranked pass defense.
When the Ravens have the Ball
Lamar Jackson under center has changed this offense for the better. He was one mistake away from the biggest win of his career against Kansas City on Sunday and once again proved his effectiveness in running this offense. Jackson will be facing a similarly paper thin Tampa defense on Sunday, which ranks 27th in the league against the pass and 20th against the run so look for his success to continue.
- Tampa Bay is 3-7-1 ATS in its last 11 games
- Tampa Bay is 3-8 SU in its last 11 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games
- Tampa Bay is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
- Tampa Bay is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games on the road
- Tampa Bay is 2-7 SU in its last 9 games when playing Baltimore
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Tampa Bay’s last 6 games when playing Baltimore
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Baltimore’s last 6 games
- Baltimore is 14-5 SU in its last 19 games at home
- Baltimore is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games when playing Tampa Bay
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Baltimore’s last 6 games when playing Tampa Bay
Gametime temperatures for this one are expected to hit 46 degrees under mostly cloudy skies with 57% humidity and 12 mph WNW winds.
Rick Wise’s NFL Pick: Baltimore -8