Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1 SU 1-1-1 ATS) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2 SU 2-2 ATS) Week 5 NFL Football, Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH, 1 PM EST Sunday October 10, 2010 on FOX
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: TB +6.5/Cin -6.5
Over/Under Total: 38
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In a non-conference match up this Sunday the Cincinnati Bengals host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bengals are coming off a loss and are in second place in the AFC North behind first place Pittsburgh and Baltimore and the Bucs are also in second place in the NFC South trailing Atlanta and New Orleans even though they have played one less game.
In their last games the Bengals lost to the Cleveland Browns 23-20 and the Bucs had a bye last week, but in the previous week lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-13.
The Bengals are coming off a costly loss to the Cleveland Browns and even though they had a great game through the air they had trouble running the ball and as they gave up 116 yards on the ground. They’re a decent team defending the run allowing an average of 107.5 rushing yards per game and they will keep Tampa and their 20th ranked rushing offense under 100 yards this Sunday.
Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer had a great game in the loss to the Browns passing for 371 yards with 2 TD and 0 INT. if you look at the stats you would think the Bucs have a good pass defense only allowing 193 yards per game through the air. However, in their 3 games they have not faced a passing offense that ranks higher than 22nd in the league while Cincinnati’s passing offense ranks 6th. Palmer will put up big numbers in this game exposing a Bucs’ secondary that is mediocre at best.
Tampa Bay only has 4 sacks on the season so Palmer will have time to find his targets and he will do just that.
Tampa Bay has a young secondary and they will not be able to contain the Cincinnati WR trio of Chad Ochocinco, Jordan Shipley, and Terrell Owens.
The Bengals have struggled running the ball this season, as RB Cedric Benson (262 yards 2 TD) is only averaging 3.3 yards per carry. He has not looked like the player that racked up 1,251 rushing yards last season. However, he will pad his stats in this game and have a big game on the ground against a Tampa Bay D that is giving up an average of 141.3 rushing yards per game.
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Josh Freeman has given people in Tampa Bay hope, but has not faced a pass defense that has given up less than 220 passing yards per game and the Bengals’ have given up 191.8 passing yards per game. However, he will put up decent numbers, but not great ones in this game since the Bengals’ pass rush is weak with only 3 sacks all season.
In 4 games Freeman only has 4 TD’s and since he will have to air it out in this game with the lack of a rushing attack, he will likely get picked off a couple of times. He has to really worry about Cincinnati CB Leon Hall, who leads the league with 3 INT.
The Tampa Bay rushing offense has struggled this season. Their leading rusher is Cadillac Williams, who has a grand total of 139 yards averaging an ugly 2.5 yards per carry.
The St. Petersburg Times reported Williams would begin to split carries with Kareem Huggins (who is questionable for this game) and LeGarrette Blount. The Bengals’ rushing defense has been decent this season, but they have faced 3 teams that have rushing offenses ranked in the top 20 in the league. No matter who runs the ball for the Bucs they will not put up big numbers, as Tampa will struggle to run the ball on Sunday.
Trend worth noting: The Bucs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I like Tampa Bay to cover the spread in this game and wouldn’t even be surprised if they stole a win straight up here. Cinci has all the tools to be a good team, but lacks the chemistry to WIN. More importantly, and for our purposes, COVER. Take the Bucs and consider sprinkling in a lunch money wager on the moneyline as well.