Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5 SU, 6-4 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS)
NFL Week 12
Date/Time: Sunday, November 29, 1:00pm
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, IN
by Bob, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TAM +3 / IND -3
Over/Under Total: 46.5
This Sunday there is a showdown between two teams who both sit at 5-5 on the 2015 season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will head into Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the Indianapolis Colts. This is an AFC/NFC contest that could determine the post season fate for these two teams. The Colts are lucky to be part of a bad division, so at 5-5, they are actually sitting in first place of the AFC South. The Bucs however, are in the NFC South that has a 10-0 Carolina Panthers team leading the way and a Falcons team that is still clinging to 2nd place after starting 5-0, but have now dropped to 6-4. The Colts can potentially coast into a division title going just 8-8 or 9-7, but Tampa needs wins, and help, to become an NFC playoff team.
The line opens with the Colts as a three point home favorite. The total points are set at 46.5. On the season, Tampa is 6-4 against the spread and the Colts are 5-5, both pretty decent. The early action is pretty even with just a little more money in favor of Tampa on the road. Of course, just like last week, the injury to Andrew Luck is shifting some of the action as well as the line itself. The Colts were just a road underdog this past weekend to the Falcons, but they got the 24-21 win, that Atlanta literally handed them.
Before the season started, I liked the Colts to make a run to the Super Bowl. I thought they were the most well rounded team and I also had confidence that Andrew Luck was on the verge of setting himself up as one of the top three quarterbacks in the league. This season has not been kind to the Colts, at all. Luck is injured again and is not set to come back for another couple of weeks. The Colts, even without Luck, have found a way to win some big games to keep their season alive. Indy has won two straight now and they were quality wins over the Broncos at home and then this past weekend, on the road in Atlanta. If the Colts continue to find ways to win and once Andrew Luck returns, I still see a potential run for an AFC titlepotential. Before we discuss any post season glory though, the Colts need to maintain and get through the regular season. Like I mentioned earlier, being in such a bad division has given the Indianapolis Colts a little breathing room and margin of error. They are leading the South division of the AFC and at 5-5 but the Houston Texans have closed the gap and also sit at 5-5, but the Colts hold the tie breaker at this point in the season. This is a game at home that Indianapolis needs in a big way. It is a very winnable game against a team that is still trying to find an identity. The key this weekend is to play solid defense. Jameis Winston, even in his college days at Florida State, showed that he is prone to turn the ball over. If the Colts can get after Winston and make him throw a pick or two, it could be a good day for Indy. However, if Winston and the Bucs offense gets rolling, I can see this being a very interesting game late in the fourth quarter.
Speaking of the Buccaneers, they are well ahead of schedule of what many people thought theyd be this season. After starting 1-3, Tampa has improved each week and has won some pretty good games. They won in overtime against the Falcons in Atlanta and then this past Sunday put a beat down on the Philadelphia Eagles. What has the Buccaneers finally winning games is their rushing offense. Yes, Jameis Winston is also improving each week, but the Tampa run game is ranked 2nd in the entire NFL at 142 yards per game. Winston does tack on another 230 yards a game in the air, and when you run like that, that is all you need. This weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will need that run game to get this win. Long time consuming drives that result with touchdowns and not field goals could land them a road win. Just this past Sunday, the Bucs offense was on point. Jameis Winston threw five touchdown passes and no picks, while on the ground, Doug Martin carried the ball 27 times for an impressive 235 yards. It was the best overall offensive performance of the year by the Bucs and if they can even come close to repeating that, I do not see the Colts offense keeping pace.
I think a large part of the reason the Colts are favored is because the general public still does not believe in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I didnt either, til I saw first hand, them come into the Georgia Dome and beat the Falcons. Not that the Falcons are a title contender, but that was a big win for Tampa and since that time, they have not looked back. I like this Buccaneers team now and I think they sneak into Indy and steal a 24-16 win.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS +3
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