Tampa Bay Bucs (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (2-0 SU, 0-2 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date and Time: September 22, 1:00 EST
Where: (Gillette Stadium
by Jeff Hochman, Pro Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread: TB +7 NE -7
Over/Under Total: 44
The New England Patriots will attempt to improve to 3-0
for the eighth time in franchise history and the fourth time under Head
Coach Bill Belichick when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
in an “Early” game at Gillette Stadium. This will be the first of two straight
against the NFC South for the Patriots. They travel to Atlanta and face
the Falcons on Sunday Night Football the last Sunday in September.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 0-2 this season, losing both games by a combined 3 points. Last Week, the Saints defeated Tampa 16-14 as 3-point road dogs. The Bucs were out-gained by 98 yards and are 0-2 ITS (in the stats) this year. They are 2-8 ITS in their last 10 games dating back to last season. Tampa is just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games. Times are tough right now for the Bucs as players and coaches can’t get along right now. Not a good thing when you have to play the New England in their building. The Patriots defeated old rival Jets 13-10 as 10.5-point home chalk. The Pats were out-gained by 86 yards and are just 5-5 ITS in their last 10 games dating back to last season. New England enters this game having gone 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games
The biggest mismatch in this contest is at the quarterback position. Tom Brady is 34-9 all-time against the NFC. Three of those losses occurred last season when the Pats lost to Arizona, Seattle, and the 49ers. Tom Brady going against Josh Freeman is a no-brainer. Brady has a QBR of 74.1 while Freeman sits at 63.0 through two games. The Bucs are ranked in the bottom half in passing yards with just 335. The Pats are much better with 473 yards through two games. Drew Brees lit up the Bucs nicked up secondary to the tune of 322 yards. You know Tom Brady and company watched game film and will have major success through the air in this game.
Remember in the preseason when these two teams conducted three days of joint practices before a nationally-televised preseason contest that was played at Gillette on Aug. 16. The Pats won that game 25-21 in a game New England was taking more serious than Tampa Bay. New England out-gained Tampa Bay by 64 yards and covered the 3-point home spread.
This game will mark the 9th time Tampa Bay and New England meet in a regular season game. In 2009, the Patriots beat Tampa Bay 35-9 as 15-point neutral site chalk in London. Tom Brady was 23-of-32 for 308 yards with three touchdowns. If the weather holds up, I would expect a big passing day for Brady and his rookie receivers. The reports coming out of NE is that they all had a good week of practice so we’ll see.
New England is 9-2 ATS off a win against a division rival over the last three seasons. New England is just 29-28 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points since 1992. Tampa Bay is 1-5 ATS off a loss against a division rival over the last three seasons. Tampa Bay is 30-20 ATS as a road dog of 3.5 to 7points since 1992.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: New England Patriots -7.
Bill Belichick is an amazing 23-1 SU and 22-2 ATS in his NFL career when laying 12 points or less against an opponent off back-to-back losses. The Patriots are simply the more talented team and will bring in the better offense, defense, and special teams. New England by 10!