Tampa BayBuccaneers(3-4SU,5-2ATS) vs.Oakland Raiders(3-4SU, 3-4ATS)
Date/Time:November4th, 4:05PM EST
Where:Oakland County Coliseum, Oakland, CA
byJeffHochman,Pro Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread:TB +1.5OAK -1.5
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Two teams looking to get back to the .500 mark meet in this week ninematchup. The Tampa BayBucsare 2-1SUand 2-1 ATS in their last three games. They haveout-stattedtheir foes in each of its last three games after starting the season 0-4 in the stats. Last Thursday, they crushed the Vikings 36-17 as 5.5-point underdogs and will nowenjoy thebenefitof having 10 days to get ready for this cross-county tilt. The Oakland Raiders are also 2-1 SU in their last three games and have out-gained each of their last three opponents. Oakland improved to 4-3 ITS this season. Last Sunday, the Raiders had no trouble with the Kansas City Chiefs in winning 26-16 as 1-point road dogs. The Chiefs just loston Thursday night football, so that win looks somewhatless impressive if you will.
Tampa Bay suffered an injury that nobody will make a bigdeal about, but I will. That might be a mistake.Left Guard Carl Nicks has a toe injury and will be miss the rest of the season. He’s been a big reason why the Bucs have been a good ATS team, and have been able tokeep games close. Don’t forget, Tampa Bay lost Right GuardD. Joesph before the start of the season, so theirdepthwill be tested going forward. GregSchianohas done a great job motivating this young team to play hard oneverydown. You’ve got to loveSchiano’sintensity! One thingSchianodoes not love right now is the Bucs’ defense. A defense that gives up 395 yards per game good for a 22 point average. The Bucs pass defense is ranked 25th(309.6 per game) while the Raiders pass offense gains 264 yards per game. I look for both teams to run the ball a lot in this game. Carson Palmer has 107 pass attempts in his last three games he needs some rest. The Bucs like to run the ball anyway and the new left guard will be morecomfortableon running plays than pass plays. Doug Martin gained 214 total yards against the Vikings so look for the Bucs to feed him the ball early and often
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There is some good news and bad news for Tampa Bay. The good news.On defense, the Bucs have one of the better rush defenses in the league, ranking No. 6 in opponent rushing yards allowed at just 85 per game. The bad news is that the Bucs are ranked31st in pass defense.DespiteTampa’s uglypass defensive ranking, look for theRaiders toestablish its inept running game, even though they are ranked in the top 10 in pass offense. The big key for the Bucs will be how the loss of Carl Nicks effects the scheme of the offense.Look for Oakland’s defense to test the new left guard with some stunts early. It all starts up front.Will the Bucso’linegive Josh Freeman enough time to find Vincent Jackson or will the Raiders front seven continue to play well at home? Freeman has nine touchdowns vs. one interception in his last three games and the Raiders secondary is improved, butdepleted.If the Raiders can slow down the Bucs running game, they have the talent to put a lot of pressure on the theirbanged up offensive line. I really think bothoffensesare in for a long day trying to move the ball.
These teams don’t play very often. Just 6 games since 1993. The Raiders are 4-2 SU and 3-3 ATS. The Over has gone 5-1 in their last six head-to-head meetings. This total is the highest O/U line in the teams playinghistory. The Bucs are 14-6-1 ATS in their last 21 road games. The Raiders are 18-39-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. The Over is 6-1 in the Raiders last 7 home games.
Jeff Pick to Cover the Spread:Bucs vs Raiders UNDER 46.5.
I think both offenses are out of gas and Defense will rule the day in thismatchup. Look for a lot of running plays which should chew up a lot of clock. Eastern Time Zone teams playing inthe Pacific Time Zone have led toUnderscashing nearly 70%, if the total is 45 or higher. Take the Under!
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