Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (1-5 SU, 1-5 ATS)
NFL Week 7
Date/Time: Sunday, October 23, 2016, 4:05 PM EST
Where: Levis Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
TV: Fox, DirecTV 714
by Badger, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TB -1/SF +1
Over/Under Total: 46.5
Two teams struggling to stay relevant in the NFL and fight their way back into being good football teams will meet Sunday afternoon at Levis Stadium when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel West to play the San Francisco 49ers in a late game on Fox.
Tampa Bay will be coming out of their bye week rested and ready to tangle as they try and even their record following a, 17-14, victory over Carolina their last time out on October 10th. The last time the Bucs traveled West they got it handed to them, 40-7, by the Arizona Cardinals back in mid-September, so the extra week of preparation should help them forget the nightmares of their last plane ride out toward the West Coast.
The 49ers have been in the headlines all season, but not because theyve been playing winning football. Instead, the publicity surrounding quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his non-stance during the National Anthem has overshadowed the fact the Niners are a meager 1-5 this season. Kaepernicks return to the starting role last week didnt seem to help much, as the 49ers got rolled on the road in Buffalo last Sunday, 45-16.
This game originally opened with the visiting Buccaneers sitting as 2-point favorites and the number held for most of the week, only to drop slightly to Tampa minus -1 late in the week due in part to a lot of public money falling on the team traveling West and across three time zones for the game.
The over/under total opened at 47 and has also seen a slight line movement prior to kickoff, dropping the hook to 46.5 at most sportsbooks both in Las Vegas and offshore on the Internet.
San Franciscos fall from the elite of the NFC has been swift, and its actually been a produce of weakness on both sides of the ball. The offense is dead-last in the NFL in yards (293 ypg) and passing (170 ypg), which is part of the reason why the 49ers have finally turned to Kaepernick at QB to try and provide a spark. This week theyll go against a defense in Tampa that has done a good job of limiting teams at times, but has had trouble giving up big plays because they allow 28.4 points per game which is 27th in the NFL.
The good news for the Tampa offense and QB Jameis Winston is the fact that the 49ers have been equally weak on defense this season. The once formidable run defense in San Francisco is now dead-last in the league allow an unreal 174 yards a game. They also allow 30.8 points per game, so even though Winston and the Bucs offense has struggled at times throughout the year, at least on paper it looks like they should be able to move the chains and control the clock against the 49ers come Sunday.
These two played in 2011 and 2013, both big wins by San Francisco, but that was a different team and a different world from where both of these teams are currently. San Francisco has covered in four of the last five meetings since 2005 and also sport a 3-0 SU record at home versus the Bucs and a 5-0 ATS record at home against the Bucs if you take it back to the 1994 season.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: You can call me crazy, but I think the 49ers as a home dog in this game is a good wager. Its no secret that East Coast teams dont play well on the West Coast, and I think the bye week the Bucs are coming off of will have little to no affect on the outcome. Im taking the 49ers plus the point in this game.
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