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NFL’s Best to Hit the Over: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    No team went above the over/under in 2019 than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, going 12-4 in favor of the over. But will that trend continue in 2020?

  • Jameis Winston was responsible for helping both the Bucs and their opponents score a lot of points in 2019.
  • Tom Brady is replacing Winston at quarterback for the Bucs, but the same group of skill players is around with the addition of Rob Gronkowski.
  • The Bucs are bound to be better defensively in 2020, especially since they don’t have to worry about the offense turning it over so often.

Shame on Jameis

Jameis Winston was the definition of a double-edged sword in 2019. He threw for over 5,000 yards and had the receivers around him to make big plays down the field. However, he also threw 30 interceptions, nearly matching his 33 touchdown passes. While those 30 picks prevented the Bucs from scoring even more points, they also put the Tampa Bay defense under immense pressure, causing them to give up over 28 points per game, making them among the five worst defenses in the league despite having a top-5 scoring offense.

No team in 2019 had more interesting over/under lines than the Tampa Bay Bucs and most of that came from Winston’s wild card play on the field. Las Vegas had a lot of trouble setting NFL lines for this team because Winston was bound to not only score 3 touchdowns for the Bucs but may also throw 3 pick sixes for the defense. Looking at the Bucs’ over under lines each week was truly bizarre.

So Much Skill

With Tom Brady coming to Tampa to replace Winston, there are high expectations for the Bucs heading into 2020. The wide receiver tandem of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin is still in place and a better tandem than anything Brady had in New England for a long time. On top of that, Brady’s old friend Rob Gronkowski has come out of retirement and joined the Bucs. He’ll join O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate in what is easily the best tight end trio in the league, which should pay big dividends for the Bucs in the red zone, helping them rack up points by getting the ball in the end zone rather than settling for field goals or watching their careless quarterback turn it over.

The Bucs are bringing in big names and with big names comes attention. Currently the public betting data shows people love the Bucs next year. Sometimes the hype can outweigh the skill and we will be interested in seeing if that applies to Tampa Bay.

But the Defense Will Improve

With Brady and company on the Tampa offense, bookmakers will be happy to increase the over/under in Tampa Bay’s games. However, an improved defense will keep the Bucs from going 12-4 in favor of the over again. The Tampa defensive line is scary talented with Ndamukong Suh, William Gholston, and Jason Pierre-Paul. Also, the secondary is filled with young players who were early-round draft picks over the last three or four years. That group is poised for a big improvement in 2020. More importantly, the defense won’t have to clean up Winston’s mistakes this season. This will keep scorelines more reasonable and keep the Bucs from being a safe bet on the over. Who knows in 2020 the Tampa Bay Bucs may even start to get some momentum as for the people who make picks against the spread. Last year the Bucs were one of the worst teams covering the spread. 2020 could open doors to a whole new world for Tampa Bay Bucs fans.

augusta free press
augusta free press