Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2; 1-3 ATS; 2-2 O/U) vs. Arizona Cardinals (2-3; 0-5 ATS: 1-4 O/U)
NFL Week Six: Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 4:05pm EST
Line: Tampa Bay -2
The Arizona Cardinals will collide with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFC clash Sunday afternoon from the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Buccaneers are coming off a 19-14 home loss to the Patriots, and the Cardinals were thumped 34-7 by the Eagles last weekend. The Cardinals crushed the Buccaneers by a 40-7 score last season.
Missed Field Goals Costly in loss to Patriots
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played strong defense but missed two field goals in their tough 19-14 home loss to the Patriots in week five. Jameis Winston was shaky, connecting on 26 of 46 passes for 334 yards with one TD and no picks, however, he really struggled on third down attempts. The 23-year old quarterback has tallied over 300 passing yards in three of four games, and has now accumulated 1198 yards with a 7:3 TD to INT ratio on the year. Doug Martin made his return from suspension and was terrific, recording 74 yards on 13 carries, good for an average of 5.7 yards per carry. The 28-year old back will provide a nice boost to the Bucs struggling running game. DeSean Jackson had his best game of the season in the loss to the Pats, making five catches for 106 yards. The 10-year veteran wide receiver is having a solid season, standing second in team receiving behind Mike Evans with 249 yards. Overall, the Bucs offense was a disappointment against a Patriots pass defense that ranked at the bottom of the NFL.
The Tampa Bay defense was a bright spot in the loss to New England, making an interception against Tom Brady and held them to a 4 for 12 mark on third downs. They have only made four sacks on the season. The Bucs now face two tough road games against Arizona followed by a contest against Falcons, and they will need to come away with at least one win to stay alive in the NFC South as the Panthers are 4-1.
Cardinals Fall Apart in Blowout Loss to Eagles
The Arizona Cardinals surrendered 21 points in the first quarter in their 34-7 blowout road loss to the Eagles last Sunday. Carson Palmer was solid, completing 28 of 44 passes for 291 yards with one touched and zero interceptions. The 37-year old quarterback now ranks second in the NFL with 1573 passing yards to go with a 6:5 TD to INT ratio. Larry Fitzgerald made his presence felt, bringing in six catches from 51 yards. The 34-year old wide receiver has not consistently posted big numbers as 149 of his 327 receiving yards came in one game back in week three. The Cardinals running game struggled again in the loss last week, rushing for only 31 yards as a team with Chris Johnson leading the way with 21 yards. The Cardinals offensive line has been an issue this season as Palmer has been pressured with regularity, and the running game has not been able to move the ball with any success.
The Cardinals defense scuffled in the loss to the Eagles, conceding 419 total yards and allowed them to go 9 for 14 on third downs. Chandler Jones made another sack and has now recorded five on the season. Overall, Arizona is evidently missing star running back David Johnson who will be out until week 10. They are now third in the NFC West sitting behind the Rams and Seahawks who are both 3-2. Arizona acquired Adrian Peterson from the Saints this week in an attempt to bolster their struggling running game.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are:
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 250 passing yards in their previous game.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against NFC opponents.
The Arizona Cardinals are:
- 14-5 ATS in their last 19 games after allowing more than 250 passing yards in their previous game.
I am taking the points with the Cardinals in this contest. The Cardinals passing game is looking good led by Carson Palmer, ranking second in the NFL with an average of 289 passing yards per game, and they will be facing a struggling pass defense that is allowing over 300 passing yards per game. I am not worried about the Cardinals offensive line as the Buccaneers have only tallied four sacks all season, so Palmer should have time in the pocket, and Larry Fitzgerald should have his way against the Bucs secondary. Furthermore, Palmer accumulated 304 passing yards with three touchdowns in a 40-7 win against the Buccaneers last season. I also expect the Cardinals talented defense to rebound after a rough performance last week.
Pick: Arizona Cardinals
The Buccaneers only managed 14 points last week against a struggling Patriots pass defense and the Cardinals have not been scoring big points. The Buccaneers won’t score big points against Arizona on the road, plus they only scored 14 points against the Patriots 30th ranked defense, and the under is 4-1 in their last 5 games against the Cardinals. While I do expect Palmer to have success in the air, the Cardinals running game is struggling, and the under is 4-0 in their last four games overall.