Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3; 1-4 ATS: 3-2 O/U) vs. Buffalo Bills (3-2; 4-1 ATS; 1-4 O/U)
NFL: Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 1:00pm EST
Line: Buffalo -3
The Buffalo Bills will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an inter-conference clash Sunday afternoon from New Era Field. The Buccaneers are coming off a 38-33 road loss to the Cardinals, and the Bills were off last week and were edged 20-16 by the Bengals in their latest action. This marks the first meeting since the 2013 season in a game the Buccaneers won by a 27-6 score.
Winston Injured in Loss to Cardinals
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played poor defense in their tough 38-33 road loss to the Arizona Cardinals last week. Jameis Winston injured his shoulder early and has an AC joint sprain. He is questionable for this one. Winston is having a solid season, registering 1259 passing yards with a 7:3 TD to INT ratio. Ryan Fitzpatrick came in for Winston last week and was able to throw for 290 yards with three TD’s against two interceptions. If Winston cannot go in this contest Fitzpatrick will get the start. Bucs’ leading receiver Mike Evans led the way in the air, making three grabs for 95 yards. The 24-year old wide receiver is having another strong season, collecting 371 receiving yards with three touchdowns. Doug Martin played in his second game since returning from suspension and was not as sharp as his first performance, amassing 53 yards on 14 carries, after rushing for 74 yards against the Patriots in his first game. The Bucs passing game has been very productive this season, however, they are receiving limited production from their running game.
The Tampa Bay defense struggled last week after they were outstanding against the Patriots in week five. They surrendered 432 yards and allowed Arizona to go 4 for 5 in the red zone. The Bucs pass defense is really struggling, however, they have been very effective at stuffing the run. They have now lost two straight and are in last place in the NFC South.
Bills Offense Sputters in Loss to Bengals Before Bye Week
The Buffalo Bills head into this contest well-rested after enjoying their bye week. They struggled to generate offense in their 20-16 road loss to the Bengals two weeks ago. Tyrod Taylor completed 20 of 37 passes for 166 yards with one touchdown against one interception. The 28-year old quarterback is having a mediocre season, collecting only 910 passing yards with a 6:2 TD to INT ratio. Taylor has tallied less than 200 passing yards in three of five games this season. LeSean McCoy only rushed for 63 yards on 19 carries in the loss. The 29-year old running back is having an average season, recording 279 rushing yards and is averaging 3.2 yards per carry after averaging 5.4 yards last season. The Bills receiving core is banged up as they continue to play without top receiver Jordan Matthews who will likely miss the one. Charles Clay was injured in the loss to the Bengals and will be out for a few weeks. Clay leads the Bengals with 258 receiving yards. The pressure will be on Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy to produce with the two big injuries to the Bills offense.
The Bills defense was solid once again in the loss to the Bengals, forcing three turnovers and held the Bengals to a 6 for 15 efficiency on third downs. Bills safety Micah Hyde made another interception in week five and now leads the NFL with four picks on the year. Buffalo plays three of their next four at home and are second in the AFC East.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are:
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 150 rushing yards in their previous game.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in October.
The Buffalo Bills are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after recording less than 90 rushing yards in their previous game.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games after recording less than 250 total yards in their previous game.
I am taking the Bills in this contest. The Bills enter this contest with the number one ranked defense in the NFL as they are only allowing 14.8 points per game. The Bucs struggled against the run last week, conceding 160 rushing yards, and they are facing another strong running game this week. Furthermore, the Buccaneers pass defense has been awful, as they are allowing over 300 passing yards per game, so I expect Taylor to have a strong game. Furthermore, Winston is questionable for this one with a sprained AC joint, and even if he plays he likely won’t be at 100%. The Bills have defeated some strong teams this season which includes the Broncos and Falcons, so I am confident taking them at home.
Pick: Buffalo Bills
The Bills defense should slow down the Buccaneers passing game, and the Bills have not been scoring many points this season. The Bucs are facing one of the best defensive units in the NFL, so I expect them to have some trouble moving the ball, and the under is 4-1 in their last five games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game. The Bills are one of the lower scoring teams in the NFL, and the under is 5-1 in their last six games.