Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7; 9-7 ATS; 7-8 O/U) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (6-9-1; 7-9 ATS; 6-10 O/U)
NFL Preseason: Friday, August 11, 2017 at 7:30pm EST
Line: Cincinnati -2
The Cincinnati Bengals will clash with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week one preseason action Friday night from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The Buccaneers went 2-2 in last year’s preseason, and the Bengals posted a 1-3 record.
Buccaneers Primed to Make Noise in NFC South
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are viewed as a team on the rise by many and for good reason. Third-year quarterback Jameis Winston is the real deal and he put up strong numbers last year, amassing 4090 passing yards along with 28 touchdowns, however, he did toss 18 interceptions, a figure he would like to minimize this season. The Bucs feature a strong receiving core led by Mike Evans who is blossoming into an elite receiver. The 23-year old receiver recorded 1,321 receiving yards and found the end zone 12 times last season. GM Jason Licht added DeSean Jackson and also added a few promising receivers in the draft. Tampa Bay’s running back Doug Martin will be suspended the first three weeks of the season meaning Jacquizz Rodgers could see a bulk of the carries to start the regular season. Charles Sims and Peyton Barber along with Rodgers will likely all see action in this one. Backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely see some playing time in this one. Fitzpatrick had a rough season with the Jets last year, posting an ugly 12:17 TD to INT ratio, however he is still a solid option for a backup quarterback.
Last season, the Buccaneers scored an average of 22.1 points per game, placing them 19th overall. The Tampa Bay defense was decent, allowing an average of 23.1 points per game, ranking them 15th in the NFL.
Bengals Looks to Rebound from Subpar 2016 Season
The Cincinnati Bengals will look to rebound from a rough 6-10 season however it will not be any easy task. The Bengals weak spot looks to be their offensive line after a few key cogs departed for other teams in free-agency. Fortunately, the Bengals are led by the talented Andy Dalton at quarterback who had a fantastic 2016 season. The 29-year old quarterback accumulated over 4,200 passing yards with an 18:8 TD to INT ratio last season. He will again have one of the most electrifying receivers in the game in A.J. Green. The 29-year old wide receiver tallied 964 receiving yards along with four touchdowns in ten games played last season. The Bengals bolstered their running game by drafting Joe Mixon with their second round pick. Cincinnati also features Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill at running back. Backup quarterback A.J. McCarron and third stringer Jeff Driskel will likely both see action in this contest. McCarron has not played in a regular season game since 2015. The Bengals defense is lead by Geno Atkins who tallied nine sacks last year. Cincinnati’s defense showed great improvement as the 2016 season progressed.
The Bengals only averaged 20.3 points per game last season, ranking them 23rd in the NFL. The Cincinnati defense was solid, allowing an average of 19.7 points, good for eighth overall.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are:
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
The Cincinnati Bengals are:
- No Key Trends
I am siding with the Buccaneers in this matchup. I like the Buccaneers receiving depth more than the Bengals which could play a factor in a preseason game. Also, while it’s unclear how much Bucs backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will play in this one, he is an experienced NFL quarterback and will be going against many second and third string defensive players, and I like him better than A.J. McCarron. I really like the depth on the Bucs offense and think that could be the difference in this one.