Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 0-1 O/U) vs. Minnesota Vikings (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 O/U)
NFL: Sunday, September 24, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. EST
The Line: OFF. Total: OFF.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be playing just their second game of the season when they visit the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Following a postponement of its opener due to Hurricane Irma, Tampa Bay clobbered Chicago this past weekend. The Vikings took care of New Orleans in Week 1 but then fell at Pittsburgh.
Hurricane Irma forced the Buccaneers to get off to a late start this season. It is safe to say they made up for lost time. Playing its opener against the visiting Bears last Sunday, Tampa Bay rolled to a 29-7 victory while dominating in all facets of the game. Quarterback Jameis Winston completed 18 of 30 passes for 204 yards without an interception and he connected with Mike Evans on a 13-yard touchdown pass. Evans had seven catches for 93 yards. The Buccaneers forced Chicago into four turnovers and won the time-of-possession battle by more than six minutes.
“Complementary football at its finest,” the third-year quarterback said. “Defense played phenomenal (sic). Offense had great drives, eliminated the three-and-outs, and eliminated turnovers…. We had a chip on our shoulder. We wanted to be a pick-me-up for our fans, definitely the cities around the Tampa Bay area. It was fun out there. The crowd was electric, and we tried our best.”
Bradford on the sideline
Minnesota quarterback Sam Bradford delivered an outstanding performance in the season opener against New Orleans. Benefiting from a porous defense on the other side of the ball, Bradford completed 27 of 32 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns without getting picked off in a 29-19 victory. His surgically-repaired keen, however, flared up thereafter and he was held out of last Sunday’s 26-9 loss at Pittsburgh. Already without Teddy Bridgewater, the Vikings turned to Case Keenum against the Steelers. Keenum went 20-for-37 with 167 and no touchdowns or interceptions in the setback. The former University of Houston signal-caller is expected to get the nod under center again in Week 3 when Minnesota hosts Tampa Bay.
“He’s had two surgeries on his knee; sometimes it swells up,” head coach Mike Zimmer said of Bradford, indicating that the issue may be related to the previous ACL repairs and is not cause for alarm. “Maybe the next week, maybe six weeks from now, he’s going to be OK. It’s a non-surgical issue. He’ll be fine…. I don’t have a crystal ball. I wish I did, I’d call some games better.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are:
- 7-2 ATS in their last nine overall
- 5-1 ATS in their last six road games
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against the NFC
The Minnesota Vikings are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games against teams with winning records
- 16-5 Under in their last 21 games against teams with winning records
- 4-0 Under in their last four home games against teams with winning road records
Tampa Bay has played only one game. The sample size is small, but it also means the team is not yet banged up. Many other clubs are, and Minnesota is no exception. The Vikings’ defense is clearly a solid unit, but the jury is still out on their offense–especially when Braford is out. Tampa Bay, though, looks like a well-oiled machine on both sides of the ball in the early stages of this season. The Buccaneers are 7-2 ATS in their last nine overall, 5-1 ATS in their last six on the road, 5-2 ATS in their last seven against the NFC, 5-0 ATS in their last five following a win, and 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings between the two teams. Minnesota is 1-4 ATS in its last five against winning opponents. Expect those trends to continue.
Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers limited Chicago to 20 rushing yards last Sunday. Tarik Cohen gained only 13 yards on seven attempts and Jordan Howard finished with seven yards on nine attempts. Cohen, a rookie, had run circles around Atlanta’s defense one week earlier. Minnesota is down to it second quarterback, and really its third counting Bridgewater, so the formidable Tampa Bay defense may be licking its chops. The under is 6-1-1 in the Buccaneers’ last eight overall, 5-1 in their last six against the NFC, and 4-0-1 in their last five following a win. It is also 16-5 in the Vikings’ last 21 against winning opponents, 4-0 in their last four at home against opponents with winning road records, and 7-2 in their last nine after scoring less than 15 points in their previous outing. Look for this one to stay under the total.