Free NFL Picks: Rams at Buccaneers Betting Odds
by Jason Sharpe - 10/23/2010
Coming into the 2010 season the matchup between the St. Louis Rams (3-3 overall and 4-2 ATS) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2 overall and 3-2 ATS) looked to be one of the ugliest games on the NFL schedule. Now less then two months into the season these teams come in two of the biggest surprises in the NFL this year.
Not a whole lot was expected of the St. Louis Rams as they were an NFL worst 1-15 in 2009. The Rams have been underdogs in all six of their games this year but have already managed to pull off three upset wins on the season. Last week’s win over San Diego as a nine-point underdog was the fourth game the Rams have covered in their last five contests.
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The reward the Rams were given for an awful season last year was the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and with that pick the Rams chose quarterback Sam Bradford. With Bradford running the Rams offense St. Louis has shown some major improvements, going from 28th in the league at 168 yards passing a game last year to 19th in the NFL this year in passing offense at 211 yards per game.
As well as Bradford has played, the biggest improvement with the Rams this year comes on the defensive side of the football where they have gone from allowing 5.9 yards per play and ranking 31st in the league to 18th in the NFL this year, allowing just 5.3 yards per play.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were 3-13 last season. At 3-2 this year the Bucs have already matched last year’s win total. Tampa Bay comes in off a 31-6 drubbing last weekend by the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. The Bucs usually come back from these types of losses, as they have covered five straight games following a double-digit loss at home. They are also 4-1 ATS their last five games as a home favorite of three points or less.
Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman has taken major strides in his second year in the league. Freeman has gone from a confused rookie with a 59.4 quarterback rating and a 8-18 touchdown-to-interception ratio last year to a more polished second-year pro with a solid 83.4 rating and he has six touchdowns to only three interceptions this season. With Freeman’s improved play the Bucs offense has gone from 28th in the NFL at 288 yards per game last year to 22nd in the league at 306 yards per game.
St. Louis has played only two road games so far this season and it’s obvious that Bradford and the young Rams are not the same team on the road (0-2 on the year) then they are at home (3-1 on the season). The Rams have been outscored by an average score of 30-10 in their two road losses so far on the year.
Tampa Bay was embarrassed, 38-13, at home on Sept. 26, but came back the following game and pulled off a 24-21 upset win over the Cincinnati Bengals. They face the same type of challenge here in this one, again attempting to bounce back from a 25-point home loss the previous week. The way Tampa Bay has responded in the past to blowout losses and combining that with the how awful the Rams play on the road, make the Bucs the play in this one. Let’s go with 23-13 Tampa Bay over St. Louis.
Jason Sharpe has been excellent for his expert football picks at Doc’s Sports, and he has shown a profit in seven of eight weeks for his NFL handicapping and college football picks. He sees some weak NFL point spreads on the board this week and is very excited for more profit. Call us toll-free at 1-866-238-6696 to find out about a free one-week football package from Sharpe or any Advisory Board handicapper of your choice (new clients only).
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