The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) will look to put consecutive wins together for the first time since 2013 when they host the New York Giants (4-4) on Sunday. The Buccaneers are 0-6 straight-up in their last six games following a victory and have also dropped 11 of their past 12 home games to go along with a 3-9 mark against the spread.
NFL pick, via Odds Shark computer: 30.4-18.8 Buccaneers
Why the Giants can cover the spread
The Giants lost a tough game last week against the New Orleans Saints, falling 52-49 on the road despite six touchdown passes from quarterback Eli Manning. They still managed to push as three-point underdogs, though, and remained atop the NFC East. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees threw seven touchdown passes and two interceptions, and New York will have an easier defensive assignment this week against Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston.
While the rookie from Florida State has played well at times, he is still mistake-prone and has not been asked to do too much. If the Giants can get off to a quick start, Winston will have to make plays to keep Tampa Bay in the game and likely turn the ball over. He has not thrown an interception in three games but had four against the Carolina Panthers in a 37-23 loss back on October 4 when he attempted a career-high 43 passes. That’s a perfect example of how he may end up costing his team a win and cover.
Why the Buccaneers can cover the spread
The Bucs have handled Winston perfectly this season, putting together a balanced offense with Doug Martin re-emerging as a solid running back. Martin’s presence has taken pressure off Winston while the defense has also kept Tampa Bay in games lately.
Last week’s 23-20 overtime victory against the Atlanta Falcons on the road showed just how much difference a year can make. The Buccaneers were routed 56-14 at Atlanta in Week 3 last season but were able to pull off the upset this time as eight-point underdogs. While they allowed 397 passing yards to Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, they did pick him off once and held running back Devonta Freeman to just 88 yards.
Even though Tampa Bay’s defense is better than New York’s, the Giants will be able to bounce back here because Manning will outplay Winston. New York wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. scored three touchdowns last week, and he too will show why he was named NFL Rookie of the Year last season over Mike Evans of the Bucs. Expect the Giants to win by at least a touchdown and end Tampa’s three-game cover streak.
The Buccaneers are 0-6 SU in their last six games after a win.
The Giants are 20-8 SU in their last 28 games in Week 9.
The Buccaneers are 1-11 SU and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games at home.