Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Betting Preview
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been trending up the past couple of years, but didn’t do quite enough near the end of 2016 to make it to the postseason. They added some key pieces in free agency to help out star quarterback Jameis Winston and are feeling good about their chances in 2017.
While there is a lot of optimism, this is a team that plays in the tough NFC South and still hasn’t totally proven itself. Tampa Bay had a negative point-differential last season despite a winning record and it’s not a done deal that they will take another step forward. It will certainly be an intriguing year for the Buccaneers who hope to push for the playoffs.
2016 Record: 9-7
2016 ATS Record: 9-7
Over/Under Total Record: 7-8-1
Current Super Bowl Odds: 33/1
Current Odds To Win NFC: 16/1
Current Odds To Win NFC South: 13/4
Much of the Buccaneers’ fate will be on the right arm of Winston. He threw for 4,090 yards with 28 touchdowns and 18 interceptions a season ago and figures to improve on those numbers as he gets another season of experience under his belt.
Winston still has his main target in Mike Evans and the team made a big signing with the addition of speedster DeSean Jackson, who will take the top off defenses. Doug Martin had a bumpy year in 2016 but if he can return to form he should be a solid running back. The Bucs drafted star tight end O.J. Howard in the first round and he should be a nice addition both as a run blocker and receiver.
The defense was in the middle of the pack a season ago, giving up 23.2 points per game. The team has some standouts, led by Gerald McCoy, but it doesn’t seem likely to be dominant. However, if the offense can improve and the defense can play similarly to last year, this is a team that can get to 10 wins.
While everything has been trending up for Tampa Bay the past three seasons, it’s not an automatic that the playoffs will happen. Six games within the division against the Falcons, Saints and Panthers is tough, as are non-divisional games with the Patriots, Packers, Cardinals and Vikings.
Tampa Bay will only take the next step forward if Winston elevates his game to another level.