The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the San Francisco 49ers in week 1 NFL betting action with the current line either pick em or Bucs -1, depending on the sportsbook. The current total is 49.
While this game hasn’t been heavily bet as of this writing in July, the majority of those bettors that have plunked their money down have put it on the 49ers in week 1.
This is significant when you consider the question marks that still surround Garoppolo coming back from injury. It shows a complete lack of respect for Tampa Bay in the minds of bettors.
Make or Break for Jameis Winston
The Bucs finished last season at 5-11 and in the basement of the NFC South. They were 8-8 against the spread and overall a .500 team at home (4-4).
Tampa Bay will go with Jameis Winston under center, once again, but he has enjoyed little team success in the Sunshine State and this may be a make-or-break season for the former #1 pick.
Last season Winston was up and down, but the Bucs still ranked 3rd in the league in passing offense. However, they only ranked 29th in rushing offense.
Mike Evans is a stud WR and the corps is solid, but Peyton Barber may lead the run game again and last season only averaged 3.7 yards per carry.
Tampa also had issues on D ranking 26th in the league against the pass and 24th against the run. They only allowed 9 points, a season low, in the win over the 49ers, but still gave up 342 yards including 148 rushing yards.
Week 1 Bettors LOVE 49ers
There is a lot of hope this season in San Fran and bettors are buying in. In early week 1 betting action this is one of the most lopsided games on the board. There has been very little Tampa Bay money showing up.
For “San Fran.” Jimmy Garoppolo is back from missing most of the season with a knee injury and the defense has a lot of young talent including the #2 pick in the last draft in Nick Bosa.
Jimmy G has been legit while on the field and has to stay healthy. He has, arguably, the best TE in the league in George Kittle, the team added RB Tevin Coleman, and a decent, but young, WR corps.
The 49ers ranked a respectable 13th in the league on defense last season and are balanced up front and in the secondary.
Last season the 49ers were beaten badly in Week 12 in Tampa Bay falling to the Bucs 27-9 allowing Winston to pass for over 300 yards, but they had Nick Mullins as their starting QB.
The 49ers finished with the 2nd fewest wins in the league last season (3), but they have high hopes this season. Still, while the team is young and talented, they were winless on the road last season and were only 5-11 Against the spread.
Our Pick Against the Spread
It’s important to note that this pick is being made in July. The NFL pre season hasn’t even started. Things can and will change. There can be injuries and in some instances, cuts. Heck, Garoppolo may not even be the starter for week 1 on September 8th!
A year ago, the Bucs beat San Fran by 18. Furthermore, if we run our model with data from last season, using various different time frame parameters, we come up with a Bucs win by 6 to 9 points.
The question is, assuming Garoppolo is the starter, is he worth a TD? That’s doubtful. Especially in week 1 where growing pains and rust will be most evident.
In a game between two teams in desperate need of a week 1 win, expect this one to be tight from start to finish. We’re going to give a slight edge to the Bucs at home in this spot. Betting against the masses in week 1 is never a bad thing.
Our Pick – Tampa Bay pick em