Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3-13 (6-10 ATS), 4th Place NFC South in 2009
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers clearly went into rebuilding mode from the moment that they lost to the Oakland Raiders on the final day of the 2008 NFL betting campaign. Out were HC Jon Gruden and a slew of veterans and in were a bunch of young guns, a brand new quarterback, and the youngest coach in the league in Raheem Morris. Things probably aren't going to be a heck of a lot better in the Sunshine State this year, but there is at lSouth a bit of optimism to share.
2010 Draft: The Bucs made it a point to draft a bunch of defenders with their picks in this year's NFL Draft, and with good reason. The team ranked dead last in the NFL in rush defense at 158.2 yards per game. DT Gerald McCoy out of Oklahoma was an absolute no brainer selection after both Ndamukong Suh and Sam Bradford were drafted above him. McCoy and second round draft pick DT Brian Price will probably be the two starting tackles for this franchise for years to come.
Offensive Outlook: The success of this offense is going to rest solely on the right arm of QB Josh Freeman. He played in ten games last year, throwing for 1,855 yards and ten TDs against 18 picks. Completing just 54.5 percent of his passes just isn't suitable for an NFL quarterback. Granted, Freeman doesn't have a heck of a lot of options at his disposal, and the Tampa Bay front office really didn't do him any favors by adding any more weapons. Hopefully things get better than ranking 30th in the NFL in scoring at 15.2 points per game, but that might not be the case.
Defensive Outlook: We already discussed how bad the Bucs were against the rush last season defensively, but the team still has the ability to rush the passer and keep air attacks down. The additions of McCoy and Price through the draft should help. A ton of other youngsters are on this defense as starters, including S Sabby Piscitelli, LB Barrett Ruud, and DB Aqib Talib. Morris is going to need to get these youthful players at a higher level than they did last season. Bucs fans are just going to hope to see some improvement from a team that ranked 27th in both scoring defense (25.0 points per game) and total defense (365.6 yards per game).
2010 Betting Outlook: After a season full of disappointments and a whopping 12 losses in 13 games, the Bucs really fired back well at the end of the season, winning games in Seattle and New Orleans. Morris might have saved his job with those two wins, even after just one season, as it was shaping up to be a season of massive disappointment in Tampa Bay. The defense really played significantly better starting at the end of November, as it allowed just 17.7 points per game over the L/6 weeks of the year. That should provide a boost heading into this season in spite of the fact that NFL betting fans were completely torched by a 6-10 ATS campaign.
All Odds for 2010 NFL betting season can be found at Bookmaker Sportsbook. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Predictions: 6-10, 3rd Place in NFC South 2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Schedule
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds To Win NFC South: +2300
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds To Win NFC: +6000
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds To Win Super Bowl XLV: +20000
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Regular Season Win Total: 5.5 over -115
The Bucs just don't have the horses to compete with the Falcons and the Saints, but finishing in third place could be a legitimate possibility. There are at least five wins on this schedule, and there could be even more if there are some bonus wins available in division. Keep a close eye on Tampa Bay to improve quite a bit from last season's 3-13 squad, but the playoffs aren't nearly in the conversation.
Week 1 - Home vs. Browns
Week 2 - Away @ Panthers
Week 3 - Home vs. Steelers
Week 4 - Bye
Week 5 - Away @ Bengals
Week 6 - Home vs. Saints
Week 7 - Home vs. Rams
Week 8 - Away @ Cardinals
Week 9 - Away @ Falcons
Week 10 - Home vs. Panthers
Week 11 - Away @ 49ers
Week 12 - Away @ Ravens
Week 13 - Home vs. Falcons
Week 14 - Away @ Redskins
Week 15 - Home vs. Lions
Week 16 - Home vs. Seahawks
Week 17 - Away @ Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Predictions: 6-10, 3rd Place in NFC South
2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Schedule