Preseason NFL Betting: New England Patriots vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Predictions
- Updated: August 16, 2011
There might not have been two more impressive teams in Week 1 of NFL betting action in the preseason this year than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots. These two will face off at Raymond James Stadium on Thursday night at 7:30 ET to kick off Week 2.
We never know what Head Coach Bill Belichick is going to pull out of his book of tricks, especially in the preseason. QB Tom Brady and the starting offense never touched the field in Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. One might suggest that this was a way to give the veterans some extra reps in training camp before strapping it on for real. However, considering the fact that the Pats won that game 47-12 without the starters stepped foot between the white lines, this could have been an intimidation factor as well. There are no known injuries to any of the notable stars for the Patriots, so we would expect to see them out of the field for the first time in preseason NFL Week 2 betting. Still, the backups played tremendous ball last week on both sides of the ball. The offense was the most impressive unit in the entire league, accounting for 476 total yards. The team went 6-for-6 in the red zone, accounting for all six TDs, and in goal to go situations, it went 4-for-4 with four TDs. Rookies QB Ryan Mallett and RB Stevan Ridley were the real stars of the show. Mallet went 12-of-19 for 164 yards with a TD pass. Ridley had three total scores, accounting for 64 yards rushing and 47 as a receiver.
The Bucs were the only team in Week 1 of the preseason to post a shutout, and they did so in fine form. The Kansas City Chiefs came nowhere near the end zone, as they had only six first downs in the entire game and had just one play for greater than 15 yards on the night. KC also only had a total of 137 yards worth of offense.Now, we do have to recognize the fact that RB Jamaal Charles, QB Matt Cassel, and a slew of others didn’t play in that game for the Chiefs, but still, possessing the ball for nearly 40 minutes and dominating like that against any set of professional football players is impressive. QB Josh Freeman and Josh Johnson ran the majority of the show last week, accounting for over 230 yards of offense between them. Johnson proved that he is still a dual threat, accounting for 108 passing yards and 57 rushing yards. The running game aside from that though, was stymied, accounting for just 28 carries for 77 yards, a 2.75 YPC average.
New England Patriots @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick: In this case, the first team starter for the Pats (if they play) could be rusty. Head Coach Raheem Morris definitely has his team’s feet wet already this year, and that should pay dividends. Everyone gets up to the play New England, even if it is just the preseason. NFL Pick: Bucs -2.5 at Bookmaker Sportsbook.