Two teams with much higher aspirations in 2019 will meet during the late-afternoon slate of Sunday’s NFL action. Bruce Arians will lead his new look Tampa Bay Buccaneers into battle as they welcome Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers.
Jimmy G had quite the rough pre-season, and as a result there is a ton of concern as he prepares for this crucial season. Last year’s injury derailed San Francisco’s chances, but if the 49ers are going to be a playoff team – they will need Garoppolo to be in his pre-injury form.
For the Bucs, they stand to be one of the NFL’s most intriguing, and likely most-improved squads. Bruce Arians has a unique offensive stance that should definitely play well this coming season. His style blends well with the likes of Jameis Winston, O.J. Howard, Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans – and the Tampa attack should be flying through the air.
This is one of the more intriguing opening week match-ups on the Sunday slate, and both these teams will be worth tracking throughout the season. Read on below the odds for detailed game analysis and a betting prediction.
49ers vs. Buccaneers Betting Odds:
San Francisco +1 (-105)
@ Tampa Bay -1 (-115)
Over 51 (-110)
Under 51 (-110)
49ers vs. Buccaneers Pick:
A big storyline entering this game will be tracking the progress of Jimmy Garoppolo. The former Patriot really struggled throughout the exhibition campaign, and it didn’t seem like he trusted his surgically-repaired knee all that much.
This won’t be an easy game either for the Niners’ offense and their quarterback. Ndamukong Suh is still a beast on the defensive line, and with a relatively easy matchup in Week 1, he should be able to routinely get into the backfield and apply pressure to Garoppolo. With pressure, could come mistakes and turnovers.
The Bucs’ defense should also be a tad improved this season after an awful 2018. Carlton Davis remains a legitimate shutdown cornerback and should be able to bottle up the likes of Deebo Samuel and Dante Pettis.
When Tampa Bay has the ball, expect fireworks under coach Bruce Arians. Jameis Winston is in line to take a big step forward in 2019, and he should definitely get off to a hot start in Week 1. Winston has a big arm and as a result should be able to really test a woeful Niners’ secondary. Beyond Richard Sherman, there’s nobody in San Francisco’s secondary that can lock down the deep arsenal of Bucs’ receivers. With O.J. Howard, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin – there’s no way that San Francisco can contain all three targets.
Though the 49ers might be the more appealing team, more seems to be trending in the right direction with the upstart Bucs. They’ll be a better defensive group, and their offense should border on elite-level in 2019. At home as very short favourites, the Bucs seem to be solid Week 1 value.