Bears Buccaneers Spread Pick NFL Week 8

The Bears and Buccaneers will square off on Sunday in London at Wembly Stadium. Surprisingly, both teams are still in the playoff hunt after up and down starts by both. This is a critical week that will provide some entertaining football for fans in the UK. Obviously when capping this game, you can throw home/away records out of the window. It is as neutral of a site as you can find in the NFL.

Thanks to last week, both teams are staying afloat. The Bears put a licking on the hapless Vikings on Sunday night, a much needed blowout victory for Chicago, 39-10. They have been playing in some tight games, so the blowout was refreshing. In any case, Bears fans shouldn’t get too excited, as the Vikings have been in total disarray. Minnesota is still searching for their second victory under Donovan McNabb, and the body language from the team does not look very good. Cutler finished the contest with 267 and 2 TDs, but the offense didn’t need to do much in this one. It has been unfair to put the blame on Cutler exclusively for their shortcomings this season. First, the offensive line has been one of the worst units in the league. However, against the Vikings they held their own against an above average pass rush. Mike Martz dialed up plenty of max protection for Cutler, and it worked to perfection. The offensive line is still bruised and battered, with Chris Spencer starting at guard with a broken hand. The offensive line is 30th in the league, and it appears it will be a patchwork effort in London once again. The good news is that the Buccaneers are very vulnerable against the pass (26th), and have trouble getting to the quarterback. They are better against the run (18th), but Matt Forte can certainly make a decent defense look bad. The Bears and Buccaneers have had identical defenses this season; the Bears are 25th against the pass and 22nd against the run. So the slight edge goes to the Buccaneers if you look at it from that standpoint. Both have played some adequate offenses, so no one has an upper hand there.

The Buccaneers picked up a big win over the Saints last week, 26-20, for their biggest win of the season. This is the type of performance many were expecting from the get go, but they are still in a good position at 4-2. Josh Freeman put up big numbers with 303 yards and 2 TDs; he is starting to come into his own. If Freeman stays hot, they are looking at winning the division. The game against the Saints was his best yet, and he finds himself back in London, where he made his first NFL start. The first effort wasn’t so pretty, a 35-7 shellacking at the hands of the Patriots. Freeman and the Buccaneers should feel a little more comfortable after being in this spot before, though.

Bears vs. Buccaneers Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:
Chicago Bears -1
@Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1

Game Total:
Over 43.5 (-110)
Under 43.5(-110)

Bears vs. Buccaneers Pick:

The sad thing is the Buccaneers will probably get more support in London than in Tampa. The Buccaneers have been here before, and more importantly, Josh Freeman has been here before. In 2009 Tampa took the route the Bears are this season, arrive on Friday in London. This year the Buccaneers took a different approach and have been there the entire week. I expect them to be much more focused and ready to go than the Bears are. One of the Bears weaknesses is their defensive line, but that weakness could perhaps turn into a strength against the Bears offensive line. Freeman should be feeling pretty confident after a strong against the Saints, and should keep it going against a porous pass defense. I wouldn’t take the Bears

PICK = Buccaneers +1

Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.