A very late touchdown resulted in the Under on Thursday Night Football failing for us, but at least we got to enjoy some great drama ending with a Raiders victory. Oakland is a disaster of a franchise, so if you’re ever going to lose a wager, if it’s because of some sort of freak accident like the Raiders actually winning a game, well then it’s okay I guess. Onto the rest of Week 12 where there is a slate of intriguing games, littered with playoff implications. That said, sometimes the best games for betting opportunities have little to none involved. Take the Bucs and Bears 1:00 PM ET game today as a good example. Both teams have been wildly disappointing but should combine to play a spirited contest today. The Bears are desperately seeking redemption after a horrid start mixed in with some truly pathetic outings, while Tampa Bay is better than their record indicates and you can bet both Lovie Smith and Josh McCown are looking forward to returning to the Windy City. It’s a matchup filled with storylines and we’ve got your betting fix covered at The Sports Geek. Fresh off a winning week, we’re looking to make it another one so read on below for the game breakdown and our official selection.
Buccaneers vs. Bears Betting Odds:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +6 (-110)
@ Chicago Bears -6 (-110)
Over 45.5 (-110)
Under 45.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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Buccaneers vs. Bears Pick:
While Chicago may still have a shot at the playoffs, they need to get hot, and in a hurry. The room for error is very slim, which seems to be a problem with Jay Cutler. Even though they got a win last week, it wasn’t an impressive first half against another supposed inferior team in the Minnesota Vikings. That said, the Bucs defense is an improved unit and should be able to make Chicago work a lot harder for their points. Tampa registered six sacks on Washington in Week 11 and it seems they’ve rectified a lot of their pass rush issues during their bye week. As has been well documented, Chicago’s O-Line has a ton of protection issues, and look for Gerald McCoy to be living in the Bears’ backfield. Cutler under pressure is a mistake waiting to happen, and don’t be surprised if the Bucs’ defense forces some turnovers. Lovie Smith will also have a gameplan ready for his former error-prone QB.
On the other side of the football, it’s no secret just how awful the Bears defense is. The Bucs will score, and we’re banking on them scoring a lot. Chicago generates very little pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and the Josh McCown to Mike Evans connection is in fine form right now. Evans has come alive the past few weeks, and there is not one person in Chicago’s secondary that is capable of slowing this talented rookie receiver down. Add in Vincent Jackson on the other side, and the Bucs should be able to move the chains with ease on Sunday. Chicago has given up an average of 32.5 points over its past seven games, and you can bet both McCown and Smith know how to beat this defense.
Don’t let the Bears iffy win last week fool you, this is still a team with some major issues. I believe there’s a fair amount of value today with the Bucs, as they’re simply not as bad a team as many think they are. Sure the public remembers those pathetic blowout losses to Baltimore and Atlanta early in the season, but those are their only two defeats of 10 or more points this year. The Bucs have lost a ton of close contests late in the fourth quarters of games, and could easily be 5-5 right now. And with the Bears on the verge of playing a big Thanksgiving day game against the division rival Detroit Lions, that’s some big lookahead potential. I think the Bucs not only cover but win outright today. Chicago has been brutal at home this season, and expect the fans to turn on them early when things inevitably go awry. Roll with the Bucs to make it a successful homecoming for Josh McCown and Lovie Smith.
PICK = Buccaneers +6 (-110)