It’ll be an all-NFC match-up between two teams seemingly trending in different directions in the late slate on Sunday. The young and upstart Buccaneers will travel to Arizona, where they’ll meet a struggling and veteran Cardinals squad, seemingly on their last legs.
After picking up Adrian Peterson this week, Arizona isn’t getting any younger – but they desperately needed a better option in the running game. Whether or not A-Pete can still deliver remains to be seen, but it’ll be fun to watch this week. The Cards began the season as Super Bowl contenders, but inconsistent play and Carson Palmer’s age have been two big stumbling blocks. This looks like a team on the decline, and fast.
They’ll welcome the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have to be thinking playoffs this year. They had extra rest after giving the Patriots all they could handle in the Thursday nighter of Week 5, but possess a solid defense and an electrifying offense. These aren’t your Bucs of old. They are exciting to watch, and it will be intriguing to see how they handle this spot on the road.
Read on below for all your betting needs for this NFC showdown between the Bucs and Cardinals. We’ll have a betting selection, as well as detailed game analysis to help you gear up for that Sunday nighter. Enjoy!
Buccaneers vs. Cardinals Betting Odds:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -1 (-110)
@ Arizona Cardinals +1 (-110)
Over 46 (-110)
Under 46 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Buccaneers vs. Cardinals Pick:
I want Adrian Peterson to succeed in Arizona – but I just can’t see it. I think he’s just as done as Chris Johnson, and this game on Sunday will continue to prove it. And beyond that, even if he did still have some juice, it’s not like the Cards’ offensive line would ever help him out. They’ve been brutal at blocking and in protection this season, and there’s no sign of that changing anytime soon. And without D.J. Humphries, I have no clue how the Cardinals are going to keep the Bucs’ defensive front out of the backfield and off of Carson Palmer. Robert Ayers, Gerald McCoy, and Chris Baker will all be beasts for Tampa on Sunday and should make things for very tough for the Arizona offense.
The biggest difference between this year’s Cards/Bucs match-up and last year’s, is the fact that Jameis Winston now has a supporting cast beyond Mike Evans. Evans will likely be covered pretty well in this game by Patrick Peterson, but this time he’ll know he has other downfield options. Cameron Brate at tight end has been stellar, as has Desean Jackson as a deep downfield threat. Arizona also now struggles to defend against the deep ball. After losing Calais Campbell, their pass-rush is non-existent, and expect Winston to have a ton of time and space in the pocket to air it out to his crew of talented receivers.
Doug Martin is also back at running back for the Buccaneers. He’s a huge help and had a stellar outing last week against the Patriots. He’ll get even more touches this week and should be able to do some damage against a porous run defense.
The betting public have been very slow to bury the Cardinals, but I have been beating this drum for weeks now. This isn’t the team many thought we’d see back in early September, and as a result the lines have not caught up. They cannot block, pass, run, defend. They do not do anything well, and teams realize this and constantly exploit this against one of their strengths. Expect Tampa to apply heavy pressure on defense, and just show up on offense – and cruise to victory in this contest. With the extra rest, look for the Bucs to roll on Sunday.
PICK = Buccaneers -1 (-110)