Date/Time: September 8th, 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Tampa Bay -3
Week 1 of the NFL season is here! With all of the games on the docket each and every week, we are going to be zeroing in on just one side or total that we think is the best of the bunch. Join us today, look at the game on Sunday, September 8th between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Jets.
The first qualification for a game to be our “Game of the Week” is that the play has to be at least somewhat sharp. In this case, the Buccaneers are getting right around 70% of the action according to Covers, and the only time that the line really took a bit of a jump is when it was announced that QB Geno Smith was starting the game in place of the injured QB Mark Sanchez. That in and of itself is proof that this is a game that really could go either way when push comes to shove, and we are convinced that the oddsmakers have the wrong team favored.
The Buccaneers did make a lot of strides from a defensive standpoint in the offseason. They added S Dashon Golson and DB Darrelle Revis, though we aren’t all that sure that Revis is going to make all that much difference in the game A) because he probably isn’t 100% healthy and B) because he is playing against a team that is probably only going to throw the ball around 25 times for the whole game, virtually none of which are going to come his direction in all likelihood.
However, on the offensive side of the ball, Tampa Bay really didn’t do all that much. G Carl Nicks, one of the best offensive linemen on the team has a toe infection that has him listed as questionable as of the start of the week in this one. If Nicks can’t play, this offensive line just doesn’t look like one that is going to be able to open up all sorts of holes for RB Doug Martin, especially against a New York front seven that quietly looks to be one of the best in all of football this year.
On the other side of the ball, the Jets know that they aren’t going to have to do all that much. They are what we think they are. They’re just not a good offensive team. RB Chris Ivory probably has a lot more talent than you think that he does, but he isn’t going to be ripping off five yards a clip when teams can stack eight or nine in the box against New York on every single play. Smith, as we mentioned before, is going to be getting the nod in this one, and truthfully, we prefer it that way from the Jets’ standpoint. The crowd has been known to get on Sanchez’s case every time that he does something wrong, and at least this will feel like a home game where the hometown crowd at least is tolerant of a few inevitable mistakes by the youngster.
Here’s the kicker, though. The Jets have only lost to the Bucs one time in their history, and you have to go back 20 years to find that game. Tampa Bay is 1-7 SU and ATS all-time against New York. Granted, we know that making a statement such as that when you’re talking about a series that is only played once every four years right now isn’t all that fair, but in the end, it is still something to think about.
Many just go under the assumption that the Jets are the significantly worse of these two teams, as the insinuation is there that Tampa Bay would be favored by at least nine if these two were playing this game at Raymond James Stadium. In the end though, these two teams are probably separated by about as much now as they were last season, and all of that boiled down to just a single game. This won’t be the prettiest game in the world by any stretch of the imagination, but in the end, this is a game that the Jets are going to win.
Week 1 NFL Pick of the Week: New York Jets +3
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.