We’ve got another great Monday Night Football betting battle on our hands this week down in the Sunshine State, where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will hope to leave the Indianapolis Colts high and dry once again.
There are at least a few redeeming features right now for the Colts. The first is that QB Peyton Manning still hasn’t been put on IR, and he is back on the field with the team. Sure, he’s only coaching the boys up on the field and not suiting it up with them, but anything that Manning can help with is a good thing. The second bit of good news is that QB Curtis Painter at least looks like he is remotely competent this year and might be a starter that can eke a few wins together here and there. Painter went 5-of-11 for 60 yards last week, but he made some decent plays when he was called upon, and the end result was a near miss against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. The rest of this offense has just been putrid. TE Dallas Clark, who is annually a guy who catches 100 passes, only has 10 receptions in three games, and he has only found the end zone once, while RB Joseph Addai has just 189 yards. Indy only has two plays all season long of more than 20 yards, and the defense has just gotten a lot worse with the loss of both DB Melvin Bullitt and LB Gary Brackett, both of which were put on IR this week.
Give the Bucs some credit. They fought, fought, and continued to fight against the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings over the course of their last two weeks, and they got the job done in the end in close calls both times. The three games that this team has played have all been separated by a TD or fewer. It’s not bad that this team is 2-1 then, considering the fact that the offense ranks No. 22 overall and the defense ranks No. 24 overall in the league. This is just a club that has that knack for figuring out how to win games. We love QB Josh Freeman. His stats aren’t fantastic, nor will they probably ever be. However, he has a solid 67.9 completion percentage, 77 gritty rushing yards, three total TDs, all of which have come in the clutch, and some generally fantastic 4th quarter accomplishments. The rest of the team doesn’t need to be that special when you’ve got a man like that leading your ship.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick: We’re just not all that sure that Tampa Bay is going to be winning this one by double digits. The Colts aren’t good… at all… but the Bucs aren’t a good enough team to beat anyone by double digits on a regular basis. Indy will drop to 0-4, and in typical Tampa Bay fashion, it will figure out how to win this one by right around a TD.
NFL Pick: Indianapolis Colts +10 at Bookmaker Sportsbook.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.