Bucs vs. Bengals Preseason Prediction
The Buccaneers travel north and will be a small underdog at the Bengals Friday night in their preseason opener. Will the two teams push the score over the betting total?
Sports book Bovada.lv has listed the Bengals as a 2-point favorite over the Buccaneers, while the over-under is set at 37. The spread has not budged from where it opened and the over-under has dropped from 38.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: The latest team to be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks is the Buccaneers, who have not qualified for the playoffs since 2007. The debut episode’s biggest highlights featured quarterback Jameis Winston, who laughed at rookies attempting to sing while also giving a tour of his childhood Alabama home. On the field, Winston is the first quarterback ever to throw for over 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. He’s poised for an even bigger breakthrough in 2017, with a huge target in Mike Evans as his No. 1 option. The addition of DeSean Jackson adds a vertical threat to the passing game. But none of the aforementioned players will likely see more than a couple of series in the opener, although that could be all it takes for the dangerous trio to put up a touchdown or two.
CINCINNATI BENGALS: Regardless of how much the Bengals play their regulars, there is some depth in talent for a game targeted to players trying to make the roster or carve their role. A.J. McCarron and Jeff Driskel should see the majority of snaps at quarterback, while an intriguing name to watch at running back when he’s in the game is the controversial Joe Mixon. Although the debate rages on as to whether he should even be playing in the NFL due to an on-video assault while he was in college at Oklahoma, there is no denying Mixon’s ability on the football field. He’ll likely get a handful of carries Friday night and chances are he does something eye-opening with at least one of them
OUR PREDICTION: Expect these two teams to open up the field a little more than most teams in a preseason opener. Winston and Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton should both see snaps, while there are some intriguing rookies and second-year players on both sides.
FRIDAY NFL PRESEASON PREDICTION: Over 37