Buccaneers vs. Vikings Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Tampa Bay is favored in this game, as the Bucs are getting odds of -2.5 points against the Vikings. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 41 points. Tampa Bay has won and covered the spread in six of its last seven meetings with the Vikings. Today’s game takes place from U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota and will air live on FOX.
Minnesota is 1-1 on the season and 1-1 against the spread, failing to cover in last week’s 26-9 loss a Pittsburgh. The Vikings looked much different last week without Sam Bradford under center. Bradford threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns in the first game, but suffered a knee injury that kept him out last week and keeps him out today as well. Case Keenum stepped in last week and threw for 167 yards on 20 of 37 passing. No Bradford puts more pressure on rookie running back Dalvin Cook as well. Cook has run for 191 yards through two games, but 127 came in the win in Week 1. Defensively, Minnesota is allowing 348 yards per game, including just 81 rushing yards per contest.
Tampa Bay opened its season last week with a 29-7 win over the Bears at home, easily covering the 7-point spread in the process. The Bucs only had a 311-310 edge in total yards, but the defense forced four turnovers to lead the way to the win. Jameis Winston had 204 passing yards with a touchdown while Mike Evans caught seven passes for 93 yards and a score. Jacquizz Rodgers was the leading rusher with 67 yards and a touchdown. Despite the good defensive effort, the Bucs suffered some big injuries. Both Gerald McCoy (ankle) and Brent Grimes (shoulder) are questionable for today’s contest.
Minnesota opened as a favorite this week when Bradford was doing some work in practice, but the spread has changed by 5 points since he was announced to be out. Minnesota looked lost on offense with Keenum. Bradford was able to drive Minnesota down the field and keep its defense fresh in Week 1. The Vikings defense was on the field far too much last week, which led to the big loss. I see a similar story today as I don’t think Keenum can lead this group. Tampa Bay will load up the box to stop Cook and force Keenum to beat them with his arm, which he can’t do.
NFL WEEK 3 PREDICTION: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS -2.5