Public Favors Bears
After dropping the opener in New Orleans, the Bucs got back on track last week with a 24-9 win over division rival Atlanta. In that game, Tampa Bay’s defense flustered rookie quarterback Matt Ryan and held running back Michael Turner in check. The Bucs will have a similar opportunity this week when they travel to Chicago to take on the experienced Kyle Orton and Matt Forte.
The Bears couldn’t carry the momentum they built in a Week 1 win over Indianapolis into Carolina last week, losing to the Panthers 20-17. They’ll have a similar tough test this week against another NFC South foe, and things will be even more challenging with Devin Hester not expected to play. Without Hester, the field position war is evened out and Orton doesn’t have is main deep threat in the passing game.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBG Global have made the Bears a 3-point favorite and the over/under total has been set at 35.5. Current public betting information shows that 73% of bettors favor Chicago to cover the 3-point spread.
The Bears are going to be pumped for their home opener, but not having Hester is going to hurt big time. He often sets the offense up with great field position and while the rookie Forte has been good this year, he’ll have issues running wild on Tampa’s outstanding front seven. If Brian Griese can take care of the ball and be as effective as he was last week against the Falcons, the Bucs should steal a win this Sunday in Chicago. We predict the Bucs over the Bears 16-13.
Bucs at Bears Point Spread and Over/Under Total
[WR] Maurice Stovall injured last game, "?" - Shoulder - 09/08/08
[OG] Davin Joseph expected to miss at least 4 weeks - Foot - 08/19/08
[TE] Jerramy Stevens expected to miss first two games, eligible to return 9/21 vs Chicago - Suspension - 08/23/08
(!) [QB] Jeff Garcia is "?". - Ankle - 09/08/08
[LB] Derrick Brooks injured last game, "?" - Hamstring - 09/08/08
[RB] Carnell Williams is expected to miss first 6 games. - Knee - 08/28/08
[OT] Chris Williams is out indefinitely - Back - 08/07/08
TAMPA BAY is 1-0 against the spread versus CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
CHICAGO is 1-0 straight up against TAMPA BAY over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
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