NFL Free Pick: OAK/TB

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers still have their sights on a playoff berth, but they need a win at home on Sunday over the Oakland Raiders, and a little help. Who will get our free pick nod for this game?

Our team of writers and handicappers break down the matchup and hand out a Free NFL Pick for Week 17.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Buccaneers -13 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set at 39 total points.

Key Trend: The total has gone over in four of Tampa Bay’s last five games when playing Oakland. The Buccaneers are also 3-6 against the spread in their last nine games.

Key Stat: The Raiders are averaging 119.7 rushing yards per game this season, while the Buccaneers have been shredded on the ground of late. Tampa is surrendering an average of 113.9 rushing yards per game this season.

Game Outlook: With a win over the Raiders and a Dallas Cowboys loss, the Buccaneers will secure the final playoff spot in the NFC. With Oakland having nothing to play for on the road, oddsmakers have made Tampa a whopping 13-point favorite but there’s many things to consider in this NFL free pick. One, the Bucs have been absolutely shredded on the ground over the past three weeks and haven’t won a game since defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said he would leave the team to join his son at the University of Tennessee next season. Tampa is in the midst of a three-game losing streak and while Oakland hasn’t given any bettor a lot of confidence this year, the Raiders should keep this game close. Oakland might not be able to use the pass very effectively, but it can run the ball with some success and that should control the tempo of the game. We also believe the Bucs will play things tight to the vest and not take too many shots down field with a hobbled Jeff Garcia. The Raiders must slow down wideout Antonio Bryant, who has been on absolute fire lately. With corner Nnamdi Asomugha expected to lock on to him all game, we like our chances of Bryant being contained this week. We don’t think Oakland will win, but they’re going to keep it within 13 points. For the rest of our NFL Free Pick, see below.

Our Free NFL Pick for the Week 17 matchup between the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers game is

OAKLAND RAIDERS +13

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23

Oakland Raiders 20

We also predict that this game will GO OVER THE TOTAL (39 Sports Interaction.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 12/28/08 7:00AM ET

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