Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) at Buffalo Bills (3-2)
I was hoping that Jameis Winston would be ruled out this week with his shoulder injury so I could get more points with the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay +6 with Ryan Fitzpatrick would have been a great value. Tampa Bay +3 would be a good value if Winston were 100%, but it’s unlikely he is, just one week after suffering a sprain to his throwing shoulder. Winston missed practice Wednesday and Thursday before returning for Friday and will give it a go. It’s a gutsy move, but it’s very tough to be confident in the Buccaneers given the uncertainty of his shoulder.
This line at -3 in favor of the hometown Bills suggests these two teams are about even, which would not be true if Winston was healthy. The Bills are 3-2 and the Buccaneers are just 2-3, but the Buccaneers would have beaten the Patriots if they could make field goals and they came back to make it close against the Cardinals even after Winston was knocked out of the game. They’re also as healthy as they’ve been all season on defense right now. Defensive tackle Chris Baker, cornerback Brent Grimes, safety TJ Ward, outside linebacker Lavonte David, and middle linebacker Kwon Alexander have all missed time this season, but all 5 players should be in uniform for this one, for the first time since their first game of the season. Of course, the Buccaneers now have new injury concerns with Winston, but at least their defense is healthy.
The Buccaneers are also in a good spot because they’re in their second of two road games. Teams are 248-265 straight up in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 0.95 points per game, as opposed to 364-499 straight up in a road game that’s sandwiched between two home games, getting outscored by an average of 2.92 points per game, a difference of about 2 points. It especially helps that the Buccaneers are underdogs off a loss, as road underdogs in their 2nd of two road games are 115-77 ATS off of a road loss. I’d need 3.5 to put money on the Buccaneers, but they should be the right side at 3 as well.
Buffalo Bills 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16
Pick against the spread: Tampa Bay +3