Packers – Bucs
Time: NOON CST
Spread: GB -12.5
Betting odds c/o Bovada
The Green Bay Packers are 10-4 this season but are just 3-4 on the road. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, however, have yet to win a home game in its six attempts thus far this season. Accordingly, NFL live lines show the Bucs as 12.5 point underdogs in Tampa Bay.
The Bucs have managed just two wins under the guidance of one of the NFL’s weakest starting QBs in Josh McCown. He’s guided a pass offense to just 221.9 yards per game while not exactly passing the ball off to a stable full of stallions (see: 29th in rushing yardage). The Bucs have been horrid offensively, and barely better (still bottom-third) defensively.
McCown has not had a game above 52 percent passing since the Nov 16th matchup against the Washington Redskins, which was also the last win that the Bucs managed. In that victory over the Skins, he threw 15-of-23 for completion (65 percent) while amassing 288 yards, over 60 above the season average. He followed the effort up with a stinker at home against the Bengals which saw the 2002 bust pick throw an interception with no touchtowns and a 58.1 passer rating. He’s either average or consistently horrible, which has spelled the season for the Bucs essentially, since the team can’t win on the strength of any sort of defense.
The Bucs have held three of the last four opponents to 21 points or less, but it hasn’t mattered much. Over the last four contests, Tampa is averaging just 17.5 points per game and last week had 287 yards while surrendering 392 to the Panthers. Carolina threw for 269 yards and forced three Bucs turnovers.
It’s hard to believe this began with the Bucs when the Green Bay Packers are actually relevant. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are looking to pull off its sixth straight playoff berth, and it will be solidified with either a Philadelphia or Dallas loss. For home field advantage through the NFC Playoffs, the Packers need Seattle to win over Arizona.
Rodgers had his worst game as an NFL player last week, throwing 25 incomplete passes in 42 attempts and two picks, while accruing just 185 yards. It was also his first game without a TD pass and while he will have off games, this was inexplicably bad.
It may be hard sometimes for a player to shake off a bad game, but Rodgers has been at this too long to think that it is the beginning of any sort of trend. To expect he and the Packers to struggle against the Bucs is further laughable, and as double digit favorites it stands to reason that Rodgers and the Packers back this up in a major way.
Tampa Bay really hasn’t been able to take care of business at home and has the franchise’s 2nd worst home losing streak yet. Lovie Smith said the team has “come close a few times at home, and once (we) get it going, instead of talking about getting that first win…We realize we have a couple of more opportunities.” At this point, fans around the league have to wonder if it even matters.
The Bucs have proven this season that the team won’t be threatening any time soon, and the Bucs haven’t been able to put points on the board. The total offense is the third-worst in the NFL and the defense is surrendering 366.6 yards per game, as well.
Smith has dropped his past six games to GB, too. The Packers won by 11 points the last time these teams met and are favored by 12.5 in NFL daily lines. The total is set at 49 on oddsmaker Bovada.
GB, likely to play: J Sitton, B Bulaga (Q),
GB, Out: D House, J Lattimore, L Robinson, K Dorsey, A Mulumba, D Barclay, B Raji, J Abbrederis
TB, Likely to play: K Pamphile (Q), S Patton (Q), D Goldson (Q), C McDonald (Q), A Collins (Q), M Foster (Q)
TB, Out: M Wright, L Murphy, A Seferian-Jenkins, G McCoy, B Magee, J Lane, K Edwards, A Clayborn, M Jenkins
GB: Green Bay Packers are 3-0-1 ATS in their 4 games following SU loss. The OVER is 4-0 in the Packers last 4 games following an SU loss. The OVER is 5-0 in the Packers last 5 games in Week 16.
TB: The UNDER is 7-0 in The Bucs last 7 games on Grass. Tampa is 0-4 ATS in the last 4 following an ATS win. The UNDER is 7-1 in the last 8 overall.
Head-to-head: The Packers are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Tampa Bay. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings and the Packers are 2-6 ATS in the last 8 meetings.