NFL Preseason Week 1 Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Friday, 8/8/14, 7:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Jacksonville PK
Current Betting Line:  Jacksonville -1.5
Opening Total:  35.5
Current Total:  36
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to challenge for a playoff spot in 2014
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to challenge for a playoff spot in 2014

Tampa Bay expects to have its starters play a series or two in this matchup, as first-year head coach Lovie Smith plans to place an emphasis on watching the lower two-thirds of the 90-man roster to sort out position battles.  The Buccaneers will be led offensively by Josh McCown, who was brought in specifically to take over the No. 1 role after serving as Jay Cutler’s backup in Chicago—something to consider when making your pro football picks.  Mike Glennon is saying all the right things after being shuffled back on the depth chart, but his production is important to keep an eye on due to his previous experience.

The Buccaneers are expected to keep things pretty vanilla on offense, considering former California Golden Bears head coach Jeff Tedford is now the coordinator.  On the other side of the ball, Smith is interested to see how Da’Quan Bowers performs after being moved to the tackle spot from defensive end, as he was listed right behind Gerald McCoy on the team’s depth chart at the position.

Jacksonville is seen as a potential up-and-comer after a busy offseason, which is important to consider when looking over the pro football odds page, as the squad gets ready for its second year under head coach Gus Bradley.  The Jaguars will send out Chad Henne under center to start this contest at EverBank Field, while first-round pick Blake Bortles will specifically work alongside the second-team unit.  It’s important to point out that the squad will be limited in terms of skill players, with tight end Marcedes Lewis and Marqise Lee being the only key options available.

The Jaguars are expected an improved pass rush defensively with the offseason acquisitions of Red Bryant and Chris Clemons—two players that Bradley knows well from his previous time with the Seattle Seahawks.  I recommend keeping an eye on upcoming depth charts for this squad, considering starting running back Toby Gerhart will likely be limited during exhibition play, which provides a major opportunity for backup Jordan Todman.

Sports bettors will likely play the UNDER, as both head coaches in this matchup have a defensive-minded background.

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