Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Raymond James Stadium – Tampa Bay, Florida
Sunday, October 2, 2016, 4:05 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
Opening Line: Denver -3 (-115)
Current Line: Denver -3 (-130)
Opening Total: 44 1/2
Current Total: 43
Opening Money Line: Broncos -160 / Buccaneers +140
Current Money Line: Broncos -180 / Buccaneers +160
The defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos are one of five teams to start off the NFL season 3-0. They look to remain undefeated as they travel to the 1-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday. Denver leads the series 6-2 against Tampa Bay. The Broncos have won three straight games against the Buccaneers including 31-23 in Denver in 2012. The teams haven’t played in Tampa since 2004.
Denver is coached by Gary Kubiak. The Broncos have home wins over the Carolina Panthers 21-20 and Indianapolis Colts 34-20. Last week, Denver won on the road at the Cincinnati Bengals 29-17. The Broncos led 16-14 at halftime but did have an extra point blocked. Cincinnati kicked a field goal early in the fourth quarter to take a 17-16 lead. Denver scored the last 13 points of the game though to remain undefeated. The Broncos were 3.5 point underdogs against the Bengals and the total was 42. Denver is 3-0 ATS and all three games have gone over the total.
Tampa Bay is coached by Dirk Koetter. The Buccaneers opened the season with a 31-24 win at the Atlanta Falcons. However, Tampa Bay has lost two straight games since then including 40-7 at the Arizona Cardinals and 37-32 at home to the Los Angeles Rams last week. Tampa Bay led 20-10 with six minutes to go in the second half but Los Angeles scored 21 straight points to take a 31-20 lead including a 77 yard fumble return for a touchdown in the fourth. Tampa Bay scored with just over two minutes left to pull within 37-32 but missed their second two point conversion of the fourth quarter. The end of the game was delayed by more than an hour due to lightning around the stadium. The Buccs forced a Rams three and out and took over with 1:42 left at their own 44. Tampa Bay drove all the way down to the LA 15 but quarterback Jameis Winston was tackled on the five on the last play of the game. The Rams had scored nine total points in two games before last week and hadn’t scored a touchdown. The Buccaneers were 3.5 point favorites against the Rams and the total was 40.5. Tampa Bay is 1-2 ATS and the total is 2-1 this season.
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Denver is outscoring teams 28-19 this season. The Broncos are #4 in scoring and #8 in points allowed. Denver averages 354 yards per game on offense including 243 passing and 111 rushing yards. On defense, Denver allows 306 total yards including 178 passing and 128 rushing yards per game. The Broncos are in the top ten in total and pass defense but #27 against the rush. Denver is 17/34 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 21/43. The Broncos have forced 12 sacks and allowed 5 this season. Denver is even in turnovers, but the Broncos do have two defensive touchdowns.
Second year quarterback Trevor Siemian has been a pleasant surprise this season. He has completed 67% of his passes for 756 yards with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, and has 9 carries for 32 yards. He threw for 312 yards with 4 touchdown passes last week against the Bengals.
Running back C.J. Anderson has 54 carries for 203 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 8 catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. DeVontae Booker will also get some carries.
Receiver DeMaryius Thomas has 15 catches for 238 yards and a touchdown. Emmanuel Sanders has 17 catches for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Virgil Green has 7 catches for 74 yards but is out with a calf injury. Three offensive linemen are listed on the injury report, along with five defensive players including three safeties.
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Tampa Bay is being outscored 34-23 this season. The Buccaneers are last in points allowed. Tampa Bay averages 383 yards per game on offense including 297 passing and 86 rushing yards. The Buccaneers are in the top ten in total and passing offense. Tampa Bay allows 370 total yards per game including 270 passing and 98 rushing. Tampa Bay is 18/41 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 16/42. The Buccs have forced 5 sacks and allowed 5 as well. Tampa Bay is -6 in turnovers. The Buccaneers have allowed two defensive touchdowns and scored one this season.
Quarterback Jameis Winston has completed 60.6% of his passes for 929 yards with 8 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 11 carries for 25 rushing yards.
Running back Charles Sims has 26 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown, along with 12 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. Running back Doug Martin has 25 carries for 85 yards, plus 5 catches for 34 yards. He is out until mid-October with a hamstring though. Jacquizz Rogers has 7 carries for 44 yards.
Receiver Mike Evans has 21 carries for 301 yards and 3 touchdowns. Adam Humphries has 18 catches for 201 yards. Vincent Jackson has 9 catches for 99 yards. Cameron Brate has 11 catches for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Cecil Shorts is out Sunday with a hamstring injury. Tight end Luke Stocker is also out with an ankle injury. Three offensive linemen and four defensive players are on the injury report as well.
Denver is 5-0 ATS after gaining 350 yards or more, 5-0-1 overall, 4-0-1 after a straight up win, and on grass. 6-2 in October, 2-6 against teams with losing records, and 1-4 after rushing for less than 90 yards. The road team is 3-0-2 ATS in this series recently.
Tampa Bay is 7-2 ATS after allowing 30 points or more, 10-4 after scoring 40 points or more, 18-4-1 at home, 3-7-1 against teams with winning home records, 2-5 after gaining more than 350 total yards, 1-4 after a loss, after failing to cover, and in week four, 1-6 overall, and 0-5 on grass. The Buccaneers are 3-0-2 ATS against the Broncos and Denver was favored in each of those contests.
Both teams have some key injuries, and yes Denver has to travel all the way across the country. Still, they are only giving a field goal to Tampa Bay. I like the Broncos to win convincingly on the strength of their defense.