Buccaneers vs. Chargers Preview and Prediction

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers both kept their playoff hopes alive with big wins last week. Now they are set to clash this Sunday in San Diego with only one team primed to build on their momentum and move one step closer to a playoff spot while the other team takes a step back in their respective conference. The main difference is the divisions that the two teams play in, though. The Chargers, at 5-6, are in last place and are two games behind third place. As for Tampa Bay, they’re 6-5 and are just one game out of the division lead.

Moneyline: San Diego -190

Handicap/Spread Odds: SD -3.5

Total O/U: 47.5

Last 5 Meetings: (Road/Home – Spread/Total)

11/11/12 SD 24 – TB 34 TB -3 O 46.5
12/21/08 SD 41 – TB 24 SD 3.5 O 42.5
12/12/04 TB 24 – SD 31 SD -4.5 O 43
11/17/96 TB 25 – SD 17 TB 7 O 37
01/02/94 SD 32 – TB 17 SD 1 O 38

On The Buccaneers Side of the Ball (6-5 Record, 6-5 ATS)

The connection between Jameis Winston and Mike Evans was on full display in their 14-5 win over the Seattle Seahawks as they hooked up for the only two touchdowns in the game to improve to 6-5. Winston and Evans carried the Buccaneers offense last week but they will need more from their rushing attack this week after Doug Martin was held to just 87 yards against the Seahawks. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay will be hoping for another big effort from a defense that absolutely shut down Seattle last week. The Buccaneers held Russell Wilson to 17-of-33 passing for 151 yards with two interceptions and six sacks last week and they will need a similar effort against Phillip Rivers to extend their win streak on Sunday. Their defense has been on fire of late as they’ve allowed a total of 32 points in the last three weeks. They haven’t allowed more than 17 points in any of their last three road games.

Last 5 Results:

11/27/16 SEA W 14-5 W 5 U 46
11/20/16 @ KC W 19-17 W 7 U 45
11/13/16 CHI W 36-10 W 2.5 O 45
11/03/16 ATL L 28-43 L 4.5 O 49
10/30/16 OAK L 24-30 L -1 O 48

On The Chargers Side of the Ball (5-6 Record, 7-4 ATS)

Rivers was excellent in last week’s 21-13 win over Houston as he completed 22-of-30 pass attempts for 242 yards and three touchdowns. Rivers didn’t have to do it alone either as running back Melvin Gordon rushed for 70 yards to help keep the Texans’ defense off balance. San Diego needs another strong performance from Gordon against Tampa Bay this week in order to make them think twice about sending extra rushers after Rivers. When Rivers has had time to throw, he has been dangerous. It is worth noting that his receiving corps is banged up as Travis Benjamin has looked off of late, Tyrell Williams is dealing with a torn labrum in his shoulder and Dontrelle Inman was evaluated for a possible concussion last week.

The Chargers’ defense has been playing well as they held Brock Osweiler to 22-of-37 for 246 yards and three interceptions with zero touchdowns and they will have to find a way to slow down Winston in this game in order to get the win. Winston is a significantly better quarterback than Osweiler, who is constantly imploding.

Last 5 Results:

11/27/16 @ HOU W 21-13 W -2.5 U 45.5
11/13/16 MIA L 24-31 L -4 O 48.5
11/06/16 TEN W 43-35 W -3.5 O 47.5
10/30/16 @ DEN L 19-27 L 3.5 O 43
10/23/16 @ ATL W 33-30 W 4.5 O 52.5

Quick Analysis

San Diego is 3-2 straight up and against the spread in its last five games overall so 3.5 points seems a little high for what should be a close game. Factor in that the Buccaneers are 4-1 straight up and against the spread in their last five road games and nobody should overlook Tampa Bay heading in to this contest.

Prediction

The Chargers will be tough to beat at home this week as they look to remain in the hunt for an AFC Wild Card spot but 3.5 points is a lot to spot them against a Bucs side that has traveled well this season. Tampa Bay has actually played better on the road (4-1) than at home (2-4).

Tampa Bay might not win the game straight up but they should keep it close and cover the spread to improve to 5-1 ATS on the road this season. Take them with the points in this spot.

Pick: TB +3.5

Note: Lines subject to change leading up to kick-off, so please be aware of the possibility of line movements.

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About Geoff Harvey

Geoff Harvey has been creating odds and betting models since his days in the womb, just don't ask him how he used to get his injury reports back then. Harvey contributes a wealth of quality and informational content that is a valuable resource for any handicapper.

About Geoff Harvey

mm
Geoff Harvey has been creating odds and betting models since his days in the womb, just don't ask him how he used to get his injury reports back then. Harvey contributes a wealth of quality and informational content that is a valuable resource for any handicapper.

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