Tampa Bay at Arizona Expert Pick & Betting Odds
The Arizona Cardinals suffered a crushing last-minute loss in Week 1 at home to New England. History shows that 0-2 teams struggle to make the playoffs, especially those teams that lose their first two at home. Thus it’s almost a must win for the Cardinals against Tampa Bay on Sunday and the Cards are solid favorites on the NFL odds.
How To Bet on the Tampa Bay at Arizona Expert Pick, Betting Odds & TV Info
When: Sunday, Sept. 18, 4:05 PM ET
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Radio: Tampa Bay / Arizona
Opening NFL Lines: Cardinals -6.5 (50)
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?
The Bucs were impressive in Week 1 with a 31-24 win in Atlanta. Jameis Winston bounced back from an early interception to throw four touchdowns passes. Winston was 23 of 33 for 281 yards, using just about every weapon at his disposal. He hooked up with receiver Mike Evans, running back Charles Sims III and tight ends Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and Brandon Myers on scoring plays. Winston had two TD passes traveling 30 yards past the line of scrimmage, matching his touchdown total on passes that distance from all of last season (25 attempts). For his efforts, Winston was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
It was the Bucs’ third straight win over the Falcons and the first for Dirk Koetter, who made his NFL head coaching debut and became just the fourth Bucs head coach to win in his Week 1 debut. Just one game into his second season and Winston already has the third-most passing touchdowns by a Bucs quarterback in his first two seasons, behind Josh Freeman (35) and Mike Glennon (29). Winston has 26. The Bucs had 31 points in their season opener. The most they’ve ever scored in the first two games of a season? 62 in 2000.
Bucs rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo had a perfect NFL debut in Atlanta. It was the kind of performance the Buccaneers hoped to see a lot of when they selected him late in the second round in April’s draft. Aguayo opened the game’s scoring by drilling his first NFL regular-season field goal try from 43 yards out. That was the only three-pointer he was asked to attempt, but he did hit all four of his extra point tries.
The all-time series between the Bucs and Cardinals is tied at 9-9. The last time these teams played came in 2013, and the Cardinals won 13-10 at Raymond James Stadium, their first time winning in Tampa since 1988. Tampa hasn’t started 2-0 in six years.
Why Bet on Arizona?
Everybody wants to get off to a good start as history has shown that teams that are victorious in their season openers are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than losers of an opening game. But that doesn’t mean an 0-1 start is impossible to overcome as nearly 25 percent of teams that lost the opener went to the playoffs.
The Cards lost 23-21 to New England in Week 1 even though the Patriots were missing Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and a few other key starters. Arizona’s Chandler Catanzaro missed a 47-yard field goal with 41 seconds to play. The snap from rookie long snapper Kameron Canady was low and holder Drew Butler didn’t get the ball in terrific position. Arizona’s Carson Palmer threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns, both to Larry Fitzgerald, who now has 100 career TD catches. He became only the seventh player in NFL history to amass 1,000 catches and 100 touchdown receptions.
Running back David Johnson responded well in his first game as the starting running back. He carried the ball 16 times for 89 yards and a touchdown, including a highlight reel 45-yarder. He also added four catches for 43 yards.
Safety Tyrann Mathieu often plays close to the line scrimmage when fully healthy, guarding wide receivers in the slot, blitzing off the edge and otherwise making use of his talents. He played primarily a deep center field role against the Patriots in his first game back from his torn ACL. Sixteen times in the loss, the Cardinals had the Patriots and their backup quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, facing third down. Ten times New England successfully converted.
My Expert Pick
Buccaneers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
Buccaneers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Buccaneers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. NFC.
Cardinals are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 2.
Cardinals are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in September.
Give the points, go over the total on NFL odds.