49ers vs. Buccaneers Betting Odds & Predictions: Expect A Barn Burner?

49ers vs. Buccaneers Betting Odds & Predictions: Expect A Barn Burner? article feature image
Credit:

Kevin Jairaj, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Jameis Winston

Buccaneers vs. 49ers Betting Odds

  • Odds: Buccaneers -1
  • Total: 51
  • Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

All odds above are as of 3 p.m. ET on Thursday and via PointsBet.

The Bruce Arians Era in Tampa Bay gets underway with what’s expected to be a close game against the San Francisco 49ers at Raymond James Stadium. There’s a couple of interesting notes about this game on the surface, it features the tightest spread of the slate and is one of three games with a total of 50 or more points.

Let’s dig into our experts’ preview, which features analysis of key matchups and their favorite picks.

Buccaneers-49ers Injury Report

The Bucs enter this game with a healthy offense, which can’t be said for the 49ers. Wide receiver Trent Taylor (foot) won’t play, Jalen Hurd (back) didn’t practice on Wednesday, and Dante Pettis (groin) was limited. Hurd isn’t expected to suit up, and if Pettis isn’t 100%, that could be good news for Marquise Goodwin against a burnable Tampa Bay secondary.

Goodwin could run rampant on a defense that allowed a league-high 53.77% completion rate on passes 15-plus yards downfield, per Sports Info Solutions.

Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa (ankle) got in a limited practice on Wednesday, and they are hopeful he’ll be able to suit up. His presence would be bad news for a turnover-prone Jameis Winston. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: 49ers -0.5
  • Projected Total: 50

This game has the second-highest total of the week, and for good reason. I have this pegged at 50. It has jumped from 50 to 51 over the past day at some books, and I think it’s getting enough action to go up a bit more.

If it reaches 51.5, there will be some slight value on the under as that hits another key number for totals (think 27-24 final score). Sean Koerner

Biggest Mismatch

Buccaneers Pass Offense vs. 49ers Pass Defense

This one is a layup. Last year the Bucs were No. 1 in the league with 5,358 yards passing, and Winston had top-three marks with 10.8 air yards per attempt, 1.5 yards to the sticks per attempt and a 20.4% aggressiveness rate (per Next Gen Stats). Winston regularly pushed the ball down the field and displayed a willingness to throw into tight coverage and trust his receivers.

And he has good receivers. He might have the league’s best WR-WR-TE- trio in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard.

And now Winston is paired with Arians, who developed Ben Roethlisberger, oversaw Andrew Luck as a rookie and coaxed career-best production out of late-stage Carson Palmer. Under Arians’ tutelage and in his downfield-attacking Air Coryell system, Winston should thrive.

As for the 49ers, in 2018 they were dead last in the league with a putrefied coverage grade of 37.5. (per Pro Football Focus). Despite a return to form last year from cornerback Richard Sherman, the rest of the secondary was exploitable, especially right corner Ahkello Witherspoon and slot corner K’Waun Williams, who collectively allowed 0.92 yards per snap and 0.062 touchdowns per target.

Even if the 49ers defense is improved through the addition of edge rushers  Bosa and Dee Ford, it’s doubtful that the secondary will be able to hang with the Bucs receivers. — Matthew Freedman

Expert Pick

Mike Randle: Over 51

Any game with a coaching matchup between Arians and Kyle Shanahan projects to be high scoring. For Tampa Bay, Winston has multiple receiving options in Evans, Godwin, Howard and speedster Breshad Perriman. The 49ers feature tight end George Kittle (who broke the NFL record for receiving yards last season), lid-lifter Marquise Goodwin and two superb pass-catching backs in Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida.

Defensively, both teams struggle against the pass. The Buccaneers ranked 30th among all teams in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA, while the 49ers were 27th.

Even without Arians as head coach, the Buccaneers averaged 24.6 points at home when Winston was quarterback last season. Also, San Francisco allowed an average of 32.5 points to the opposition in their eight road games.

Look for the explosive offensive playmakers on both teams to exploit their opponents weak pass defenses. This profiles as one of the highest scoring games on the Week 1 slate, and I would bet the over up to a line of 51.5.