Cardinals vs. Buccaneers Odds & Picks: Trust Tampa Bay to Cover?

Cardinals vs. Buccaneers Odds & Picks: Trust Tampa Bay to Cover? article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Arizona Cardinals in the highest total game of Week 10.
  • Our experts analyze the betting odds and make their picks.

Cardinals at Buccaneers Odds & Picks

  • Odds: Buccaneers -4.5
  • Over/Under: 52
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

Odds as of Thursday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

In a likely high-scoring matchup featuring two flawed passing defenses, the Cardinals and Buccaneers have the highest total of Week 10.

As of Thursday, the Cardinals are attracting more than 60% of betting tickets despite being road underdogs — they are 3-1 in that situation this season.

Can the Cardinals continue to cover on the road? Our experts break down every angle of this matchup, from the biggest mismatch to how to bet the spread.

Cardinals-Buccaneers Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Both are pretty healthy

David Johnson (ankle) is practicing in full, but head coach Kliff Kingsbury said they wanted to “be smart” with his workload. With newly acquired Kenyan Drake on board, it’ll be interesting to see how the Cardinals divvy up their workloads.

O.J. Howard (hamstring) should be ready to return after he returned to full practice this week, and their head coach said he should be ready to roll. He’s healthy just in time for one of the best matchups for tight ends as the Cardinals have struggled all year to slow them down. Justin Bailey

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

Biggest Mismatch

Patrick Peterson vs. Mike Evans

Arizona’s pass defense has struggled all season, currently ranked 28th in pass defense DVOA (per Football Outsiders). The return of  Peterson was supposed to provide help, but that has not been the case.

Since returning from his six game suspension, Peterson is only the 81st ranked cornerback per Pro Football Focus. He will likely shadow Evans, whose production puts him squarely in the argument as the NFL’s top wide receiver.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Patrick Peterson, Mike Evans

Evans is averaging 22 fantasy points per game, second among all wideouts. He ranks first in completed air yards and first in deep targets (PlayerProfiler). Always a mega-producer in receiving yards, Evans currently ranks second (842) while also ranking first overall in total target distance at the position.

Over the past two weeks? Evans has finished as the overall WR2 and WR1 consecutively.

Arizona has allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game this season, with opponents totaling an average of 280.7 yards through the air per game. Mike Randle

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Bucs -5
  • Projected Total: 54

Introducing the Bruce Arians Bowl.

Due to some bad schedule luck, the Buccaneers haven’t played at home since Week 3. They went 1-4 on a brutal five-game road trip (one was technically on a “neutral” field in London). So there’s some value backing them in their first game back as the market is likely underrating them based on their grueling recent stretch.

However, I’m eyeing this total, which has strangely dropped from 53 to 52. As of writing, 59% of the money is on the under (see live public betting data here), which has warranted the point drop. Still, I’m having a hard time figuring out why the public would be attacking the under here. We have two of the fastest-paced teams — the Cardinals are first, the Buccaneers are seventh — and a pair of offenses that should be able to attack the opposing defenses.

The only case for the under is the potential positive game script for the Bucs in which they can lean on the run game a bit and prevent Jameis Winston from turning the ball over, thus protecting the lead. But it’s not enough for me to back off what I believe is value on the over. Sean Koerner

PRO System Match

The Cardinals have been one of the most profitable teams this season, covering the spread in six of their nine games. The Buccaneers, on the other hand, have struggled to cash tickets only covering in two games.

A majority of spread tickets are on the Cardinals as underdogs at the time of writing. This is not a surprise as gamblers love a team that has shown an ability to cash for bettors.

But history suggests gamblers shouldn’t expect each team to continue their covering ways. Team’s records against the spread tend to regress to the mean over the course of a season as bookmakers adjust to team performance and public perception. As a result, it’s been profitable to bet teams with bad ATS records against opponents with winning ATS records.

Following this simple Pro System, bettors have gone 171-104-9 (62.2%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $5,759 following this strategy.

Bettors are counting the Bucs out against the Cardinals, but history suggests Jameis Winston and Co. can cover. John Ewing

PRO Systems are data-driven betting strategies that turn winning long-term trends into easy-to-follow picks, all handpicked and monitored by our team of analysts. Try Action PRO now and instantly access real-time game matches for every PRO System.

Expert Pick

Randle: Buccaneers -4.5

The Buccaneers’ defense has been a pass funnel all season. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has assembled the top run defense in the NFL, ranking first in run defense DVOA. Tampa Bay only allows 78.1 rushing yards per game.

This will put a premium on the Arizona passing game and rookie quarterback Kyler Murray. While the Oklahoma-product has flashed potential, he also has failed to throw a touchdown pass in four of his past six games.

In fact, in four road games this season, Murray has yet to throw a touchdown and has averaged just 16.5 fantasy points per game.

As I noted above, Arizona’s pass defense has not received the boost it expected with the return of Peterson. I’ll take the Buccaneers to cover the -4.5 at home against a Cardinals team that has yet to produce a quality road passing performance this season.

I would bet this line up to Buccaneers -5.5

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