NFL Betting Odds: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Miami Dolphins Free Prediction

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take a short trip south to Miami to face off with the Dolphins in a game that will feature a QB fresh out of retirement and another on the rise. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday, September 10th from Hard Rock Stadium. The game is scheduled to be televised on FOX in local markets, and on NFL Sunday Ticket.

Tampa Bay vs. Miami NFL Game Preview and Betting Lines

After ending a seven-year playoff drought in 2016, the Miami Dolphins will have to play this season without their starting QB, Ryan Tannehill. Jay Cutler may prove to not be a drop off for the ‘Phins, and will have three extremely talented wideouts and a Pro Bowl running back at his disposal.

The Patriots are clearly still the class of the AFC East, but in a lopsided division, Miami has another chance to make the playoffs despite the loss of their signal-caller.

As for the team from central Florida, the Bucs are still trying to break a postseason slump stretched over nearly a decade. They haven’t won a playoff game since they won the Super Bowl following the 2002 season.

But they have a lot of weapons in the passing game for up-and-comer Jameis Winston, and were productive in both free agency and the draft. Only time will tell if the acquisitions will pay dividends, but this could very well be the year the Bucs make their long-awaited playoff run. And that’s even considering they’re playing in a grueling NFC South.
Tampa Bay is 2.5-point favorites, with the over/under at 44.5.

Free Vegas Spread Prediction and Analysis: Tampa Bay -2.5

Cutler returns to the NFL in a much better situation than how he left it. He has Jarvis Landry (consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons) as a legitimate No.1 target, and a fellow Pro Bowl talent at RB with Jay Ajai. Throw in Kenny Stills as a deep threat and DeVante Parker as another big target, and this group could create more than a few problems for the Bucs secondary. Cutler will also have a better line than he’s had in the sack-filled past.

The biggest addition is that of TE Julius Thomas, who Dolphins coach Adam Gase used to perfection as the Denver offensive coordinator. Gase was also the OC for Cutler’s best year, 2015 in Chicago.

Tampa Bay has athletic LBs to cover Thomas and others underneath and help stuff the run, but the defensive line will need pressure from the ends to help Gerald McCoy and Chris Baker, the bulls on the inside. The secondary is getting better with T.J. Ward on board, but could still be a weak spot to be exploited by the ‘Phins.

The Bucs may give up a few big plays, even with Ward and the progression of CB Vernon Hargreaves III. But they’ll have their own loaded passing attack to match.

Jameis Winston is a gunslinger with an assortment of targets. If given time in the pocket—and that’s a big if with Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake on the Dolphins d-line– he could torch a squad that gives up its fair share of yards (28th in 2016).

He has a game-changer, Mike Evans, to move the chains and win the 50/50 passes. Pair that with DeSean Jackson stretching the field and a notable TE tandem in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate taking up the open space on intermediate routes, and this attack covers all the bases. They even have an underrated slot receiver, Adam Humphries.

They may be a bit one-dimensional without RB Doug Martin, but it probably won’t matter if Winston can minimize his turnovers.

Tampa Bay went 5-3 on the road last year. The over/under is set at 44.5, the type of score (12-7 in games set at 42.5-45 points) that typically bodes well for the Bucs, and not for Miami (1 of their last 6). Miami is also 13-18 in their last three years ATS, and while their 6-2 mark at home last year looks good, those wins were against opponents with a combined 37-62-1 record.

The Dolphins will have their chances to get back to the postseason, but the Bucs are one of the few teams with even more electricity on offense, and it will show just enough on Sunday.

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