Chicago Bears vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Date and Time: Sunday, September 17, 2017, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Raymond James Stadium
Week 2 Opening NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Buccaneers -5.5, O/U 43
Bears vs. Buccaneers TV Coverage: FOX
The Bears went into their Week 1 matchup with the Falcons a must-have by sportsbooks across the world with the betting public betting Atlanta like the final outcome was already decided. While a 5 point Atlanta win would’ve been the more palatable result, the 6 point spread reeled the books in a pretty penny. Chicago made that happen by putting a cap on Atlanta’s explosive ground attack and limiting most of the big plays through the air.
Mike Glennon proved to be capable completing 26 of 40 passes for 213 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. However, his inability to feel pressure around him allowed for the Falcons to get to him four times. He needs to be more aware of his surroundings and pay more attention to his mental clock. Especially against a Bucs defense certain to bring the heat. Should the passing game falter in this matchup, you can be sure offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains will be looking to both Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen who combined for 117 yards and a touchdown on only 18 combined carries.
Dirk Koetter enters his third season as a member of the Bucs’ coaching staff with the last two as head coach. He took over when the team went into rebuild mode, and enters his second season calling the shots with heavy expectations thrust upon his team. Especially after headlining this year’s installment of Hard Knocks. Much is expected of Tampa Bay after it closed last year out with six wins in its final eight games and just missed out on a spot in the postseason.
The futures odds find them in the mix to win the NFC South with both the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons each owning shorter odds. Still, they’re not much ahead of Tampa Bay. This will be Jameis Winston’s third year running the offense, and it’s the season he’s expected to take his biggest leap into the upper echelon of quarterbacks. The odds of him doing so look great with Winston having one of the best wide receivers in the league in Mike Evans as well as new toys DeSean Jackson and OJ Howard added to the mix.
Matchup to Watch
The Bucs conceded over 117 rushing yards per game a season ago. It also gave up over 250 passing yards per game. Both facets of the defense ranked in the bottom third of the league. What the Bucs did do well however was get pressure on opposing quarterbacks in averaging 2.4 sacks per game ( No. 10 ). Chicago allowed Glennon to get sacked four times last week with a couple of them ending drives; including the final one. With Kevin White joining Cameron Meredith and Reuben Randle on IR, the Bears have very limited options to pass the ball to. When they do decide to air it out, Gerald McCoy and company must make them pay. If the Bucs can make Chicago one-dimensional, they’ll win this game going away.
Bears vs. Buccaneers Picks
The Buccaneers will be chomping at the bit to get a piece of the Bears after Hurricane Irma washed their season opener with the Miami Dolphins away in Week 1. While there’s a bit of concern about rust, I just don’t think Chicago has the offensive punch or depth on defense to deal with what the Bucs will bring to the table for this Week 2 matchup. The Bears stop unit did a heck of a job keeping Matt Ryan and the Falcons under wraps in their own house last week, but there were still some costly mistakes made. With Chicago’s passing attack likely crippled, there will be no way for a one-dimensional Bears offense to stick within 10 at the top 10 online sportsbooks. Tampa Bay won this matchup in a laugher 36-10 at home in Week 10 last season, and a similar result wouldn’t surprise.
Bears vs. Buccaneers Week 2 ATS Pick: Buccaneers -6 at BookMaker.eu
Bears vs. Buccaneers Score Prediction: Buccaneers 38 – Bears 16