Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Tennessee Titans
Date and Time: Saturday, August 18, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
Opening NFL Odds: Titans -3, 41
Buccaneers vs. Titans TV Coverage: Local TV
The Bucs trotted out a pretty formidable trio of quarterbacks in last week’s exhilarating win over the Fins. Jameis Winston kicked off the festivities with an ultra-efficient 11 of 13 showing for 103 yards and no turnovers. He later handed it off to Ryan Fitzpatrick who went 6 of 8 for 55 yards. Then, third stringer Ryan Griffin cleaned it all up and proceeded to go 20 of 26 for 179 yards and a touchdown.
When it was said and done, Tampa Bay torched Miami’s rebuilt secondary for 326 passing yards and completed nearly 79 percent of its passes. That bodes extremely well for them in this Week 2 tilt against the NFL odds considering Tennessee allowed all of Green Bay’s backups to rip them apart to the tune of 356 passing yards on only a 53 completion percentage.
In the grand scheme of things, the Titz handled their business early on with the first stringers in the ball game. Marcus Mariota led a touchdown drive on Tennessee’s opening possession, and they held a 10-7 advantage with just over 12 minutes remaining in the second quarter. In other words, right before Vrabel benched all his starters and started filtering in his backups.
Still, the defense couldn’t get off the field evidenced by the Packers owning a 10+ minute time of possession advantage, and the 14 penalties for 124 yards is something to get concerned about if not rectified quickly. On the plus side, the defense registered three quarterback sacks which is huge since upper management tried to improve its pressure defense in the offseason.
Matchup to Watch
I mentioned last week how the loss of Jonathan Cyprien was going to hurt the Titans in the secondary leading up to their matchup with the Titans. That paired with the season ending loss of Tye Smith was simply too much for the team to overcome in their first live game action of the exhibition season. I’m not sure enough time has passed for Tennessee to be any more ready this week, and that sucks for them because the Buccaneers will be throwing a solid group of quarterbacks against them in this tilt. But it’s the preseason and it’s the time for teams to work on correcting their major flaws. Good luck Tennessee, you’re going to need it!
Buccaneers vs. Titans Free Picks
With both of these defenses getting picked apart through the air last week, it comes as a bit of a surprise not to see much of any over money flooding the betting market in early wagering. The line hasn’t moved a single point and with the total getting an even 50 percent of the action on both sides of the number. That won’t stop me from taking a stand and backing the over now before seeing which way the number goes leading up to kick off.
While Tennessee might get better in its secondary as the season moves along, it’s ripe for the picking right now as it looks to adapt without two of its expected key cogs. As for Tampa Bay, it ranked dead last in a number of pertinent pass defense categories last season and the moves made in the offseason to improve itself on that side of the ball will also take some time. The Titans have played to high scorers in five of their last six home games in the exhibition season, and I’m expecting that trend to continue tonight with the solid QB rotations set to take the field along with the starters getting some more burn.
NFL ATS Pick: Over 41 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Titans 31 – Buccaneers 27