Seattle Seahawks vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview
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Seattle Seahawks at Tampa Bay Bucs NFL Lines
Date/Time: Sunday, December 27, 4:15 PM ET
Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Seattle Seahawks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Lines from Sportsbetting.com
Money Line: Seahawks (+240) Bucs (-280)
Spread: Buccaneers -6
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Seattle Seahawks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview
The Seahawks (6-8) are in first place in the weak NFC West and they can still win the division if they lose this game. One the other side of the coin the Buccaneers (8-6) must win this game to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. NFL betting lines have the Bucs as 6-point favorites in this game with a total of 43.5.
In their last games the Seahawks were beat handily 34-18 by the Atlanta Falcons and the Bucs were shocked losing at home to the Detroit Lions 23-20 n OT. That loss to Detroit really hurt the post-season chances of the Bucs and to pour salt in the wound it was the Lions first road win since the 2007 season.
This season Tampa Bay is 8-5-1 ATS and Seattle is only 6-8 ATS. In the last 4 games between these 2 NFC teams in Tampa Bay the Seahawks have covered the spread every time.
The Seattle offense will have to carry the load if their D continues to struggle. In their last 2 games they have given up an average of 37 ppg.
Matt Hasselbeck will have to play well and he has only 4 TD, but 10 INT in his last 4 games. In the loss to Atlanta last week he was only 10/17 for 71 yards with 2 picks and was yanked for Charlie Whitehurst. However, Pete Carroll has stated he is staying with Hasselbeck. The Seahawks do not have a good WR corps and he will be facing a Tampa Bay pass defense that is decent ranking 12th in the league, but gave up 252 rushing yards to the Lions.
The best chance for the Seahawks to win may be by running the ball because the Bucs only have the league’s 29th ranked rushing defense. However, Seattle ranks 2nd to last in the league in rushing yards per game. RB Marshawn Lynch has not provided the spark that the Seahawks hopes when they brought him over from Buffalo mid-season, but he did rush for 60 yards averaging a solid 5 yards per carry last week.
Bucs’ QB Josh Freeman passed for 251 yards with 1 TD and 0 INT last week and WR Mike Williams (58 rec 880 yards 8 TD) is his big play target averaging 15.8 yards per catch. They will likely connect on some big plays this Sunday facing a Seattle passing defense that only ranks 29th in the league.
A big thing the Seahawks have going against them is that Freeman is a much better QB in making short and intermediate passes and that is what Seattle is weak at defending. The Seahawks have a decent pass rush with 34 sacks on the season and they need to pressure Freeman in this game and not give him time in the pocket.
The key to Tampa Bay on offense this Sunday may be the play of rookie RB LeGarrette Blount. Even though the Bucs lost he played great last week rushing for 110 yards with a TD and averaged an impressive 7.3 yards per carry. The Seahawks rank 21st in the league defending the run and they played ok last week holding the Falcons to 98 rushing yards.
This game does not match up well for Seattle and on top of that they are only 2-5 on the road this season. Blount will play well and the Tampa Bay D will keep the Seahawks from scoring a lot of points. Sure, they lost to the lowly Lions last week, but the Bucs will bounce back this Sunday and beat the Seahawks and cover the spread.
Seattle is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games as an underdog and Tampa Bay is 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games and 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games against teams with a team with a losing record.
Pick: Bucs -6