The Bucs Stop Here, Again
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano's patience with quarterback Josh Freeman has run out just three weeks into the NFL season, and he's calling on rookie Mike Glennon to make his first career start when the winless Bucs host the 1-2 Arizona Cardinals today.
This has been an interesting line all week to me, with the Bucs opening in most shops as a field goal favorite and now they are laying as little as one in some places, but most are at two. And unless that number drastically moves toward the Cardinals laying a field goal or so, they definitely are the play today.
Right now, the Bovada line is Arizona laying three.
The Cardinals are coming off a lackluster performance in New Orleans last week in losing 31-7. And Bruce Arian's team may not be all that great, but they really aren't that bad, either. They had covered in their previous two games this season, including in an upset win over Detroit the week before.
I think for a team that most expect to finish around .500, the Cardinals are due to look more like the team that beat Detroit two weeks ago than the one that lost in New Orleans last week.
Arians also made an interesting move this week in taking his Cardinals out to Florida after last week's loss in New Orleans. So traveling a day or two ahead of gameday and the earlier start for the Cardinals may not have as much of an impact on them as a normal East Coast road trip would.
Now for Glennon, who many believed the Bucs reached a bit in picking him in the third round of this year's draft. I guess we'll finally find out. Regardless, I'm not expecting him to light the world on fire just yet, if he ever does.
Take note of a couple key figures by using the Bovada data tool on the Home page. First, there's the Bucs average -- at best -- rushing attack putting up just 107 yards per game on the ground. That plays well into the hand of the Cardinals because they are third in the league defending the run.
Tampa's inability to run will put a lot of pressure on Glennon to be effective in the passing game, something he's just not ready for yet.
Don't expect the Cardinals to light it up either, but with veteran Carson Palmer under center and Larry Fitzgerald apparently completely healthy after battling a hamstring injury, the Cardinals have plenty more firepower than do the Bucs, and if they are getting any points at kickoff, consider that a steal.
My pick: Arizona Cardinals +3
Result ... Arizona 13 Tampa Bay 10 Cardinals cover
Steve Soprano is the founder and handicapper at www.premierticketsports.com.