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Sports news with a Vegas perspective.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Win Total, Schedule

Cantor Gaming, arguably one of the most respected sportsbooks in Las Vegas, has released its highly anticipated NFL season win totals. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not expected to do much this year as they have been slated for 7.5 wins (Over -115). Tampa Bay is at +2500 Odds to win the NFC Championship and +6000 Odds to win Super Bowl XLVIII.

An aggressive 2012 offseason for the Buccaneers looked like it was going to pay off in spades early as a four-game winning streak in the middle of the season put Tampa Bay, at 6-4, squarely in the middle of the playoff picture. Unfortunately, a 1-5 record down the stretch took the shine off that surprisingly strong start. 

Schiano couldn't really do much to fix what was ailing Josh Freeman, either. Coming off of a lackluster 2011, getting the guy once thought to be the team's franchise quarterback back in rhythm was the prime objective. But Freeman was dreadful after a five-game stretch from Weeks 6 to 10 in which he had a rating over 100, finishing the season with 17 interceptions and 10 fumbles (2 lost) and creating serious doubts about the team's future under center. This is still a very potent offense, depending on whether Josh Freeman is running hot or cold. He received a vote of confidence from Schiano at the NFL Combine, but there have to be questions about his long term viability. For now he's slinging the rock, however, and if 2010 Josh Freeman shows up, watch out. Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams are a dynamic pair of wideouts.

Defensively the Bucs are facing some problems, however. They invested four early-round picks in defensive lineman and the return on investment is currently questionable. Gerald McCoy had a monster season in 2012, but Brian Price is already out of Tampa, potential star Adrian Clayborne is coming back from an early-season ACL injury, and Da'Quan Bowerswas recently arrested at a New York airport with a firearm. As painful as it is to say, they need more help on the defensive line, especially with Michael Bennett leaving as an unrestricted free agent.The secondary was atrocious last year, so allot of work needs to be done there.

The Buccaneers could take another step forward, but things have to break right again. They need to work free agency and the draft the way they did in 2012 and Freeman needs to become more consistent. If that happens and they don't suffer a rash of injuries, Tampa Bay could make some noise this year.


2013 schedule

Sep. 8 at New York Jets 1 p.m.
Sep. 15 vs. New Orleans Saints 1:05 p.m.
Sep. 22 at New England Patriots 1 p.m/
Sep. 29 vs. Arizona Cardinals 1 p.m.
BYE 
Oct. 13 vs. Philadelphia Eagles 1 p.m.
Oct. 20 at Atlanta Falcons 1 p.m.
Oct. 24 vs. Carolina Panthers 8:25 p.m.
Nov. 3 at Seattle Seahawks 1:05 p.m.
Nov. 11 vs. Miami Dolphins 8:40 p.m.
Nov. 17 vs. Atlanta Falcons 1 p.m.
Nov. 24 at Detroit Lions 1 p.m.
Dec. 1 at Carolina Panthers 1 p.m.
Dec. 8 vs. Buffalo Bills 1 p.m.
Dec. 15 vs. San Francisco 49ers 1 p.m.
Dec. 22 at St. Louis Rams 1 p.m.
Dec. 29 at New Orleans Saints 1 p.m.



Pick: I expect the Buccaneers to possibly fall short of 7.5 wins. They have just too many whole on defense to think they can win 8 games, especially with games vs New Orleans, Philly, New England, Carolina, San Francisco and Atlanta on their schedule. Those teams will all put up plenty of points this year and Tampa will be hard pressed to stop them. I expect 7 wins at the most here.



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