weather icon Partly Cloudy
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

NFL countdown: Handicapper takes Bucs under inflated win total

This is the 27th in a series of 32 NFL team betting previews in 32 days leading up to the league’s Sept. 10 season opener. We’ll count down the teams from the lowest season win total to the highest.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the NFL’s lowest all-time winning percentage (.385).

That number is expected to improve this season as Tampa’s win total climbed as high as 10 after it added Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski and suddenly became one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl (12-1).

But handicapper Paul Stone and Westgate vice president of risk Ed Salmons don’t believe the hype on the Bucs, who are coached by quarterback guru Bruce Arians and feature two 1,000-yard receivers in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans.

“They have a lot of talent there. I just don’t believe you’re going to be looking at the Tom Brady from New England,” Salmons said. “He’s 43 years old, and he’s definitely going to take some shots playing in Tampa. Tampa has always had a suspect offensive line. One thing (Patriots coach Bill) Belichick does is protect the quarterback.”

Last season, former Bucs QB Jameis Winston (33 touchdowns, 30 interceptions) was sacked 47 times, second-most in the league. Tampa still finished fourth in the NFL in scoring (28.6 points per game) while placing 29th in scoring defense (28.1 ppg).

“I saw some 10s at one point (on season win totals), and I would bet under 10,” Salmons said. “At 9½, I would lean under just because it takes 10 to beat you.”

Stone recently bet Tampa Bay, which went 7-9 last season, to go under 10 wins at Circa before the number dropped to 9½.

“I know they obviously signed Tom Brady and have some outstanding receivers. But they’ve averaged just 5.4 wins in their last nine seasons, including just one winning season during that span, and their last playoff appearance came back in 2007,” said Stone (@PaulStoneSports). “They have to win more than 10 games, based on the number I got, to lose this wager. They haven’t done that in the last 14 years and only once in the last 17 years.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

Like and follow Vegas Nation