NFL line watch: Tampa Bay fans should bet Bucs now

Sep 1, 2013 |
The Jets offense could be scaled back with rookie QB Geno Smith under center.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
The Jets offense could be scaled back with rookie QB Geno Smith under center.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Each week during the pro football season, Covers Expert Art Aronson looks at the NFL odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later, and which total to watch as the week plays out.

Spread To Bet Now

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5) at New York Jets

If you're a Tampa Bay fan, you may want to jump on this line now as I believe it could climb a bit higher (note that it did open at 2.5), as the public backs the Bucs due to the QB issues surrounding the Jets.

New York's starting QB Mark Sanchez suffered a deep right shoulder bruise and has been deemed unlikely to play in the opener. That of course means that rookie Geno Smith is going to get his shot. So if Sanchez is in fact sitting, the Jets offense will be a scaled-back version with Smith under center.

With the public backing the veteran pivot, this line climbs a bit higher come gameday.

Spread To Wait On

Kansas City Chiefs (-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars

If you're a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, I'd recommend waiting a bit closer to game time to wager as I expect this line to climb a bit with the public jumping on the new look Chiefs (note this line opened at 3 and has since climbed to 4).

The Jags won 20-16 in Atlanta in their final warm up, coming into the regular season with some confidence and a tiny bit of momentum. Jacksonville was just 2-14 last year and needs a quick start with two "winnable" games to open the season. That said, WR Justin Blackmon will sit the first four games and the first team offense and line have yet to play together at the same time this preseason.

New Kansas City QB Alex Smith looks pretty enticing to bettors in this matchup; expect this line to creep a bit higher.

Total Watch

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (48.5)

These division opponents actually played three times in 2012. New York won 31-14 on January 1 (total stayed "under" 48). Dallas won 24-17 on October 5th (total stayed "under" 45.5). New York won 29-24 on November 28th (total went "over" 47.5). The Giants were 1-3 in the preseason, scoring 71 total points, while the Cowboys were 2-3, mustering just 78.

This line is currently higher than any set in 2012. With each team's offense struggling coming into the 2013 campaign, and with a recent history of playing to tighter, lower-scoring affairs, this number is likely to drop a bit. Get down now if you like the "under", or wait if you're going to play the "over".
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