The 2020 NFL season is coming in hot, which means your betting card for the season needs a double-check. We’re going to be going over a copious amount of NFL futures bets, NFL odds, NFL betting picks and NFL predictions for the 2020 campaign. Sportsbooks have released win totals for every team, and we’re going to examine strengths, weaknesses, schedules and make predictions on the over/under. Right now, we’re looking at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Imagine thinking a few seasons ago that Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette would all be on the same team not named New England. Fast forward to the current day where the Buccaneers are currently the worst franchise in pro sports based on winning percentage. They have never really had these types of preseason expectations before. Some already have them labeled as “Tompa Bay,” and they will only go as far as Brady takes them. Bruce Arians and Brady should be a good mix thanks to the bevy of weapons that are at their disposals. Look for quicker, shorter throws to help Brady avoid getting dinged back in that pocket.
This NFL futures win total is reasonable since this is the same squad that won seven games last season despite all their flaws. The turnovers and their ability to consistently get torched against opposing passing attacks gives one reason for hope in 2020. 2002 was the last time the Bucs had favorable NFL odds to win their division and reach the postseason. Both should be within reach this season thanks to all the new pieces on offense.
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This team has arguably the best tandem of wideouts in the NFL. Chris Godwin is coming off a monster season where he looked like a top-10 fantasy option, and he is right there in real football too. Some are firm believers in Mike Evans being the most talented target Brady has had since Randy Moss. The return of Gronkowski hasn’t gone unnoticed, and the depth behind him is a major plus. Many are looking for Ronald Jones to step up his play as well despite the addition of Fournette. Fournette should lead the team in carries by the end of the season despite Bruce Arians wanting Jones to start out as the featured back. The depth is crazy good when you factor in LeSean McCoy and Ke’Shawn Vaughn. The defense was very respectable up front in the trenches last year, but the offensive line needs to be the most improved unit after drafting some rookies. This team is not accustomed to having this many strengths in the last decade or two. Despite having lofty expectations, Brady seems to be the perfect man for the job with an offensive guru in Arians.
As good as the rushing defense was, the pass defense was dead last, allowing over 300 yards per game. The talent level at corner has been missing for some time now, and many are unsure how much better it will get with a much-improved NFC South. Carlton Davis is hopeful in becoming more of a solid corner, but the talent around is lacking. Last year’s rookie Sean Murphy-Bunting had a solid rookie campaign, but more will be expected from this group if they want to be true NFC contenders. The other issue that goes without saying is the cohesiveness of this offensive team. It is certainly possible that they are not on the same page clicking on all cylinders against New Orleans in Week 1. Many are questioning how explosive this offense will be without a great offensive line that is protecting an aging quarterback. Brady is not going to stand tall in the pocket waiting for Evans and Godwin to go deep down the field. We are expecting quick, concise routes similar to the 1999 Rams that were led by Kurt Warner.
The schedule is manageable for Tampa Bay despite a division that could cost them a few games at the very least. Hosting the Packers, Chiefs and Vikings are should tell us how close Tampa is to challenging for a playoff push. Those three squads all have explosive play makers at wideout that could be a major problem for the Tampa secondary. As long as the Bucs can start out 6-3 or 5-4, there won’t be too much of a concern for this hyped team. They have far too many play makers to struggle for consistent weeks, and the defense will likely stay fresh with an offense that will have plenty of double-digit-play drives. Not much has been said about their running game, but that could slowly become a major factor into making the Bucs a reliable contender. The pass defense will give them some worries, so there will be a ton of games that come down to the wire. This what they signed up for, though, when they brought in Brady.
In terms of NFL odds, 2003 was the last time this franchise had a projected win total in double digits. Tampa Bay will be a very popular team for NFL futures bets and NFL predictions, but the juice is not as overwhelming as one would think it would be. On paper, they should be a little more likely to win 10 or 11 games than just 9.5. The Bucs have the worst winning percentage among all active professional teams in all of sports at the moment. They haven’t even made the playoffs in nearly two decades, which is the second-worst drought among all NFC squads. One of the most popular general public teams out there will likely be favored in quite a few games this season. There will be value for the opposition, but this team should be able to come from behind in the fourth quarter if and when the defense gets gashed.
I am not banking on a division title or 12-plus wins, but this should be a double-digit-victory squad. They nearly won that many a season ago despite turning the ball over at will with Jameis Winston at the helm. I am not drinking the Super Bowl hype, but I believe they can become that extra team that gets the benefit of that extra postseason berth. There isn’t even that much juice involved on the over here at 9.5. That is a solid value for an NFL betting pick, but it may be worthy looking at an even better value for 10 wins. The Bucs will be very entertaining and will sweat a handful of games out, but should reach double-digit wins for the first time since 2010.
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