Florida football fans might be better off paying attention to their college teams this season, with neither the Tampa Bay Buccaneers nor the Miami Dolphins expected to do much. The in-state rivals tangle Thursday night at Hard Rock Stadium in their respective pre-season openers – and given how both offenses are expected to perform this season, it will come as no surprise that this game has one of the lowest totals of the week.
NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis
The Dolphins’ home-field advantage is the difference in this one, though there should be plenty of Tampa fans in the stands. And while you have to take trends with a grain of salt when it comes to pre-season games, it is worth mentioning that Tampa Bay has covered in six straight games against the Dolphins. But Sports Interaction bettors are firmly on the side of the hosts, with two-thirds taking Miami and giving away the 1.5 points.
The total is down a half-point from the opening 34.5-point figure, and will likely remain in this range by the time these teams hit the field. The Buccaneers have been one of the more entertaining road teams in the league of late, having gone above the number in seven of their previous nine games away from Tampa. The Dolphins are also trending in that direction, having converted the over in eight of their last 11 games overall.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs will be short-handed for Thursday’s game, with well over a dozen players expected to be out of action due to injury. Fortunately, they’ll still have well over 70 players in the mix, with the majority expected to see action. But those injuries, particularly on the offensive line, could impact Tampa’s play-calling Thursday.
Much of the attention among Miami bettors and fans will be focused on wide receiver Isaiah Ford, who was taken as a seventh-round flier in the 2017 draft but missed his entire rookie season after suffering a major knee injury. Ford could steal some time in the slot away from off-season acquisition Danny Amendola. QB Ryan Tannehill is expected to see limited action in the Dolphins’ pre-season opener; he’ll be spelled by David Fales and Brock Osweiler.
Buccaneers vs. Dolphins Prediction
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS20