Can new Head Coach Bruce Arians work his magic with Jameis Winston? Winston enters his fifth NFL season, and the writing is on the wall. The Bucs win total is currently listed at 6.5 at Sports Interaction.
The Bucs finished the 2018 season with a 5-11 record (straight up), and a 7-7-2 mark against the spread, covering 50 percent of their games. They were also 9-7 to the over during the regular season.
A lot has changed within the Buccaneers organization, but none more than Head Coach Bruce Arians. That is good news to Bucs fans as the last four teams that Arians has guided – either as an OC or head coach (Cardinals, Colts, Steelers and Browns) – have all seen increases in wins and points per game in his first year.
Arians is known throughout the league as a quarterback whisperer, having worked with Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer. Now, the Bucs hope he can work the same magic with Jameis Winston. Winston enters his fifth NFL season, and the writing is on the wall. If Winston has success, he will land a massive contract extension, fail and he’ll likely have to find another NFL club willing to give him a chance next season.
So, are you feeling the Winston vibe of a comeback season? If you are, Sports Interaction has famous Jameis listed as a +9200 underdog to take home the NFL MVP honors. Or perhaps a passing title is in his future? Winston is coming in at +1700 to lead the league in that category.
Tampa Bay Acquisitions and Moves
The Bucs made an off season pledge to fix the defence, and on paper it appears to be an overhaul of sorts. New Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles leads a group that could see five new starters in the line-up. First round pick Devin White (LB) is an early favourite to win Defensive Rookie of the year at Sports Interaction. He’ll be surrounded by free agent signings Ndamukong Suh (DT) and Deone Bucannon (LB). Deletions on defence include DT Gerald McCoy, LB Kwon Alexander (LB) and most importantly (DL) Jason Pierre-Paul is expected to miss most of the season with a neck fracture. Pierre-Paul contributed one-third of the defence’s sacks last season and nearly half defensive pressures (according to NFL Next Gen Stats).
On offence, Receiver Adam Humphries will be missed after he signed as a free agent with the Titans. Also, DeSean Jackson will not be back. The Bucs have a decent receiving core in Mike Evans, OJ Howard, Cameron Brate and expect more production from receiver Chris Goodwin.
Tampa Bay 2019 NFL Schedule
The Buccaneers are tied for 12th in strength of schedule. Opponents they face this year were a combined 130-126, for a winning percentage of .508 last season.
The Bucs start the season home to the 49ers where one of the games storylines will include two of the top defensive draft picks (Bosa and Devin White on display). Arians also faces two of the teams he has history with; the Cardinals in week 10, and Colts in week 14.
The Bucs play one game in prime-time against division rival Carolina early in the season on a Thursday night (September 12).
Week 1: vs. San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 8 (4:25 p.m.)
Week 2: at Carolina Panthers, Thursday, Sept. 12 (8:20 p.m.)
Week 3: vs. New York Giants, Sunday, Sept. 22 (4:05 p.m.)
Week 4: at Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Sept. 29 (4:05 p.m.)
Week 5: at New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 6 (1 p.m.)
Week 6: vs. Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 13 (9:30 a.m.)
Week 7: Bye
Week 8: at Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 27 (1 p.m.)
Week 9: at Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Nov. 3 (4:05 p.m.)
Week 10: vs. Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 10 (1 p.m.)
Week 11: vs. New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Nov. 17 (1 p.m.)
Week 12: at Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Nov. 24 (1 p.m.)
Week 13: at Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Dec. 1 (12:30 p.m.)
Week 14: vs. Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Dec. 8 (1 p.m.)
Week 15: at Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 15 (1 p.m.)
Week 16: vs. Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 22 (1 p.m.)
Week 17: vs. Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Dec. 29 (1 p.m.)
Tampa Bay NFL Betting Odds
Sports Interaction places the Bucs win total at 6.5, with a slight lean on the under. They are expected to finish last in the division, paying +800 to pull off the upset and win it. Speaking of upsets, the Buccaneers come in at +3000 to win the conference, and a crazy +6000 to win the Super Bowl.
Tampa Bay Prediction
With Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones sharing carries in the backfield, the emphasis will be on the arm of Jameis Winston to air it out. We are predicting a big bounce back season from Winston, but in a division that also includes Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton, it’s going to be tough for the Bucs to post a .500 record, let alone a playoff spot. Expect the Buccaneers to go over its 6.5-win total, and finish last in the division. Prediction: 7-9 regular season.