NFL betting players probably wouldn’t have thought that Tampa Bay would have the same record as Baltimore heading into this surprisingly-important Week 12 contest, but that’s where we stand as the Bucs head to Baltimore on Sunday afternoon. The Ravens are going to have their hands full with a team that is very similar to them, but younger.
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The Buccaneers (7-3) made it to the end zone on all three of their opportunities inside the 20-yard-line in a 21-0 shutout of San Francisco on the road, and they converted half of their 14 third-down chances, which allowed them to keep the ball for over 36 minutes. Josh Freeman was 13-of-20 for 136 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Bucs, who had 299 yards of offense, but they didn’t need much more as they held the 49ers to 189 yards, forcing a couple of turnovers. Online football betting
players may point to the fact that the Bucs haven’t beaten a team with a winning record yet, but they’re a young team who is learning how to win, and it’s going to pay off one of these days.
The Ravens (7-3) got defensive scores from Ray Lewis and Dawan Landry to seal a 37-13 win in Carolina, and Landry’s touchdown actually came courtesy of Ed Reed, who picked off Brian St. Pierre and then pitched it to Landry. Joe Flacco was 24-of-33 for 301 yards and a touchdown for the Ravens, who had a couple of turnovers of their own, they converted just two of their 11 third-down chances, and they scored just once in four trips to the red zone. But the defense came to play, although they did allow the Panthers to average 5.5 yards per carry.
NFL betting odds have the Ravens as a 7.5-point favorite at home, and the Bucs have made just one trip to Baltimore, which resulted in a 25-0 blowout win in 2002. This will be a much closer game, and we don’t even think the Bucs are going to win, but they’ll cover the spread. The Bucs don’t turn the ball over, which is surprising for such a young team, and with LaGarrette Blount running the ball as he has been over the last few weeks, Baltimore’s sudden struggles stopping the run could be a problem. It’s also not likely that this will be a high-scoring game as both rank in the top 10 in terms of points against, so picking on the posted total of 41 should likely be an under. Again, we think the Ravens will pull out a close victory, but the Bucs aren’t going to make it easy on them.
Sports betting online pick: Tampa Bay +7.5
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