The under .500, wild-card hopeful Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the St. Louis Rams who may very well be playing their last game in the "Gateway to the West". The game kicks-off on the NFL Network this Thursday, December 17th at 8:25 PM ET from the Edward Jones Dome.
The Bucs are playing with a little extra motivation, hoping to snap their 0-7 straight up and 1-6 against the spread streak in their last seven games against opponents from the NFC West. The Rams franchise, which moved from L.A. to St. Louis for the 1995 season, could learn its fate as early as next month when league owners meet in Houston on Jan. 12-13.
A Closer Look At How To Bet The Tampa Bay Buccaneers at St. Louis Rams NFL Week 15 Spread And My ATS Pick
The NFL Week 15 odds opened with the game as a pick. Currently the odds have shifted to favor the hometown Rams by 2-points to beat the Bucs. The game total opened at 42.5, but since has slipped to 41 for your over/under wagers. Happy Hunting!
What: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) at St. Louis Rams (5-8)
When: Thursday, December 17, 2015
Kickoff: 8:25 PM ET
Where: Saint Louis, MO
Stadium: Edward Jones Dome
Spread: St Louis -2
Moneyline: Bucs -110 vs Rams +110
Game Total: 41
Watch: NFL Network
Stream: NFL Network
Listen: Tampa Bay vs St. Louis
Why Bet The Tampa Bay Buccaneers At +2 Over The Rams:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 6-7 straight up and 7-6 against the spread this season. They average 22.2 points (16th), 222.7 passing yards (26th) and 141.2 rushing yards (4th) per game. Last week, they lost to the New Orleans Saints 24-17.
Rookie QB Jameis Winston (3059 yards, 18 TDs & 11 INTs) single handedly saved coach Lovie Smith’s job with his stellar play. The Bucs are also in playoff contention this late in the season for the first time since the elder Gruden days. After blowing out expectations, Winston has only 3 TDs over the last 3 weeks. He completed 18 of 32 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown against a porous Saints defense that is ranked 31st out of 32 adjacent the pass.
“I think it’s a part of our growth as a football team,” coach Lovie Smith said. “The same goals we had are still there. Nothing has been decided, so we’re still talking about the same things.”
— NFL (@NFL) December 11, 2015
Chemistry between Winston and WR Mike Evans (57 rec, 889 yards, 3 TDs) is apparent after Evans started the season injured. Veteran WR Vincent Jackson (33 rec, 543 yards, 3 TDs) has carved out a role in the passing game as well, but has struggled with injuries over the last month.
RB Doug Martin (238 att, 1214 yards, 5 TDs) bounced back after an awful season last year. He is averaging a stellar 5.1 yards per carry, only he and Vikings’ RB Adrian Peterson have broken the millennium mark on yards this season.
Tampa Bay’s defense allows 24.8 points (21th), 247.0 passing yards (21st) and 94.1 rushing yards (8th) per game. Lavonte David leads the team with 118 tackles and 12 deflected passes Gerald McCoy has seven sacks.
Why Bet The St Louis Rams At -2 Over The Bucs:
The St. Louis Rams are 5-8 straight up, 5-7-1 against the spread this season. They average 16.2 points (31st), 173.1 passing yards (32nd) and 124.8 rushing yards (6th) per game. Last week they beat a resurgent Detroit Lions team by a 21-14 score.
QB Case Keenum (260 yards, 1 TDs & 1 INTs) has been serviceable this season without being asked to do too much. Last week, he completed 14 of 22 for 124 yards with an interception which was enough to be the Lions. The Rams could learn from the Bucs and draft a NFL ready, franchise QB in the upcoming draft to lift their league worst passing offense out of the basement.
— NFL (@NFL) December 11, 2015
WR Kenny Britt (28 rec, 480 yards, 1 TD) leads the team with pedestrian numbers. TE Jared Cook (34 rec, 412 yards, 0 TDs) hasn’t fared much better. They are too talented to be wasted on a backup QB.
The Rams have found their first franchise rusher since Steven Jackson in rookie RB Todd Gurley (189 att, 975 yards, 8 TDs). He found the endzone twice last week after being skunked for two straight games.
St. Louis’ defense allows 20.8 points (12th), 238.0 passing yards (14th), and 115.9 rushing yards (21st) per game. Mark Barron has 97 tackles, Aaron Donald has 11.0 sacks, and Trumaine Johnson has five interceptions.
Stats Related To This Matchup:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS PROJECTIONS
- PASSING: Jameis Winston 22/33 CP-ATT, 250 YD, 1.2 TD, 0.8 INT
- RUSHING: Doug Martin 17 RUSH, 80 YD, 0.3 TD
- RECEIVING: Mike Evans 6 REC, 85 YD, 0.3 TD
ST. LOUIS RAMS PROJECTIONS
- PASSING: Case Keenum 18/29 CP-ATT, 185 YD, 1.1 TD, 0.8 INT
- RUSHING: Todd Gurley 16 RUSH, 71 YD, 0.7 TD
- RECEIVING: Kenny Britt 2 REC, 43 YD, 0.1 TD
9/14/2014: St. Louis won 19 to 17, St. Louis covered +6, Game came under 37
The Buccaneers are 0-4 ATS in their last four games against the Rams.
The Rams are 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 games in Week 15.
The Buccaneers are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games on the road in December.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction:
Both teams have the talent to be great over the next decade, but they aren’t there yet. The game totals have gone under in eight of the last nine games overall for St. Louis and eight of 11 on the road for Tampa Bay. Neither team will break 20 points. The game total is at 41. Bet the under.