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New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Point Spread - Pick

New York Giants (0-3 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Week 4 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 4:05PM EST
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: NYG -3.5/TB +3.5
Over/Under Total: 43.5

The New York Giants come to Raymond James Stadium to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in week four NFC action. Neither team won on Sunday, with the Bucs falling to 1-1 with a 34-17 loss on the road to the Minnesota Vikings. They look to get back on the winning track this week against a Giants' team that fell to 0-3 on Sunday in a heartbreaking loss to the Eagles. After an 11-5 season in 2016, the Giants now find themselves on the precipice of this season becoming a lost cause. Who can come out ahead on Sunday?

The Giants looked like they were on their way to another routine loss on Sunday in a game characterized by a lack of offense by New York. Through three quarters, it was 14-0 Eagles and it looked like that as a wrap. Then after scoring just one TD in the first 11 quarters of the season, the Giants exploded with three touchdowns through the air in just the first half of the fourth quarter. It looked like they would be able to get it done, but it was not meant to be, with Philly's rookie kicker hitting a 61-yard FG to win the game by three points. It's a tough pill to swallow for a team that was so strong last season, but at least it seems like their offense has come alive. Whatever the case, they really need this win if they want to have any chance of working their way back into things.

Again, the Giants' offense has been pitiful for much of the season. Eli Manning hasn't been very good and the line was really struggling to spring the run-game and keep a clean pocket for Eli to operate. And it was more of the same through three quarters on Sunday. Then suddenly, Manning hit Odell Beckham for a pair of touchdowns, followed by a great catch-and-run play of 77 yards from Manning to Sterling Shepard. A field goal gave the Giants the lead, but the final minute of the game was awful. After a Philly field goal to tie, there was under a minute left. The Giants somehow figured out how to go three-and-out while still leaving time for Philadelphia. After a pass to Alshon Jeffery, they set up for the 61-yard kick and hit it in dramatic fashion. It's this type of dysfunction that probably has the Giants feeling pretty lousy about things heading into Tampa for this game. Still, with better play from the line, 366 yards from Manning, and their top three receivers in Beckham, Shepard, and Marshall getting untracked, there could be some hope moving forward.

The Giants' defense has actually been quite god considering the lack of help they have gotten from the offense. But on Sunday, a little late-clutch would have gone a long way and they couldn't get it even with all the momentum being in their corner. Pass-rusher Olivier Vernon had a sack, but was hurt late and we'll see how that pans out. Having corner Janoris Jenkins back in there seemed to give the pass-defense a boost. Eli Apple and Landon Collins are two good young members of a good secondary that has a lot of depth. If the offense clicks into gear, it'd be interesting to see how well this unit does.

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Without Sam Bradford, many fancied the Bucs chances on Sunday and it just didn't work out—dominated on the road by the Vikes, falling behind 28-3 and never really getting into the game. After having their first game of the season postponed, the Bucs hammered the Bears at home, before falling to the Vikes in a tough road spot. They look to poke their heads above the .500 mark this week again at home.

The offense had to play from behind for essentially the entire game against the Vikings and when they tried to climb back into it. Mistakes plagued their efforts. QB Jameis Winston had a stat-line that looked decent until you get the part about the three picks. He threw for 328 yards on 28-for-40 passing with two touchdowns, but the interceptions were ultra-costly, two of which occurred in Tampa's end zone. The utter lack of a viable run-game also makes the offense a bit one-dimensional. Doug Martin returns this week and we'll see how that affects the offense. While not all that effective on Sunday, the aerial game for Tampa got the first big game out of new receiver DeSean Jackson, who had 84 yards and a TD. If Winston can get good games at the same time from OJ Howard, Jackson, Mike Evans, and others, this offense has potential to be substantially-improved from last season.

Tampa's defense was not very good on Sunday. They gave up 369 yards to Case Keenum and three touchdowns. They didn't get to him one time for a sack. And the Vikings' rookie back Dalvin Cook nearly ran for 100 yards. The Vikes had almost 500 yards of offense after looking pretty flat without the services of Bradford. It's just unfortunate that the Bucs are starting to feel the hurt from injuries on this side of ball so early this season. They were without DE Chris Baker, LB Kwon Alexander, and CB Brent Grimes. And now Gerald McCoy is hurt after leaving the game on Sunday. As if that wasn't bad enough, another key linebacker in Lavonte David appears to have been lost for some time. We'll see how this shakes out, but a group that started to find its stride is now under fire from the injury-bug and it could jeopardize their efforts for this season, which would be unfortunate.

This might be a good spot for a long-suffering Giants offense to get untracked, carrying over the momentum from last week, combined with the compromised Bucs' defense. The Bucs' defense is not a group with the depth to withstand a flurry of key losses and if half of their offense is on the injury list come this Sunday, it could be a lot tougher than it looks on paper. I see the Giants doing better this week and covering the spread.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the New York Giants plus 3.5 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Giants vs. Buccaneers game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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