Seattle Seahawks (7-2-1 SU, 6-4 ATS) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS)
Week 12 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 4:05PM EST
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: SEA -5/TB +5
Over/Under Total: 44.5
The Seattle Seahawks come into Raymond James Stadium on Sunday to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both teams were victorious this past Sunday. Tampa, a large underdog, marched into Arrowhead Stadium and broke the Chiefs' 5-game win streak with a gutty 19-17 victory. They are now squarely in the NFC South race at 5-5 with their second straight win. To make it three, they will have to upend a Seattle team that has lost just once in their last 8 games. On Sunday, the Seahawks scored a nice 26-15 home win and cover over the Eagles.
Seattle has been on a nice roll, getting good play on both sides of the ball. On offense, they're getting good play from Russell Wilson, who has been taking to the air in a big way. He threw a TD on 272 yards on Sunday and even caught a TD reception on a trick play from Doug Baldwin. The return of Thomas Rawls paid off immediately, as he ran for 57 yards with running back CJ Prosise delivering with a 72-yard TD run on Sunday. In addition to throwing a TD pass, Baldwin was over 100 yards receiving. Jimmy Graham has been stepping up lately and caught a TD pass on Sunday from Wilson.
Seattle needed to retool their approach with Marshawn Lynch retiring and Rawls missing so much time. In the meantime, they worked more on their aerial game, with guys like Baldwin and Graham stepping into the forefront. In the run-game, rookie Prosise started coming around. Now Rawls is back, which offered nice possibilities with Prosise as a 1-2 punch. But no sooner did Rawls return when a fractured scapula. Guys in the aerial attack like Graham have surfaced. Maybe the injuries and transition somehow made the Seahawks a more-formidable offense. Forced to adapt or sink, they are now a more-diverse group with more options and guys who can consistently do damage.
Of course, Seattle continues to rely on one of the best offenses in the league. They are giving up the fewest points in the league at 17.3 a game. The Legion of Boom is still in full-bloom, with both Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor registering picks on Sunday. Cliff Avril and Bobby Wagner each recorded sacks. Kendall Wright was all over the field. They excel in all areas. On Sunday, they took Philly completely out of the game. Earl Thomas hurt his hamstring, but they await the return of DE Michael Bennett, who is due to return.
The Buccaneers, winners of two in a row, now face a real test. To win this game would put a lot of wind into the Bucs' sails. The offense was able to move the ball with ease at times in Arrowhead against a Chiefs team that had won 17 of 19 games. Jameis Winston threw for 331 yards and even added a few useful runs. Winston has been more efficient of late, with just one interception in his last 6 games with 12 touchdowns in that stretch.
Speaking of runs, they got some great news with the return of Doug Martin. Though Martin only ran for 63 yards and showed some rust, his return could give the Bucs an added dimension on offense. Leading receivers on Sunday was Mike Evans, who is having a big season. He had 105 yards on Sunday, with Cecil Shorts, Russell Shepard, Martin, and Adam Humphries adding production. And a line that hasn't kept Winston all that well protected at times this season was effective against the home KC front, which is a really positive development. Granted, the offense didn't follow through on a lot of promising drives, with four field goals. That's been a problem, as Tampa needs to turn more drives into touchdowns.
QUIT THROWING AWAY YOUR HARD EARNED LOOT! BET ON THE SEAHAWKS VS. BUCCANEERS GAME AT DISCOUNTED ODDS -105 TODAY AT 5DIMES
The Tampa defense has been anything but foolproof this season. Giving up 27 combined points in their last two games, however, has seen them in better form. But thriving against an awful Bears team and an off-tune KC offense is hardly grounds for a revival. It is a good sign, however, and Tampa can use those on this side of the ball. They rank towards the bottom in all major defensive categories. This season has seen them range from stingy to slapstick. Against Seattle, even at home, look for this group to be tested in a major way. Seattle doesn't always fire on offense, but they look to be in one of those hot-periods and the Bucs will be tested beyond what they were in the last two games. On Sunday, Chris Conte had a pick and a long return. And the whole defense was rather adroit at keeping the Chiefs off-stride, with the key guys on Kansas City's offense having off-days.
Tampa is dangerous and seeing some light after starting the season in ragged form at 1-3. With 4 wins in 6 games, three of those were on the road. They've only won once at home this season and that was against wayward Bears. Still, it's a tough road spot in a faraway locale for the Seahawks in a game that has the look of being a close affair. I'll take the points.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers plus 5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Seahawks vs. Buccaneers game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!