2004 Season NFL Football Past Picks

January 02, 2005

This pick was released to clients on July 11, 2012 at 1:13PM ET.

02

Tampa Bay at Arizona

Sunday 01/02 04:05 PM Eastern

3 units on Tampa Bay +3 (-110) (risk 3 to return 5.73)  RESULT: LOSS

I'm going against another team, Arizona, here that I have enjoyed backing this season. The fourth small underdog pick, this time on the visiting team. I don't often go against home underogs this late in the season but I like Tampa a lot here if Griese plays and a little if Simms gets the call. They are the much better team, statistically, in my book. The Bucs have nearly a full yard advantage in offensive yards-per-play. Griese has for the most part played awesome since taking over for Brad Johnson. Last week, in backing Arizona, I talked about how Josh McCown had benefited from his benching and was playing much better as a result. Two points on this. First, this week he'll be facing the league's 2nd best pass defense. I don't expect him to have a lot of success agains the Bucs, who are allowing just 164 yards per game through the air. The matchup of this defense vs. one of the best receiving corps (now with Anquan Boldin back at full strength) should be fun to watch, if nothing else. Secondly, if Chris Simms needs to go for Tampa, there's a good chance he will have benefited in a similar way from sitting back and watching for a while. This could be Emmitt Smith's swan song. I think his last game will be a loss. Tampa Bay is 8-1 ATS in road games after 3 or more consecutive losses and 10-2 ATS in road games after having lost 5 or 6 out of their last 7 games since 1992. They are also 14-4 ATS after gaining 75 or less rushing yards last game over the last 3 seasons.

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