2006 Season NFL Football Past Picks
October 08, 2006
This pick was released to clients on July 30, 2012 at 8:40PM ET.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans
Sunday 10/08 01:00 PM Eastern
1 unit on Tampa Bay +6.5 (-110) (risk 1 to return 1.91) RESULT: WIN
When it looks like it can't get any worse for a team, back 'em. Tampa's in a good spot for a cover here. They have been outscored on average 9 - 22 so far. The first two weeks they scored just 3 points. Everyone's dissin' them. But wait. Who did they play in weeks 1 and 2? Baltimore and Atlanta - two of the best teams in the league right now. Two teams with great defenses. So those first two losses now don't look quite as bad as they did at the time. And, the Bucs showed a lot of improvement in game three. They covered against Carolina and gave them a fight, scoring 24 poitns and losing by just two. They are off a bye which can cure a lot of ills for a winless team. They are laser focused in desparate need of a win and catch New Orleans at a good time. The Saints are now officially a "good" team in the eyes of ESPN analysts and the public. They are coming off a grueling two game stretch that started with their big emotional win on Monday night. Then they faced Carolina in a tough and important division matchup. Now they get the lowly Bucs and I think their guard could be down a bit. They've been playing great and that's just really hard to keep up week after week in the NFL. They may take Tampa a bit lightly as the Bucs are without starting QB Chris Simms and looks to the rookie Bruce Gradkowski. But this may not be so terrible. A lot of Tampa's offensive woes were due to Griese. In this game, they will instead rely heavily on the running game and defense. Winless underdogs coming out of their bye hit at about a 67% rate in the NFL. Tampa is a desparate cornered animal and I think they find a way to keep this game close.