Chicago at Tampa Bay NFL Betting Lines & Preview

Posted by Aaron . on December 25, 2015 in

The Chicago Bears (5-9) head south to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) at 1:00 Eastern time at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers are 2.5-point favorites, with an over/under line of 44.5 points. Neither one of these teams is headed to the postseason, but they both have encouraging developments to take forward from the 2015 season. Click here for NFL betting lines.

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Why should you bet on Tampa Bay (-2.5)?

The Buccaneers offense is improving steadily with Jameis Winston at the helm. They average 22.2 points per game, and Winston has thrown for 20 touchdowns this year, completing 58.4 percent of his passes. Doug Martin is having a solid year on the ground for Tampa Bay as well, picking up 1,305 yards and five scores. The defense has been a little shaky, allowing 25.2 points per game, although they do have 28 takeaways. This is a team that can play well on both sides of the ball and give Jay Cutler and the Bear offense some fits.

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Why should you take the Bears (+2.5)?

The Bears have only averaged 20.6 points per game this season, putting up a -4 turnover ratio. Jay Cutler has had a better season than the past though, throwing 18 touchdowns and just 8 picks — and almost none of those picks in crunch time, which had been his calling card. The defense is giving up 25.1 points per game — and only has 11 takeaways. However, they have done well on the road, upsetting the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field.

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

Tampa Bay is 7-3 against the spread when playing teams with a losing record. However, they are just 18-39-1 against the spread in their last 58 contests at home. The Bears are on a downward trend coming away from their win at Lambeau, and the Bucs have been showing their own flaws in recent weeks. I like the Bears to come into Tampa and leave with a win, 20-16.