Arizona Cardinals (-3) To Host Upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers

October 28th, 2010 – by Jon Lowell

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) will square off against the Arizona Cardinals (3-3) this week in match-up of two teams hoping to make a playoff push and win their divisions. This game will help to get to that goal, but alas, only one team can get that win. This game is slated for a 4:15pm EST kickoff, and coverage will be shown on FOX in addition to DirecTV channel 714.

All in all, the Bucs have put together four wins on the year, and will hope to add to that total this week against the sporadically good Cardinals. Quarterback, Josh Freeman is slowly but surely developing into the type of starter that Tampa Bay hoped he would be when they drafted him. In particular, he’s led his group on some very impressive fourth quarter drives to close out games. Still, his youth can be seen in his tendency to panic when pressured by opposing defenses. Freeman has, however, developed a nice little tandem with receiver, Mike Williams who has 28 catches, three touchdowns and 356 yards on the year.

Defensively, the Bucs still have a lot of trouble defending the run and pressuring opposing quarterbacks. Thus far on the season, they only have five sacks but have somewhat compensated for that by putting up 10 interceptions on the year. In order to beat the equally bad Cardinals Tampa Bay will have to attack the quarterback and hope that Freeman will have one of his “good games.”

On the other side of the field, the Cardinals continue to show fans and spectators alike how important Kurt Warner was to this group. Rookie quarterback, Max Hall and veteran quarterback Derek Anderson have both seen time as passers, however, neither has proven to be particularly impressive. Given the superstar wide receiver these guys have in Larry Fitzgerald, it’s almost shocking that they haven’t been more effective with their aerial attacks.

In order to beat the Bucs, Arizona will have to establish their running attack early behind running back Beanie Wells, and hope that their fairly adequate defense can compensate for their horrible quarterback situation. Considering that the Cardinals have won both of their home games this year, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that they could pull out a victory here with some solid play.

NFL Game Lines: With the home-field advantage calculated into the NFL betting odds, the Cardinals are a 3 points favorite for this game, the equivalent of home-field advantage. Additionally, the over/under for this game has been set at a total of 39.5 points. Both teams enter this contest with worse records against the spread than their overall records. Currently, the Buccaneers are 3-3 against the spread while the Cardinals are 2-4 against the spread.

NFL Against The Spread Betting Trends: The Bucs are 4-0 ATS on the road in their last 4 games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 as a road underdog. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 Week 8 games and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 October games.

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