Following their 45-point blowout loss at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, perhaps it shouldn’t be a big surprise that nobody is talking about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South this week. The Buccaneers were battered and bruised on the road against a team that was considered inferior to them before the sports betting regular season got underway, and that has taken away from what projects to be the most overlooked NFC clash heading in to this Sunday, as the New Orleans Saints come in to town.
New Orleans Saints (-4.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, 4:15 PM ET
Buccaneers’ fans won’t be looking around the NFL this week as they cling to the hope that their team can turn things around in a hurry, with a win over the division rival Saints the perfect medicine. Tampa Bay turned the ball over three times against San Francisco, but the bigger problem was the complete inefficiency from the offense, and a defense that surrendered 418 yards of total offense. It won’t get any easier for the Buccaneers with a visit from the surging Saints, which have won four-straight to take over the top spot in the NFC South. New Orleans is only 4.5-point favorites to win this contest, and it would come as a big surprise to some people if Drew Brees and company do not hit that mark this pay head Sunday.
NFL Betting Pick: New Orleans Saints - 4.5
The sports betting sites were interested in seeing how the rookie quarterbacks would do this season and, so far, the results have been mixed. Some of the rookies have played well, but their teams are not winning. Other rookies are still learning the ropes and trying to figure out how to play in the NFL. This is a key week in the continued development of NFL rookie quarterbacks.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-1 ½)
This is a battle between two rookie quarterbacks meet in Jacksonville. At 2-2, Bengals’ rookie quarterback Andy Dalton is having a better rookie season than the price per head bookmaking experts thought he would have. Jacksonville rookie Blaine Gabbert is being pressed into service because the rest of the Jacksonville quarterbacks are just not cutting it. Still, Gabbert shows that he truly was one of the rookies that was ready for the NFL as he steadily improves from week to week. Cincinnati has a tough defense, but Gabbert should be able to punch through.
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars
Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings (-1 ½)
The Minnesota Vikings will lose this game and Vikings’ head coach Leslie Frazier will have no choice but to bench veteran starter Donovan McNabb. The only question is whether Frazier turns to rookie Christian Ponder, or veteran Joe Webb. It could be Ponder, and that would probably spell the end of Donovan McNabb’s career as a starter.
Pick: Arizona Cardinals
New Orleans Saints (-6) @ Carolina Panthers
NFL fans have seen what Carolina Panthers’ rookie quarterback Cam Newton can do. Newton is on a pace to break several rookie passing records, and some records held by veteran players. But the Carolina defense cannot hold up to Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense. The over/under on this game is 53 points. If you are betting, you will want to go over.
Pick: New Orleans Saints
The online sports book makers watch every NFL game every week. But each week there are certain games that require a little more attention. So set aside your bass fishing tips DVDs, and take a look at the games to watch for week one in the NFL 2011-2012 season.
New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers (-4)
The Saints ended last season in a rough way by having to visit a very loud stadium in Seattle for the first round of the playoffs. Now New Orleans has to start the 2011-2012 season off in an even more difficult fashion by playing the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers in a very loud Lambeau Field. The Saints have improved significantly and should challenge for a playoff spot this year, but they have not improved enough to beat the Packers.
Pick: Green Bay Packers
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens (-2 ½)
Football experts are not giving the Ravens enough credit. Baltimore has a potent offense and a punishing defense. This is the first of two important battles between these two teams this season, and this one will be very physical.
Pick: Baltimore Ravens
Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1)
The best online football betting will be found in Tampa Bay as two very young and very talented teams hook up for what should be a very good game. These two teams are the future of the NFC, and this will be the first in many classic battles to come.
Pick: Detroit Lions
Every team plays in every week of the NFL preseason. That means 16 games to follow for four straight weeks. But if you bet on sports, then you know that you cannot watch every game. Here are some of the more interesting matchups for preseason week three that fans should keep an eye on.
Carolina Panthers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Both teams are trying to find their starting quarterbacks and neither team seems to like the choices they have. This game should start off as Cam Newton versus Andy Dalton. But do not be surprised if both of these teams move a lot of quarterbacks in and out of the game.
Pick: Carolina Panthers
Green Bay Packers @ Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are desperately hoping that quarterback Peyton Manning is healthy enough to play the first regular season game so they can avoid having to start backup quarterback Curtis Painter. The Packers are just looking to unleash their defense on someone before the regular season starts.
Pick: Green Bay Packers
Atlanta Falcons @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Atlanta and Pittsburgh offenses are starting to come together very nicely in this preseason. The bet online football crowd knows that this game will come down to defense, and that is where the Steelers have an advantage over the Falcons.
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers
San Diego Chargers @ Arizona Cardinals
The Kevin Kolb experiment in Arizona is getting off to a rough start. But that is what happens when you get a quarterback before you build an offensive line. The Chargers defense has a lot to prove this season, and they have been proving it so far.
Pick: San Diego Chargers
The NFL preseason is ready to get underway, and the players are coming off of a rapid-fire training camp as they prepare for their first preseason games. If you bet on sports then you need to pay attention to the NFL preseason. Not only are rosters decided, but some of the unsuspecting stars of the future emerge as well.
Green Bay Packers @ Cleveland Browns
The chances that the defending Super Bowl champions are going to take the preseason seriously are very slim. Do not look for the starters to play many downs in any of these preseason games on defense or offense. But the Packers are so deep in their roster that Cleveland will have a difficult time keeping up.
Pick: Green Bay Packers
Buffalo Bills @ Chicago Bears
The Bears destroyed the Bills in the regular season last year, and they will destroy the Bills in the preseason this year.
Pick: Chicago Bears
Indianapolis Colts @ St. Louis Rams
If there is ever such thing as a good preseason game, then this will be it. People that bet football online know that Colts’ quarterback Peyton Manning will not play this game or probably any preseason game this year. While the Colts struggle at quarterback, the Rams are honing a team that may be a playoff contender.
Pick: St. Louis Rams
Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans
Look for Christian Ponder to play like this is the Super Bowl when he gets his chance. The Vikings are still a powerful football team while the Titans are not. This one should be pretty lopsided.
Pick: Minnesota Vikings
New York Giants @ Carolina Panthers
What a way for Cam Newton to get his first few snaps as a pro quarterback – against the New York Giants defense. The Panthers will see just how far they still have to go to be a winning team by the time this one is over.
Pick: New York Giants