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Buccaneers vs. 49ers predictions

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the San Francisco 49ers later today, when the Bucs will try to get to 3-3 and compete in the division, and the 49ers will try to salvage whatever is left of their season.

Neither the Bucs nor the 49ers are having a particularly good season, but there’s a difference in quality. The Bucs have been hit much harder by injuries, and should, at their core, be a better team. That doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily win this game, though, and most bookmakers seem to think the odds of either team winning are equal.

One interesting part of this equation: no one knows how well Colin Kaepernick will do, as the 49ers quarterback has played just one game this year. He looked up-and-down in his one start, which is to be expected, but he could revitalize an offense that has been one of the very worst in the league this year.

Both teams are missing their starting running backs, with the Bucs starting Jacquizz Rodgers and the 49ers Mike Davis. In addition, the Bucs will be without two starting defensive linemen, which is not exactly ideal, but doesn’t need to be a huge problem against a lackluster passing offense.

In all, I’d expect the Bucs to win. Not by much, and given the way Jameis Winston has struggled I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of points either, but a 20-17 win seems perfectly reasonable. It would also be a good way to catapult the Bucs back into contention for the division crown.