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Buccaneers favorites for first time this season

Vegas picks the Bucs over the Browns.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another Vegas odds article. This is my favorite article to write throughout the week, partly because I think sports gambling is fantastic, but also because the spreads and numbers tell me a lot about what Vegas is thinking.

This is the first game this season that the Buccaneers have opened the week as the favorite to win the game. They are home, so that helps, but still, after the last few defensive performances I was a bit surprised to see them open and stay as favorites throughout the week.

In no way am I a professional gambler and in no way am I telling you to put your money with what I predict. This is really just for fun and something we here at Bucs Nation thought the readers would enjoy after sports gambling was legalized.

For those that don’t know sports gambling, I will quickly go over the three main bets that are often placed. Also, the lines could always change and the website you use, could be different from mine.

Betting with the spread: Currently, the Buccaneers are 3 ½. This means that if you were to take the Buccaneers with the spread, they would have to win by four points in order for you to win. If you take the Browns at +3 ½ , they can lose by 3 and you’d win. There is no pushes this week, unless you got Tampa at -3 or the Browns at +3, but you’d have to buy a point and that’s too complicated to explain. Spread bets always have the same odds, which are -110. This means that you need to risk $110 to win $100. This is a classic case of Vegas simply making the home team the favorite. If the game was in Cleveland, it would be Browns -3.

Money line bets: As of late friday night, the Buccaneers are anywhere from -190 to -200, depending on the website or sportsbook you use. This is a pretty big number and im quite surprised that it’s this high. In comparison, Atlanta was only -140 last week at home against Tampa Bay. The Browns currently sit at +165. In money line bets, all the team you bet on has to do is win. It doesn’t matter if they win by 40 points or 1 points. In terms of what the -190 means for the Buccaneers , you’d have to risk $190 dollars just to win $100 because they are the favorite to win this game. With the history of this team, you’re asking for trouble with that one. The Browns at +165, means that a $100 dollar bet would win you $165 dollars.

Over/Under bets: Again, no matter what way you pick, the odds in this case are -110. Vegas sports books currently have the over under at 50 total points scored. If you take the over, the Bucs and Browns must combined to score 51 points in order for you to win. Obviously, 49 points or under would result in a win if you go that route. With the line not having a ½ point in it, if they score 50 points combined, you push and get your money back.

Last week was a 1-1 week for me, which I will take any week against Vegas. I try and stay away from those 0-2 weeks for obvious reasons. I took the under over 57 ½ and I took Tampa +135 (best value pick) and we all know how that ended. Overall on the season, I have a .500 record (6-6). It has been a 1-3 combined last two weeks for me, so this week we look to get back to a winning record for the season.

A few things to consider: Cleveland is 5-2 ATS in it’s last 7 games overall. The total has gone OVER in 12 of the last 17 games that Cleveland has played on the road. The total has gone OVER in all five of the games Tampa Bay has played this season. So, the over right? Well, not so fast. The UNDER has actually hit in 9 of Tampa Bay’s last 13 games at home. Ah, gotta love that stat that makes you second guess yourself.

My picks: The over 50. I know that Tampa’s home stats might say otherwise, but until this defense proves they can stop someone, the over is a pretty safe bet week in and week out. It’s going to be a close game on Sunday and I can see it coming down to a last second field goal. Give me the Browns +3 ½ this week.