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CBS Sports: Buccaneers can beat schedule odds

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Bucs can overcome a tough schedule.

NFL: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Vegas has the over/under set on the Buccaneers record to 6.5 wins for 2018. Rightfully so, following last season’s mess. So how exactly can they beat those odds?

You can point to a healthy Jameis Winston, a revamped defensive line, or a good draft haul and each argument could be a valid one. However, the coaches need to do a better job.

Will Brinson of CBS Sports pens an article about the Bucs beating the odds. He likes the over, merely because Tampa Bay “doesn’t even have to go .500 to hit their over,” which doesn’t really say much. But there are things Brinson likes a lot about them.

It’s not that simple, obviously, but a big year could be in the cards [for Jameis Winston]. Mike Evans was a disappointment and he caught 71 passes for 1,001 yards. Ronald Jones II is a major sleeper for OROY considering the workload he should see in this backfield. DeSean Jackson has to be better, but O.J. Howard/Cameron Brate round out a sick group of weapons for Winston. The defense has to be better with the personnel on hand; the defensive line went from a major weakness to a major strength when you add JPP, Curry and Vea to Gerald McCoy and Noah Spence. Those guys should let Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander roam freely.

Brinson adds that being in the NFC South is not easy for Tampa Bay. He also states that there are question marks on the roster, but are not necessarily problems. It’s perhaps a cautious approach to being optimistic about the team, which isn’t a bad thing.

Despite the national love the Bucs are getting, many are still turning the other way. They are afraid to fall into the trap of being optimistic after last season. That’s understandable.