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New York Jets vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Free Pick 9/8/13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0) at New York Jets (0-0)

NFL Football: Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm (MetLife Stadium)

The Line: New York Jets +3 -- Over/Under: 39.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers head to MetLife Stadium on Sunday to open their season against the New York Jets.

The New York Jets have had an interesting off-season, and preseason, to say the least. Quarterback controversies, and rumors that head coach Rex Ryan may be on the way out have been all over the news and surrounded the Jets this preseason. Honestly, I don’t really think it matters all that much who the Jets place under center, as the Jets don’t really have anyone to throw the ball to anyway. Ryan has always said that he wants a ground and pound team, well, with this receiving corps, that looks to be the Jets only option. Geno Smith has looked up and down in the preseason. At times, Smith looks like he could be a decent starter in the league, but the majority of the time, the Jets rookie just looks clueless. There is also a lot of talk that Smith is not a leader, and if you put a rookie on the field that doesn’t have the respect of his fellow teammates in this offense, you are asking for a disaster. Defensively, the Jets should be solid once again, but if this team is unable to put points on the board, it won’t matter much.

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New York Jets vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Free Pick 9/8/13

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have fully embraced the philosophy of their head coach Greg Schiano, and the Bucs have become a physically tough and imposing team to face. The Bucs have one of the better backs in the league in Doug Martin, who finished last season with 1,454 yard and 11 scores. Josh Freeman is under center again for Tampa and while Freeman at times has looked like a solid starter in the NFL, I’m just not buying into the fact that this kid can lead the Bucs back to the Super Bowl or really even deep into the playoffs, for that matter. There is some talent out wide for Tampa, especially in Vincent Jackson, who should be one of Freeman’s primary targets this season. The Bucs defense will once again be solid, especially with the addition of Goldson from San Francisco and Reevis from the Jets. The Bucs have a fast, hardhitting defense that will keep them in just about every game they play and if Freeman can make some plays from the pocket like he showed us last season, the Bucs will definitely be a tough out this season.

There has been some line movement back and forth on this one, with the Jets opening up at +1, and after all the preseason issues for the Jets, the number is now at +3 for New York. The majority of the bets have been coming in on the Bucs, so if you are looking to get the hook above the key number of three, perhaps waiting close to kickoff is your best option here as the line may move again.

This is one of those situations where it seems too obvious, so I am a bit concerned, and honestly I am going to pass on this one. The Jets look like a complete mess, while Tampa looks to have a very stout defense and one of the better ground games around. If you remember back to last season, the Jets were everyone’s preseason joke, and New York came out firing in the opening week and beat the Bills 48-28. At the time, that looked great for the Jets, but not since we have seen just how good the Bills revamped defense is. I guess, having to choose a side I’ll take the Bucs. I have given up points on the road, especially in a home/season opener, but I just can’t recommend anyone putting anything behind New York right now.

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