Free NFL Pick for Sunday September 8

On September 5, 2013, in Free Picks, NFL, by Stephen

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 at New York Jets

Do not get hung up on a 7-9 club laying points on the road. The Buccaneers play in a very strong division and are an improved team with a healthy offensive and defensive line, something they didn’t have last year.

Much like the starting pitcher in baseball, quarterback means nearly everything in football. The Jets don’t have an NFL starting caliber quarterback. Their wide receivers are well below average and their ground game lacks depth and any kind of star runner. Their defense has regressed.

The Jets aren’t going to be able to stay within a field goal of Tampa Bay. Mark Sanchez is out with a shoulder injury. That means rookie Geno Smith is going to start. He’s not nearly ready yet to be first-string.

Tampa Bay was No. 1 against the run last year. The Buccaneers’ weakness last year was pass defense caused by an anemic pass rush. Both of those areas have been shored up with the return to health of Tampa Bay’s top pass rushing defensive ends and the addition of cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Dashon Goldson.

The Buccaneers are a legitimate playoff threat. Greg Schiano restored discipline and toughness during his first season last year after the Buccaneers shamelessly quit on Raheem Morris.

Tampa Bay could have the deepest offensive line in football. Josh Freeman ranked in the top 10 in passing yards and is in a contract year. Wide receiver Vincent Jackson and running back Doug Martin are among the elite at their respective positions.

Right now the Buccaneers are floating under-the-radar while the Jets have big problems. I don’t see Rex Ryan surviving this season.

The time to play the Buccaneers is now, though. I locked in at Tampa Bay minus 3 minus $1.15. The number is going up, but I see the Bucs winning by at least six points.

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