Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals Preview (12/25/22): Betting Odds, Prediction, Depth Chart

Happy holidays! Not only is it one of the merriest times of the year, but we also now get a sprinkle of football to go along with the typical NBA Christmas slate. To cap it off, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to Arizona to battle the Cardinals. While not the most thrilling main event, there is still football on tv for our viewing pleasure. Can the Bucs avoid the upset against the Cardinals third stringer?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals Betting Odds

Oddsmakers think so as they currently have the Bucs as a -7.5 favorite. This is a drastic leap from the original number as the opener was set at -3 before the news of third stringer Trace McSorely sprung about. With backup quarterback Colt McCoy being unable to give it a go, the Cardinals are forced to throw out McSorely on short notice in what will be a tough first game against one of the better defenses in the league.

Speaking of defense, points are expected to be scored at a premium as oddsmakers set the total at 42. Bettors were quick to pounce on the under in light of the Cardinals quarterback news, taking it down to as low as 40.5 in some shops. While you would think the total would have fallen even lower, the Cardinals’ already anemic offense was poised to struggle to score against the vaunted Bucs defense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals Prediction

The Pick: Under 41

While I originally wanted to take the Cardinals team total under, the number has simply fall too far for my liking. From 17.5 to as low as 14.5, I will instead shift my focus back to the full game total. The Buccaneers team as a whole is still under friendly as they field an all-around good defense while their offense has struggled to generate any consistency.

As for the Cardinals, their luck may have hit rock bottom as the injury bug has rocked their roster all season long. Even though their offense didn’t find much success under Kyler Murray before his unfortunate injury, they now lose a dual threat dynamic and become more sluggish than ever.

Even with star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and stud back James Conner to help burden the load, the Arizona Cardinals failed to find any relevant production. They currently rank near the bottom of the league in both Off Pass and Rush DVOA and go against one of the more well-rounded defenses in the league. Scoring opportunities will be limited, relying on explosive plays to even have a chance at the end zone. Not a great indicator of long-term scoring success.

Betting Trends

  • Under is 8-1 in Bucs last nine road games vs a team with a losing home record
  • Under is 11-3 in Bucs last 14 games when following a SU loss

Key Injuries

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Injuries: Julio Jones (Q)

Arizona Cardinals Injuries: Kyler Murray (O), Colt McCoy (O), Marquise Brown (Q), Byron Murphy Jr (Q)

Key Matchups

Can the Cardinals limit the Bucs pass attack?

Bucs pass attack vs Cardinals defensive line

While the Buccaneers defense have remained somewhat elite, their offensive production has drastically fallen off a cliff since their Super Bowl run. Especially on the ground, a unit that ranks near dead last in the league in Off Rush DVOA.

Leonard Fournette has yet to string together any sort of consistency. This is in large part of their decimated offensive line, a unit that had to replace two starters in week one. They have constantly been getting pushed back and beaten by opposing defensive lines, giving no time for the offensive plays to develop.

This has also hindered the pass attack, giving Tom Brady no time in the pocket. When the pocket collapses, so does Brady and this will be the blueprint for the Cardinals to keep this close. Even though the Cardinals defense ranks poorly, their defensive line should have opportunities to generate pressure and potentially flip the field position in favor of their offense.

Verdict

With the Cardinals in full free fall mode and going up against the stout Buccaneers defense, I will take the under at no lower than 41 in what will be a lackluster main event.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Depth Chart

QB: Tom Brady
RB1: Leonard Fournette
RB2: Rachaad White
LWR: Mike Evans
RWR: Chris Godwin
SWR: Russell Gage
TE1: Cameron Brate

Arizona Cardinals Depth Chart

QB: Trace McSorely
RB1: James Conner
RB2: Keaontay Ingram
LWR: DeAndre Hopkins
RWR: Marquise Brown
SWR: Greg Dortch
TE1: Trey McBride

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

Hot NFL Stories