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[4:25 p.m. EST] San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The SpreadKnowledge NFL Free Pick of the Day comes to us from the 49ers-Buccaneers game. We like the total going over, considering these are two high-powered offenses with coaches that like to sling the rock going up against defenses with plenty of uncertainty. That’s a big reason why the total opened at 48.5 and currently sits at 50.5.
This will be a game with great storylines as we’ll see the return of Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Jimmy G is ready to lead the 49ers after missing nearly all of 2018 with a torn ACL. He didn’t play particularly well in the preseason, but that’s exactly what it is – preseason. Not to mention, his main target, tight end George Kittle didn’t play one snap during the preseason.
However, the Bucs’ pass defense was absolutely horrendous last season, and that’s why Todd Bowles was brought in to run things. That unit can only improve, but they do have to learn a new 3-4 system and that can certainly take them a few games.
Last season, the Bucs’ passing attack was No. 1 in the NFL and that should continue to improve with a great wealth of weapons in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard – not to mention, a coach that wants to air it out as well. The 49ers ranked dead-last in coverage grades, according to Pro Football Focus, so all of Tampa’s studs will certainly take advantage of that weakness.
We’ve outlined the struggles of these defenses coming into this season, and that’s our basis for going over the total. Not to mention, both of these teams want to throw the ball – and they will. Look for plenty of points and if you’ve got fantasy players going in this game, your outlook is very bright.
* Final Score Prediction * Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 31 – San Francisco 49ers: 27