Betting Tampa Bay-Minnesota

Despite Minnesota's strong play at home, value is on the Bucs

Originally Published: October 25, 2012
By Jeff Gold | ESPN Insider
Josh FreemanAl Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesJosh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have suffered some heartbreaking losses this season.

Here's a simple question: Are the Minnesota Vikings a good team?

The 5-2 record suggests that they could be headed to the playoffs, but take a look at who they have beaten: the Jaguars, 49ers, Lions, Titans and Cardinals. Of that group, only the 49ers figure to be a playoff team. So take the 5-2 mark with a grain of salt. Not that they have any control over it, but the schedule hasn't been stiff so far.

Still, the impressive return of Adrian Peterson from a devastating ACL injury and the maturation of Christian Ponder have been great developments for Minnesota (3-3-1 ATS, 2-5 O/U). Add to that the remarkable year that Percy Harvin is having, plus a defense that's playing better than anyone could've imagined before the season, and you have a potential playoff contender.

As for Tampa Bay, every time I see Greg Schiano on the sideline, I can't help but think he's devising some sort of sneak-attack kneel-down play. Still waiting to see that one work in the NFL. The Bucs (4-2 ATS/4-2 O/U) appear to be playing hard for him -- to be fair, really, anything looks good compared to what they did for Raheem Morris -- but they've still suffered through some brutal last-minute losses to the Giants, Redskins and Saints.

According to ESPN Insider's PickCenter, fans are backing the Bucs +6.5 at a 58.2 percent clip. When the public is backing the underdog, a rare occurrence, it's worth noting. America clearly doesn't believe in the Vikings quite yet.

Let's turn to some line movement analysis from bookmaker Jay Kornegay of the Las Vegas Hilton and a pick on the game from professional handicapper Sal Selvaggio of madduxsports.com.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings

Spread: Opened at Vikings -6.5; still Vikings -6.5
Total: Opened at 41.5; still 41.5


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