NFL betting prospects are mixed for both Tampa Bay and Miami as they prepare for their August 14 sports betting matchup which kicks off their preseason schedules.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers enter preseason play as one of the worst teams in pro football. The Bucs finished 3-13 straight up and 6-10 against the spread last season and lost a lot of credibility for firing veteran winning coach Jon Gruden for 32-year old assistant Raheem Morris, who was rumored to be on the way out after the 2009 campaign. But Morris survived and will continue to lead Tampa Bay’s rebuilding efforts.
Josh Freeman is the clear cut number one quarterback for Tampa Bay heading into preseason. The Bucs will use plenty of exhibition snaps for backups Josh Johnson, Rudy Carpenter, and Jevon Snead. Freeman will also get his share of preseason reps in order to fine tune his game, which still has plenty of need for growth.
“It’s my team and I want to win,” said Freeman. “I want to get things done the right way.”
Freeman and the rest of the quarterbacks will have a lineup of new receivers to work with in preseason games.
The Bucs will also spend plenty of time fine-tuning the NFL’s worst defense from 2009. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and safety Sean Jones are welcome additions that should get snaps in preseason.
Miami opened at SBG Global as a -3 (-110) point favorite with and opening total of 33.5.
The Miami Dolphins went from a playoff team in 2008 to out of the money in 2009 as pro bowl quarterback Chad Pennington was lost to injury last year. The good news is that Chad Henne gained valuable experience in place of Pennington and enters camp as the number one QB. Pennington will be the number 2 signal caller with Pat White and Tyler Thigpen also getting preseason snaps.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall is a welcome addition but still has some catching up to do in preseason after missing workouts due to hip surgery.
“He spent a lot of time with Pennington, with Henne, throwing, catching,” said head coach Tony Sparano. “I don’t think we’re all the way caught up but we’re pretty close.”
The Dolphins defense got something of a makeover and will use the preseason to gel.
Nose tackle Jason Ferguson retired and defensive end Phillip Merling was lost to a torn Achilles’ heel. Miami has brought in Marques Douglas from the Jets. Montavious Stanley was also signed. Charles Grant arrives from New Orleans and top draft pick Jared Odrick signed last week.