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Buccaneers open as underdog vs Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers New England Patriots
0-2 September 22, 2013, 01:00 | Gillette Stadium 2-0

With two wins but zero covers the New England Patriots are big favorites once again, this time for Sunday's game against the 0-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium (1 pm ET, Fox).

The Patriots, who were favored by 10 points over Buffalo opening weekend and 11 points over the Jets last Thursday, were early nine-point favorites over the Bucs, who have lost their first two games by a total of three points.

The Bucs have been tough as a dog lately, going 8-3-1 ATS in their past 12 games in this role. On the road, the number is 6-2 ATS.

View Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New England Patriots Odds and Stats.

Pats vs Bucs betting line: The Buccaneers were listed as 7.5-point underdogs at sportsbooks such as Bovada, with the total listed at 44.5 at TopBet.

The game pits the Patriots, currently No. 3 in our OddsShark NFL Power Rankings, against the Buccaneers, who rate No. 26 in the latest survey. Meanwhile, math and handicapping models run on this game predict a 18-14 victory for the Patriots.

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Tampa Bay lost its last outing, a 16-14 result against the Saints on September 15. The Buccaneers covered in that game as a 3-point underdog, while the 30 combined points took the game UNDER the total. In their last game, the Patriots were Week 2 winners, coming out on top of the Jets by a score of 13-10.

How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up New England's No. 26-ranked offense (18 PPG) against a Buccaneers defense that ranks No. 8 at 17 PPG. The Patriots passing attack has averaged 225.5 yards per game, less than the Buccaneers give up through the air (255 YPG on average).

Defensively, the Buccaneers feature the league's No. 24-rated road run defense, allowing 136 yards per game. New England, meanwhile, ranks No. 25 in rushing offense at home.

A few Buccaneers at Patriots trends to consider:
Tampa Bay is 2-5-1 ATS in its last 8 games
Tampa Bay is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Tampa Bay's last 5 games
Tampa Bay is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games on the road
New England is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
New England is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games
The total has gone OVER in 12 of New England's last 18 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New England's last 6 games

Next up:
Tampa Bay at Arizona, Sunday, September 29th
New England at Atlanta, Sunday, September 29th