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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds Preview

The Jon Gruden era and 2002 Super Bowl title are a distant memory for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Over the last few seasons, the Bucs crashed to the NFC South basement like a sunken pirate ship.

Their odds at Sportsbook.ag suggest the 2010 season looks bleak. But the Bucs aren’t resting on their laurels. They’ve worked hard to build through the draft in recent years. Can the youngsters surprise this season?

Odds to win Division at Sportsbook.ag: +1500 Regular Season Win Total: 5.5 (OV -135, UN +115) Super Bowl Odds: 200 to 1 A three-win season was an unmitigated disaster for Tampa Bay, but it drew one offensive positive; quarterback Josh Freeman. The athletic rookie made a ton of mistakes, tossing 18 interceptions versus 10 touchdown passes, but he showed flashes of potential, like when he threw for three scores to lead Tampa past Green Bay. The Bucs hope Freeman can get a bit more help this season. Tailback Cadillac Williams starts the season healthy for a change. More importantly, the Bucs addressed the receiver position in the draft this offseason. Rookie Mike Williams has been spectacular in camp and has already won the No. 1 receiving job. Arrelious Benn is more of a project and likely won’t contribute much this season.

Tampa’s 28th-ranked offense was a problem last year, but its 28th-ranked defense was just as bad. The Bucs couldn’t stop the run to save their lives, allowing an NFL-high 158.2 yards per game on the ground. Tampa knew it needed help up the middle on “D” and believes it filled that void in a big way at the 2010 draft. The Bucs took Gerald McCoy third overall and think they’ve found their new Warren Sapp. But will he be a major contributor as a rookie? Tampa has a few pieces in place to improve but still has a very long way to climb before it’s respectable again. The UNDER on the win total of 5.5 seems like the sensible play. The Bucs’ schedule isn’t awful; too bad they are. Facing Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, New Orleans twice, Atlanta twice, San Francisco, and Baltimore should easily book Tampa Bay’s ticket to the basement. Don’t be surprised if the Buccaneers finish with the NFC’s worst record this season. The Rams have Sam Bradford and he already looks more polished than Josh Freeman under center.