Bucs continue to be a good bet

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman throws a Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman throws a pass during the fourth quarter of a game against the New Orleans Saints. (Oct. 21, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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John Boell Newsday sports writer John Boell

Boell has worked in the Newsday sports department in various capacities since 1999. In 2010, he became Newsday's

BUCS (2-4) AT VIKINGS (5-2)

Vikings by 6 1/2; O/U: 42 1/2

TV: NFL Network. Radio: WFAN (660).

 

Something will have to give in this interesting NFC tilt.

In one corner there is the Vikings' rushing attack led by the capable Adrian Peterson, who tore both his ACL and MCL in his left knee last Dec. 24.

Incredibly, Peterson hasn't missed a step and is the NFL's third-best rusher with 652 yards (tied with Marshawn Lynch).

The Vikings are seventh in the NFL in rushing (132.3 ypg), and one of the NFL's biggest surprises.

Although the Bucs' record is subpar, they've been good for bettors: 4-2 against the spread (ATS), 2-0 on the road. Also, they allow an NFL-best 3.1 yards per carry, and are third in rushing defense at 76 yards per game.

The Thursday Night mantra continues: The home team has won 16 of the last 20 games.

But the Bucs -- 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 road games overall -- have covered their last five games vs. the Vikes dating to 2001. Plus, NFL road underdogs are 41-23-3 ATS (64 percent) this season. Works for me.

THE PICK: Bucs

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