BUCS (6-7) AT RAMS (5-8), 8:25 p.m.
TV: NFL; Radio: WCBS (880
Rams by 2.5; O/U: 41.
Both of these teams surprised me last week. I thought the Bucs, in the hunt for an NFC wild-card spot, would take care of business at home against the Saints. They didn’t. I thought the Rams, on a five-game losing streak, would continue its slide and lose to the Lions. They didn’t.
Now you want me to pick a game between these two unpredictable teams?
One rule of thumb when handicapping NFL games: If the team you think is going to win outright is getting points, jump all over it. Despite last week’s setback, I like the Bucs to bounce back. They have more offensive weapons in Jameis Winston, Doug Martin and Mike Evans. The Rams counter with rookie standout running back Todd Gurley, but the Bucs have done well against the run this season, allowing the eighth-fewest yards (94.1 per game) in the NFL. They’ve allowed only six rushing touchdowns.
Winston has led the Bucs to road wins at New Orleans, Atlanta and Philadelphia this season, so there’s no reason to think it can’t be done at St. Louis. The Rams allowed 37 points to the Bears back in Week 10, and are susceptible to the run (115.9 yards per game).
In a battle of two mediocre teams, I wouldn’t really be surprised if either team won. But I have to pick one, and I think the Bucs are the better all-around team.
The pick: Bucs
Bob Glauber Bucs
Tom Rock Bucs
Kimberley A. Martin Rams