Preseason Thursday with the Buccaneers at Texans


TAMPA,Fla. (RUSHPRNEWS) AUGUST 27, 2008— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7 SU & ATS in 2007 regular season; 2-1 SU & ATS in pre-season) will conclude what has been a tumultuous exhibition slate on Thursday night as they take on the Houston Texans (8-8 SU & ATS in 2007; 2-1 SU, 2-0-1 ATS in pre-season) in an NFL matchup that is set for an 8 PM ET kickoff at Reliant Stadium (natural turf) in Houston.

Thursday, August 28

BetUS NFL betting odds: HOUSTON -2.5, Total 36

NOTABLE STAT: Tampa Bay was 3rd in the NFL in points allowed in 2007 (16.9 ppg)

KEY NFL FOOTBALL BETTING TREND: Houston has played ten overs in their last 12 in pre-season

In the BetUS NFL pre-season football betting odds, the Texans are listed as a 2.5-point favorite, with the total posted at 36 points.

Here are some NFL football betting trends as they relate to this matchup (reflecting numbers going into the 2008 season):

* TB has lost four of its last five games SU

* TB has covered one of its last five games

* TB has played five of its last six games OVER the total

* HOU has won five of its last eight games SU

* HOU has played four of its last five games OVER the total

Pre-Season trends:

* TB has won five of its last seven pre-season games SU

* HOU has played 10 of its last 12 pre-season games OVER the total

* HOU is 7-2-2 ATS in its last 11 pre-season games

Houston’s first-team defense allowed Dallas to go up and down the field a few times in last weekend’s game, before making a comeback against the Cowboy reserves in a 23-22 defeat that did indeed cover the number for them at Texas Stadium. Matt Schaub got off to a very rough start, but bounced back to complete 15 for 27 with a touchdown. Sage Rosenfels had limited duty, throwing eight passes, but he will probably be used a little more in this one, along with Alex Brink.

The Houston offense has to be encouraged by the fact that they have discovered a couple of serviceable running backs in camp in Chris Taylor and Steve Slaton, who combined for 91 yards on 21 carries against Dallas. And if you remember what Alex Gibbs was able to accomplish when he was in charge of Denver’s running game, you know he put some rather innocuous backs in the lineup and made thousand-yard rushers out of them.

So we are somewhat impressed by Houston’s offensive capabilities, and have doubts about their ability to stop people. There is also a little gloom in the Texans camp with the career-ending injury to wide receiver Harry Williams, which he suffered on a special teams play.

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No one’s talking about Brett Favre anymore in the Bucs’ camp, but quarterback is a focus. Jeff Garcia had a tough go of it in his first pre-season action, getting intercepted twice. Luke McCown was 11 for 19 and had a 29-yard run. Brian Griese, who will stick, was 7 for 11. The team would like to keep rookie Josh Johnson, but there might not be enough room. Chris Simms would seem in a state of limbo. Whichever way you go, there are going to be a couple of QB’s fighting for jobs on Thursday, and coach Jon Gruden is not announcing his starting lineups until Wednesday at the earliest.
Given the circumstances surrounding a couple of offense who have proven they can move the ball in the pre-season, I would not mind following the trend that has seen Houston go over the total in ten of its last 12 exhibitions. So it’s OVER 36 points in the BetUS NFL pre-season football betting odds.


(Graded on a scale of 1-4 stars)

(Charles Jay of is a member of the NFL too – that is, “not for long” if you don’t get results. He is now a regular contributor to the Locker Room)


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