HomeSports BettingFootball BettingSunday Night Football – Bucs vs Cardinals Predictions, Odds, Preview

Sunday Night Football – Bucs vs Cardinals Predictions, Odds, Preview

The NFC South is still up for grabs but despite losing two straight and three of their last four games the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still in the driver’s seat for a second consecutive division title. The Bucs can get one game closer to a playoff spot with a win over the Kyler Murray-less Arizona Cardinals on Christmas night. The Cards have lost four in a row going 1-3 ATS and were eliminated from playoff contention with a 24-15 setback at Denver last week. They could also be starting a third different QB in three games with backup Colt McCoy in concussion protocol.

The Week 16 Sunday Night Football contest between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals will take place at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ at 8:20 p.m. ET on December 25, 2022 and will be televised on NBC.

Sunday Night Football – Bucs vs Cardinals Odds

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -7 ( -306 )

Arizona Cardinals +7 ( +249 )

Over/Under 40.5

Odds Analysis

We saw a big spike in the odds for this game with the Bucs going from -3.5 on the opener to -7. Even though they are just 6-8 SU and 3-10-1 ATS, the Bucs are getting a high percentage of action with the Cardinals down to third string QB Trace McSorley. Surprisingly there’s been very little movement on the total still positioned at a relatively low 40.5. A third of Tampa’s wins this season came against the NFC West knocking off the Rams and Seattle early last month. The Cards are right there with those clubs giving the Bucs a chance to end a 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS skid. The Cards have dropped four straight with two of those coming at home. They are just 1-6 SU and 3-4 ATS at State Farm Stadium.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

All the Tom Brady deniers surfaced against after last week’s loss to Cincinnati. Brady has decent numbers with 3,897 passing yards and 20 touchdowns for an offense that has been out of sync all season. Maybe it’s time for Brady to hang up the cleats or perhaps the team struggled with defensive-oriented coach Todd Bowles taking over from Bruce Arians. Brady threw for 312 yards and two scores last week helping the Bucs post their highest point total in 10 games and their second highest of the season in the 34-23 loss. Brady tossed a pair of interceptions in that game and has five of his seven in the last three outings. He also fumbled twice leading to three Cincy scores.

The lack of a running game puts added pressure on Brady and the defense. The stop unit has been strong most of the year but caved the last two weeks. Short fields didn’t help against the Bengals, but the group couldn’t get a key stop to change momentum. Opponents have scored a total of 69 points the last two weeks helping the Bucs cash the OVER in both games. They could see more respectable numbers this week against a team minus its starting quarterback and quite possibly the backup. That and being in first place by a game over three other teams should inspire the Bucs to play a little better than they have.

Arizona Cardinals

A lost season took another ugly turn for the Cards last week. Let’s start two weeks ago when Murray was carted off the field with a knee injury on Arizona’s first possession of a loss to New England. McCoy played well in a backup role throwing for 246 yards but a third quarter interception was turned into a score that gave the Pats a two-touchdown lead. Now back to last week. McCoy was handed the starting gig with Murray done for the year and he struggled against Denver going 13 of 21 for just 78 yards and an interception. He was knocked out of the game with a concussion with McSorley taking over.

McCoy entered concussion protocol and his status is unknown. With the Cards out of contention there’s no reason to have him play giving McSorley a chance to audition for a bigger role in the future. He’ll have to do better than he did against Denver when he completed just 46.7 percent of his passes with two interceptions. The Cards played solid defense holding the Broncos to 324 yards and 4 of 11 on third downs. They also sacked Brett Rypien seven times, three by J.J. Watt, and intercepted a pass.

Buccaneers vs Cardinals Prediction

If you’re looking for a motivation angle it definitely sits with Tampa. They have a one-game lead over the rest of the division and claim the crown by winning out. Arizona is relegated to the role of spoiler and unfortunately I don’t think McSorley is the guy to get it done. He does have a chance to show off in a possible starting role and that’s worth something. But I think in the end the Bucs will have enough and Brady will limit the mistakes that cost the team in the last two losses. The Cards haven’t given up on defense, though, keeping them within the spread.

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals +7 and UNDER 40.5

View NFL Sunday Night Football betting odds.

George Newman
George Newman
Covers NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL for George is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy sports fan.

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