Oddsmakers unimpressed by new-look Bucs

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Posted May 16, 2012 at 11:31 AM

BY IRA KAUFMAN

TAMPA—Despite a dynamic offseason makeover, the Buccaneers have apparently failed to make much of an impression on the oddsmakers.

Tampa Bay hired a new head coach (Greg Schiano), assembled a new staff and added a half-dozen potential new starters in free agency and the draft, but the over/under win total for the Bucs in 2012 is 5.5, according to BetOnline, an offshore oddsmaker which has tabbed the Bucs as prohibitive underdogs to win the NFC South for the first time since 2007.

Despite being rocked by the Bountygate scandal, the Saints are tabbed to win 11 games and repeat as division champions. The over/under win total for Atlanta is 9 and Carolina is listed at 8.5.

The only clubs with a lower predicted over-under win total than Tampa Bay for the upcoming season are Cleveland and Jacksonville, both listed at 5.

Cantor Gaming, which runs several Las Vegas sportsbooks, recently released its point spreads for every NFL game from Week 1 through Week 16 and the Bucs are favored only twice. The Panthers are listed as 3-point favorites at Raymond James Stadium in the regular-season opener.

According to Cantor Gaming, the Bucs are favored by 1 point at home against Washington in Week 4 and by 2.5 points at home against the Rams in Week 16. The Week 6 matchup vs. Kansas City in Tampa is rated as even.

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