The Buccaneers, grasping at their postseason hopes, travel to the Hoosier State with a 4-6 record. Despite their challenges, Tampa Bay showed resilience in their last outing against San Francisco, managing to cover the spread as a significant underdog. Meanwhile, the Colts are returning from a productive bye, sitting at a 5-5 record after a defensively dominated win in Germany against the Patriots.
The Buccaneers are in the midst of a turbulent season, with a record that belies their potential. Their recent loss to the 49ers has left them looking for answers, particularly on offense where they are ranked 13th in the league with an average of 227.8 passing yards per game but are struggling with the league’s worst rush offense, averaging a mere 76.9 yards per game. Their scoring offense ranked 23rd in the league at 19.2 points per game, is offset by a more robust 9th-ranked scoring defense, allowing 20 points per contest. Baker Mayfield, who has thrown for 2,389 yards this season, is feeling the pressure behind an offensive line that has allowed him to be sacked 20 times. The Buccaneers’ running game, led by Rachaad White, and receivers like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, will need to step up. Injuries to key players, including linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David, could impact their defensive stance as they prepare for a crucial match.
The Colts are entering this game on a positive note, having secured two consecutive wins before their bye week. Their passing offense, sitting at 18th in the league with 218.1 yards per game, is complemented by a top-10 rushing attack averaging 118 yards per contest. With 24.2 points per game, they rank 9th in scoring offense. The Colts defense, however, has room for improvement, ranking 26th in scoring defense by allowing 24.8 points per contest. Quarterback Gardner Minshew is now the signal caller, stepping in for the injured Anthony Richardson. Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss provide a dual threat in the backfield, while Michael Pittman Jr. leads a capable receiving group. With the Colts’ defense expected to be well-rested and healthy after the bye week, they could pose a significant challenge to the Buccaneers’ offense.
As both teams vie for a spot in the playoffs, the Buccaneers’ recent form against the pass could be exploited by the Colts’ balanced offensive approach. Indianapolis, armed with a strong running game and the potential for a well-coordinated air attack, seems well-positioned to take on Tampa Bay’s defense. With the Colts’ fresh legs and home advantage, they have the edge to secure a victory in this Week 12 contest, which could be pivotal for their playoff positioning. Expect a competitive game, but with the Colts’ more complete team performance, they are the ones likely to cover the spread in BUSR’s NFL Odds.