TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The NFL 2023 regular season is almost upon us. In just a few short weeks, the Buccaneers will travel to Minnesota to take on Kirk Cousins and the Vikings for the season opener.
With Tampa Bay naming a new starting quarterback and coming off two preseason wins, fans should be hopeful that the team will be in a good position this season. But much like the beginning of the season, there are still doubters.
Ahead of the preseason, DraftKings Sportsbook released their odds for all 17 regular season games, and it appeared that Vegas did not have a lot of faith in the Bucs.
When the odds were first released in May, DraftKings favored Tampa Bay to lose all but one of their regular season matchups. In those odds, bettors seemed to think that the Bucs would only pull out a win against the Carolina Panthers (-1) at Raymond James Stadium on Dec. 3 at 1 p.m.
Even after the Bucs gave fans a taste of what’s to come in the regular season, analysts and bettors still think the team will have a losing record.
On Thursday, Sports Illustrated released their game-by-game predictions for the 2023 season, and the Bucs were still predicted to come up short this year.
Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr predicted the Bucs to finish 2-15, saying they’re “going to be overmatched this year.”
“The Buccaneers are going to be overmatched this year, it seems. I don’t know how Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask will pilot a team through some rough pockets of games, including Weeks 11 to 16, where they face two legitimate Super Bowl contenders, along with some burgeoning teams that should be rounding into form by then,” Orr wrote.
According to Orr’s predictions, the Bucs are expected to lose all of their regular season games except for the Week 7 game against the Atlanta Falcons at home and the Week 13 matchup against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium.
While the Bucs are predicted to have a losing record, Tampa Bay fans believe the Bucs will defy all odds and reach the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. If they do reach the playoffs, they’d match a franchise record set by the Bucs from 1999 to 2002.