By: Jason Green
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6 SU 3-6-1 ATS) vs. Atlanta Falcons (6-4 SU 4-6 ATS)
The Buccaneers had high hopes this season, especially with all the big off-season moves they made, but things have not worked out as planned. Still, the Bucs have won two in a row, but can they put up a fight against the NFC champion Falcons that have woken up after a slow start and is without starting QB Jameis Winston? Big question.
At 5 dimes sportsbook the Falcons are 10.5-point favorites with a total of 49.
The Falcons have won two in a row and three of their last Four Games and they are two Games back of the Saints and one Game back of the Panthers in the NFC South. They have won two in a row and they were impressive wins beating the Cowboys only giving up seven points and then beating Seattle in their house in their last Game. Matt Ryan is starring to heat up and the Falcons’ defense ranks a respectable 13th in the league in points allowed.
This is the first match up of the season between these division rivals and the Bucs have covered the spread in 12 of their last 17 road Games facing the Falcons.
In their last Game the Bucs beat the Miami Dolphins 30-20 and while they had 127 more total yards one of the main reasons they won is that they forced five turnovers and did not commit any. Tampa did not run the ball well and were only 3/13 on 3rd downs, but their D picked up the slack, as they kept taking the ball away. Backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who should get the start in this Game, passed for 275 yards with 2 TD and wad not picked off and Mike Evans led the way with 92 receiving yards. The Bucs only rushed for 52 yards with Doug Martin being the leading rusher and he should get more chances in this Game facing an Atlanta run defense that only ranks 22nd in the league.
The favorite is 9-3-1 ATS in the last 14 Games between these teams.
The Falcons beat the Seattle Seahawks 34-31 on Monday night in their last Game where Seattle had more overall yards (360-279), but Atlanta came up with two turnovers and held the Seahawks to 5/12 on 3rd down. Ryan passed for only 195 yards, but he was only sacked oNCe and had two TD and was not picked off. Julio Jones led the squad with 71 receiving yards and Four players had at least 27 yards in the air. Tevin Coleman led the team with 43 rushing yards only averaging 2.2 yards per carry and if the Falcons can run the ball they will be tough to beat with Ryan coming along in the last two weeks.
The Falcons will be facing a Tampa Bat D that ranks 2nd to last in the NFL in pass defense and 13th in run defense.
The Bucs are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 Games, 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 road Games, and in their last 6 road Games the Over record is 5-1.
The Falcons are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Games, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Games against a team with a winning record, and in their last 15 home Games they have an Over record of 12-3.
Jason’s Pick: The Falcons have really picked off steam in the last couple weeks after a very poor start. They will play well on both sides of the ball facing a disappointing Tampa squad and they will win and cover the spread in their house staying in the NFC South race.