By: Jason Green
Atlanta Falcons (8-5 SU 6-7 ATS) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9 SU 3-9-1 ATS)
The Falcons are getting hot at the right time, as they have won Four of their last five Games and their playoff fate is in their hands. They are in 2nd place in the NFC South one Game behind the Panthers and the Saints, but they face those teams in their last two Games and if they win out they will win the division. Matt Ryan has not been at his best lately, but the D has given up 31 points in their last two Games. Atlanta is actually led by their defense this season, which ranks 9th in points allowed while ranking 16th in ppg.
At 5 dimes sportsbook the Falcons are the 7-point favorite with a total of 48.
The Buccaneers have been a disappointment this season and they have lost three in a row. With their last loss, which was a tough one to take, they will finish the season with a losing record and far out of the playoff race. The passing offense has been respectable, but QB Jameis Winston has big time turnover issues, the rushing offense has struggled, and the defense only ranks 22nd in the league in points against.
Tampa Bay beGAn their skid with a 34-20 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta.
In the last nine Games between these teams the favorite has covered the spread seven times.
The Falcons beat the New Orleans Saints 20-17 where they came up with an INT in their end zone late in the Game to ice the win. Atlanta had more overall yards in the Game (343-306) and they turned the ball over three times with Matt Ryan throwing three INT. The Falcons not only came up with the late pick, but outscored New Orleans 10-0 in the 4th quarter. Ryan passed for 221 yards and had a TD getting away with the turnovers and the duo of Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu had a combined 181 receiving yards. Devonta Freeman rushed for 98 yards, but did not average over Four yards per carry. Tampa Bay’s defense allowed Ryan to pass for 317 yards in the earlier loss to them this season and overall they rank dead last in the league in pass defense and 17th in run defense.
Atlanta has won Four of their six road Games this season and they beat them last season in Tampa Bay 43-28.
In their last Game the Buccaneers lost to the Detroit Lions 24-21 where they scored 14 points late to tie the Game only to give up a FG with time winding down to take their 3rd straight loss. They had 400 total yards while the Lions had 434 yards and their D was great against the run, but they GAve up 381 passing yards and they had five turnovers while forcing three. Winston ACCounted for three of the turnovers with 2 INT and a fumble, but did pass for 285 yards with 2 TD. A few guys help the Bucs rush for 133 yards and if they can run the ball in this Game they have a chance, as Winston cannot do it all and if he has to the turnovers may doom him. Tampa Bay will be facing an Atlanta defense that ranks 6th in the league in pass defense and 12th in run defense.
The Falcons are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Games and in their last 10 Games they have an Over record of 7-3.
The Buccaneers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 Games facing a team with a winning record, 2-9-1 ATSA in their last 12 Games, and in their last 4 home Games they have an Under record of 4-0.
Jason’s Pick: I have to go with the Falcons in this one, as they have not been great in the last couple of Games, but they handled the Bucs a few weeks back and Tampa Bay has major issues on both sides of the ball. The Falcons will win this Game and cover the spread improving their hopes to getting back to the playoffs.