The Falcons snapped their two-game skid in their last game and a big NFC South matchup host the Bucs, who have won two in a row.
Oddsmakers are not giving the Falcons much home love in this one, as the Bucs are an 11-point favorite with the total sitting at 50.5. Even giving double digits in points the public has backed Tampa Bay in this division matchup, as they opened as 10-point favorites and as of Wednesday are a 11-point favorite.
After Week 12 the Bucs are 8-3 and 5-6 ATS and the Falcons are 5-6 and 5-6 ATS.
In their last game the Bucs were on the road and beat the Indianapolis Colts 38-31. Tampa outscored Indy 24-7 in the second half and while they got the win, they were outgained 392 yards to 359 yards and only won by seven points despite forcing five turnovers.
The Falcons were on the road in their last game and beat the two-win Jacksonville Jaguars 21-14. Atlanta forced two turnovers and took advantage of Jax mistakes and they rushed for 149 yards.
In the second game of the season these teams met in the Sunshine State were the Bucs easily beat the Falcons 48-25. The Bucs covered in that game at home and the home team has covered the spread in seven of the last nine games between these NFC South rivals.
Fournette and Gronk Go Big
In the win over the Colts Tampa’s Leonard Fournette scored the game-winning TD with 20 seconds remaining and had four TD in the game and Rob Gronkowski has a season-best 123 receiving yards.
Tom Brady (3.403 yards 30 TD 9 INT) has a TD and an INT in the last game and while he has nine TD in the last four games, he has six picks in that span. While the GOAT ranks second in the NFL in passing yards and fourth in QBR he has to cut down on the turnovers.
Brady has the targets with the likes of Chris Godwin and Mike Evans and if Gronk is unstoppable like the last game the Bucs will be tough to beat. That is also the case if Fournette keeps chugging, as before the last game he had only averaged 36 rushing yards per game in his previous three games.
Atlanta ranks 14th in the NFL in pass defense and 23rd in run defense.
Some Points, Finally
While the Falcons were playing the weak Jags in their last game they finally scored points, 21 to be exact, while they had only scored three points in their previous two games.
Matt Ryan (2,617 yards 16 TD 11 INT) only passed for 190 yards in the win over Jax and in the last three games he has five INT and only one TD.
One of the main reasons the Falcons snapped their two-game losing streak in their last game was the play of Cordarrelle Patterson. He has been solid ranking second on the Falcons in receiving yards but had not run the ball well but in the last game he had a season-high 108 rushing yards.
Patterson and rookie TE Kyle Pitts (661 yards) are the two main targets and Ryan does not have a good WR corps at all. How Bad? Calvin Ridley leads all WRs with 281 receiving yards but he has been out with an injury since October 24th.
Tampa Bay’s defense was good in the second half but not in the first in the last game and overall, they rank 20th in the league against the pass and first against the run.
The Bucs have only covered in one of their last six games as a road favorite but that trend will not continue for this game.
The Bucs are giving 11 points on the road and the Falcons are coming off a win but Tampa is still the pick. Atlanta had lost two in a row where they only scored three points and while they won their last game, they only scored 21 points and that was facing the Jags, who are tied with the Texans for the fewest wins in the league. Ryan has not looked good in the last few games and while the run game was legit in the last game it will not be in this game facing a Bucs run defense that is the top-ranked unit in the league. Just like the first matchup this season between these teams look for the Bucs will light up the scoreboard and win by double figures, which is why they are the pick in this game.