Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons – Thursday, Sept.18
BetAnySports’ Current Line: Falcons -6 1/2 and the total is 44 1/2
Thursday Night Football in Week 3 of the new NFL season features a NFC South showdown between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons. Each is trying to get back to its winning ways after suffering a setback this past Sunday. BetAnySports has opened the Falcons as six-point home favorites on its initial NFL betting odds and the total for the game is 44 1/2.
Tampa Bay is actually still looking for its first win of the year after losing to Carolina 20-14 on opening day as a five-point home favorite. The Buccaneers followed this up with a tough 19-17 loss to St. Louis at home as 4.5-point favorites at home. This extended their current losing streak to five games straight-up and they are also 0-5 against the spread in their last five outings.
Lovie Smith took over the helm as Tampa Bay’s new head coach this season, but many of the same old problems with this offense continue to rear their ugly head. The Buccaneers were ranked 30th in the league last season in scoring with an average of 18 points a game and they have yet to even hit that total this year. This is putting some tremendous pressure on a defense that has already been on the field way too long.
The Falcons were the darlings of the NFC South in Week 1 with a stunning 37-34 overtime victory over New Orleans as three-point home underdogs. They went on the road this past Sunday as 5.5-point underdogs against Cincinnati and looked the part with a 24-10 loss. This Thursday’s game now becomes a crucial test for a team that went 13-3 SU in 2012 only to fall to 4-12 last year.
Matt Ryan continues to throw the ball all over the field with an NFL-high 679 passing yards, but this past Sunday against the Bengals he only completed 54.5 percent of his 44 attempts and he was picked-off three times. Atlanta struggled to run the ball with Steven Jackson leading the way with just 46 yards on 11 carries and the offense only managed 309 total yards after piling-up 568 yards against the Saints.
Both teams obviously had their problems last Sunday, but Tampa Bay looks like its issues are going to drag for a few more games at the least. Stick with Atlanta to bounce back with a big win at home that easily covers BetAnySports’ six-point spread.
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