Atlanta at Tampa Bay Week 9 Betting Pick & Prediction

Posted by Peter Boysen on November 3, 2016 in

A crucial NFC South battle takes place Thursday night down in Tampa, as the Atlanta Falcons come to town to take on the Buccaneers. The Falcons held on for a thrilling 33-32 win over Green Bay on Sunday, while Tampa Bay fell at home to Oakland in overtime. In Week 1, Tampa Bay delivered a rousing upset of the Falcons up in Atlanta, 31-24, as quarterback Jameis Winston threw four touchdown passes in the win. Take a look at all of our NFL betting picks for the weekend.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay Week 9 Betting Pick, Prediction & TV Info

When: Thursday, November 3, 2016, 8:25 PM ET
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
TV: NFL Network
Radio: Atlanta / Tampa Bay
Live Stream: NFL Live
NFL Odds: Atlanta -3, O/U 51.5

Why should you put your money on the Falcons?

The Falcons have aroused from those doldrums in which they found themselves to start the season, and they rebounded from a surprising loss to San Diego in Week 7 to beat the Packers. Matt Ryan hit Mohamed Sanu with 31 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to deliver the win. Ryan showed why the Falcons love his arm so much, going 28 for 35 for 288 yards and three scores. He now has 19 touchdown passes against just four interceptions, and Sanu did a fine job as the Packers focused on slowing down star wideout Julio Jones. Atlanta’s 32.8 points per game rank them tops in the NFL right now.

The issue for the Falcons has to do with defense. They permitted four passing touchdowns, and the Packers scored touchdowns on three of their four trips into the red zone. They allow 28.9 points per game, #29 in the league. If they are going to beat Tampa Bay, they have to do a better job than they did in the opener of slowing down the passing attack.

Why should you bet on the Buccaneers?

Jameis Winston is having a decent sophomore season in the NFL, with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. However, against Oakland, he only went 16 for 32. He didn’t throw any interceptions, but that completion ratio is just too low for the team to be able to move the ball reliably. Tailback Jacquizz Rodgers, brought in from the practice squad, has been carrying the ball well in the absence of Doug Martin (hamstring).

The offense has performed adequately, averaging 21.7 points per game, but that only ranks them #19 in the league. Given how many problems they have on defense, they need to score more. They also permitted four passing touchdowns last week — but their offense could not keep up, so they fell to Oakland. If you bet on Tampa Bay, you like Winston to find plenty of holes in the Atlanta secondary like he did in Week 1 (and like Phillip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers have the past two weeks).

Atlanta at Tampa Bay Betting Pick: Atlanta

I like what the Falcons have done to improve to a 5-3 record, and I like them to avenge that Week 1 upset down in Tampa. I predict a final score of Atlanta 34, Tampa Bay 27.