NFL Odds Favor Home Team in Buccaneers vs. Falcons

Swinging Johnson

Monday, September 15, 2014 3:04 PM GMT

The Bucs remain winless while the Falcons dropped to .500 with a loss to the Bengals so which team gives us the best chance to cash our NFL picks in this Thursday night showdown in Atlanta?

Tampa Bay Bucs (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS)
The Bucs opened as high as 6 ½ point home favorites against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday but closed to as low as 3 ½ in some offshores giving clear indication that the oddsmakers were giving far too much credit to the Bucs or not nearly enough to the Rams. If you read my column and/or watched my chat with Peter Loshak in our Oddly Enough series, you would know that I jumped on St. Louis early before the NFL odds adjusted. The fact is we didn’t need no stinkin’ points as Tampa Bay did exactly what they do best and that is – lose.

Josh McCown had one glaring mistake when he carelessly threw across the field in the red zone only to be picked off thereby killing a promising Bucs drive. Other than that, his aerial performance was solid though unspectacular as he went 16-of-21 for 179 yards but did have two rushing TD’s to his credit. The rushing game didn’t miss a beat without starting tailback Doug Martin. Bobby Rainey, getting the nod in place of Martin, was explosive in gathering 144 yards on 22 carries to go along with three catches for 30 yards. The defense was unable to take advantage of third string Rams quarterback Austin Davis who acquitted himself quite nicely, garnering 235 yards through the air by connecting on 22 of 29 passes despite a fair amount of pressure by the Bucs.

 

Atlanta Falcons (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
The Falcons came into Week 2 off a breathless victory over the Saints so you had to believe they would be a bit worn out headed into Cincinnati on Sunday. Nevertheless, the oddsmakers gave us cause for pause if we were inclined to fade the Dirty Birds by giving them a six-point head start in NFL odds. But that was not nearly enough as the Bengals offense beguiled the Falcons defense en route to a 24-10 victory.

The Falcons offense was stuck in neutral during the first half generating only 98 yards of net offense. Matt Ryan looked flustered to say the least as he tossed three picks in the game and accounted for only 60 passing yards in the opening half. The running attack was not much better as Steven Jackson (11-46) and Jacquizz Rodgers (5-23) were stymied throughout. The fourth quarter was better offensively as the Bengals transitioned into more of a prevent defense after securing a 24-3 lead. The Falcons defense could not stop Andy Dalton even without A.J. Green who was lost to a turf toe injury. 

 

Free NFL Pick
The Falcons defense has to concern you if you are a fan or a bettor thinking of backing Atlanta in your NFL picks. The million dollar question is whether or not the Falcons can stop even a pedestrian offense like Tampa’s enough to cover the all-important number. We know that Matt Ryan will have more time to throw and running backs Jackson and Rodgers will not have to face a defensive front of the same ilk as the Bengals this week.

Remember there are mediocre teams that tend to routinely beat up the weak sisters but fail to adjust and overcome obstacles when facing the mettle of the league. This could just be such a case here because Atlanta didn’t get rattled matching score-for-score with the Saints and their porous defense. If Ryan gets time, the Falcons will score plenty of points but unlike the Saints, the Bucs do not have the offense capable of hanging tough in a shootout. Perhaps this is why we see the offshore market moving from their initial NFL odds of Atlanta -5 ½ to as high as -7 in shops like 5Dimes.com.

NFL Picks: Atlanta -6 at Betonline.com

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