NFL Week 12 Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 11:13 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 27, 2017 11:13 PM UTC

It’s the first meeting of the season between these NFC South rivals, and the Bucs will remain without their No. 1 quarterback. Survivor Pick: Atlanta.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-10, 49)

This will be Tampa’s first look at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, although the Bucs sent off the Georgia Dome in style in their final visit in Week 1 last year in a 31-24 upset of the Falcons. Atlanta certainly didn’t look like a future Super Bowl team that day. Jameis Winston threw for 281 yards and four scores. The Falcons were fine offensively with 374 yards and no turnovers but simply couldn’t stop Winston & Co. The teams then played Week 9 in Tampa last year on a Thursday and the Falcons won 43-28. Matt Ryan threw for 344 yards and four scores. Winston threw for 261 and three TDs, two to Mike Evans. Speaking of Winston, he will miss a third straight game with a shoulder injury – no reason to rush him as the Bucs have won their past two behind journeyman backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. Then again, those were against two mediocre-to-bad teams in the Jets and Dolphins. Atlanta is back in the playoff race with back-to-back wins. Perhaps the offense is starting to click under first-year coordinator Steve Sarkisian. I have little doubt the Falcons win here as well, but I’m taking all those points. It’s a short week off Monday’s win in Seattle and sets up a potential letdown game.

  • Falcons are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
  • Buccaneers are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 meetings in Atlanta.
Free NFL Pick: Bucs +10.5 (buy up from 10)Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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The original timetable for Winston was at least two weeks. He has not practiced with the team and received a PRP (platelet rich plasma) injection to accelerate healing. I wonder if the Bucs are being extra cautious here in the wake of an allegation by a female Uber driver that Winston grabbed her crotch area in 2016 in the Phoenix area. Winston has denied those allegations. In 2 1/2 games this year, Fitzpatrick has thrown seven touchdown passes and three interceptions (2.33 ratio), better than Winston's 10 touchdowns and six interceptions (1.67) in eight games (two of those he did not finish). Will the Falcons have top running back Devonta Freeman back? He missed Monday’s win with a concussion. I would think Freeman would be ready. The Falcons had season-low 279 total yards vs. Seattle but converted 9-of-14 on third down and going 2-for-3 in the red zone, both improvement over recent weeks.

  • Over is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in Atlanta.
  • Over is 12-3 in Falcons last 15 home games.
Free NFL Pick: Over 49Best Line Offered: Betmania

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