Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons NFL Picks - The Hidden Gem Of Week 1

Joe Gavazzi

Sunday, September 11, 2016 3:02 AM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 11, 2016 3:02 AM UTC

What a fantastic start to the 2016 football season on this site!  Combined with a 4-0 ATS mark on NFL games (after the Denver (+3) winner Thursday night), the College Football selections in Week 1 went 7-1 ATS for a combined mark of 11-1 ATS to begin your football season!  I assure you that every weekend will not be that good.  But, if you follow the advice in my analyses this season, there is an extremely, high probability you will have more winners than losers.

The first game on the Sunday card is a divisional clash between the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Atlanta Falcons. Tampa took both of the meetings last season, including a 23-20 win in Atlanta on November 1st, and a 23-19 victory in Tampa Bay on December 6th. That sets up a viable revenge opportunity for the Falcons, who folded like a cheap tent after their strong start last season. 

Last season, Tampa Bay had their best season since 2012, going 6-10 SU in the first year with QB Winston at the controls. The key to the improvement was an offense that ran for 135/4.8. But that wasn’t enough to save the job of HC Lovie Smith, who was let go after two seasons in Tampa Bay. Among the reasons for the pink slip were an 0-4 SU ATS finish, including a season ending embarrassment by a count of 38-10 to Carolina. Picking up the pieces will be last year’s OC Dirk Koetter, who was successful in tutoring Winston. He is joined by new DC Mike Smith, the former HC at Atlanta, and Todd Monken (S Mississippi) as his OC. This triumvirate is meant to get the Bucs to the plus side of the ledger after they fielded a Top 10 offense and defense last season. Look for notable offensive improvement after the Bucs could average just 16 PPG in their last 10 contests of the year. Expect a solid year from QB Winston, who exceeded 4,000 PY in the 2015 season. 

Atlanta went through their own growing pains last year, settling for an 8-8 SU record, their first .500 or better season since going 14-4 in 2012. It looked like then first year HC Dan Quinn was an outstanding move when the Falcons started 5-0 SU, 4-0 ATS to the campaign. But a 1-7 SU run followed with a 2-1 SU ATS finish (including giving Carolina their only regular season loss), falling just short of allowing the Falcons to have a winning record. A meaningful stat following that 4-0 ATS start was the fact that Falcons finished the year on a 0-8 ATS run as favorite. Struggling with the transition of HC Quinn was veteran QB Ryan, who suffered 16 INTs working with OC Shanahan.

The Falcons, as pointed out above, started fast last season and I expect another quick start this afternoon, motivated by double revenge from last year, and the fact QB Ryan is 8-0 SU ATS in home openers, the Falcons are my choice to get the victory in game one. 

I invite you to put the NFL Odds in your favor and join me in my NFL Pick on the Atlanta Falcons this afternoon.

NFL Pick: Falcons 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage where you can get a 50% Cash Sign Up Bonus!

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