Falcons vs Buccaneers matchup preview and current betting lines
Two lifelong divisional rivals will meet once again when the Atlanta Falcons travel to Raymond James Stadium for a meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And while this game may not seem all that attractive at first glance, it could be one of the most electric on the slate.
The Falcons cannot be trusted to hold on to big leads; we all know that. However, they’ve performed fairly better than expected thus far, and while they’re not exactly playoff material as of now, they’d sure love to spoil the party for their divisional foes.
Moreover, the Falcons need to make the most of the opportunity that’s in front of them. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense continues to be decimated by injuries, and they look as beatable as ever, even with Tom Brady behind center.
Neither of these teams has played well defensively, so even though there’s a shortage of offensive talent on the gridiron, we could be in for plenty of fireworks and big, explosive plays, not to mention multiple lead changes.
Players to watch:
Marcus Mariota: Most people expected Marcus Mariota to be just a fill-in starter while Desmond Ridder lurked in the shadows, but he’s been fairly better than expected. Thus far, he has 779 yards and 3 passing touchdowns, although he does have four picks.
Mike Evans: Mike Evans is by far the best and most reliable weapon for Tom Brady right now. He’s coming off hauling in 8 of 10 targets for 103 yards and 2 touchdowns and he’ll need to put in a similar effort to pull this win off as well.
Week 5 Predictions: NFL Bet of the week on Falcons vs Buccaneers
The opening Falcons vs Buccaneers spread have the home side favored by 8.5 points, but we believe that’s a bit of a stretch. Don’t get me wrong, by no means do we believe that the Atlanta Falcons will win this game, but it shouldn’t be a blowout.
The Falcons have been competent offensively, and they finally seem willing to feed Kyle Pitts, one of the most physically dominant and gifted players in the league. That means trouble, even for a Buccaneers’ defense that should be better than it’s been right now.
Not having Cordarelle Patterson will sure be a big blow for the Falcons, but they still have a nice backup in rookie Tyler Allgier, who’s averaged 5.35 yards per carry this season. The Bucs have been mediocre stopping the run, so the Falcons could have a chance.
So, even though the Bucs should win this game, and we wouldn’t be shocked if they win by a touchdown, we don’t see this being a blowout or going out of hand. In fact, we believe they’ll have to wait until the final quarter to get the lead in this game.
The opening Falcons vs Buccaneers odds have the game total sitting at 48 points. While we expect the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense to be better and not allow 41 points like they did last week, they’ve still struggled all season long against big plays, so this makes sense.
The Bucs allow just 17 points per game, but rival teams run for over 107 yards against them, so they could have some serious issues vs. Atlanta, as they’re the fourth-best running team in the National Football League with 168 rushing yards per game.
The Falcons also have the fifth-worst defense in terms of total yads (401.3 per game) and you know an angry Tom Brady looking to bounce back from a humiliating loss will look to make a statement in the next game, so this could be a bit of a shootout.
Neither of these secondary defenses has been particularly impressive to start the season. And with top-notch weapons like Kyle Pitts and Mike Evans running downhill, this game has the makings of a high-scoring matchup.
FAQs about Falcons vs Buccaneers
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Yes, they both play in the NFC South.
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No, Marcus Mariota will get the start.