NFL Football Betting: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

NFL Football Betting:  Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

Week One in the National Football League and right at the top of the board is this AFC South battle between a pair of teams looking for improvement in 2016. The Atlanta Falcons definitely showed some progress under new head coach Dan Quinn. Following a couple of losing seasons (4-12 and 6-10) the Falcons were back to .500 in 2015 though the team definitely wasn’t happy with how the season ended. Atlanta opened the season 5-0 SU/4-1 ATS but things took a precipitous turn for the worse from that point. The Falcons lost 8 of their last 11 games SU and 10 of their last 12 against the spread. At one point, Atlanta dropped nine straight to the number. For this reason, we’re going to tread lightly with the Falcons. Kyle Shanahan is back as offensive coordinator and at times last year it didn’t look like his schemes were taking advantage of Matt Ryan’s skill set.

Tampa Bay was just 6-10 SU/7-9 ATS last year but they could show more improvement than the Falcons. The Bucs won’t have any issues game planning for Atlanta–their defensive coordinator is former Falcons’ head coach Mike Smith and Tampa Bay’s new head coach Dirk Koetter used to serve as an offensive coordinator for their opponent. I wasn’t sold on Jameis Winston when the Bucs selected him out of Florida State but figured the move made sense from a promotional standpoint. Winston surprised me throwing for 4000 yards in his rookie season. He’ll be even better this year. The Bucs’ problem now is depth but they’ve done an excellent job rebuilding the starting 11 on both sides of the ball.

There’s a lot to like about Tampa Bay and plenty of questions about the Falcons. Regardless of all of that, it’s tough to lay points with Atlanta who enters this game on a brutal 1-11 run against the spread as a favorite. All told over the last three years they’re 3-13 ATS as a chalk including 0-4 SU/ATS as a home favorite of 3 or less. That suggests a couple of things–a)they’re somewhat overrated relative to their opponents and b) they don’t have much of a home field advantage. Bucs won and covered both games a year ago.