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Buccaneers Falcons Odds

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) travel to face the Atlanta Falcons (1-1) on Thursday, September 18th to kick off Week 3 NFL action. These teams have split the season series each of the last three years with the home team winning four of six meetings.

Atlanta is coming off an ugly 10-24 road loss to Cincinnati after beating New Orleans 37-34 (OT) at home in Week 1. Tampa Bay has dropped two straight to start the season at home with losses to Carolina (14-20) and St. Louis (17-19).

Kickoff inside the Georgia Dome is scheduled for 8:25 EST Thursday night with CBS providing the television coverage. Taking a look at the lines in Las Vegas, I find Atlanta installed as a 6.5-point favorite over Tampa Bay with a total set of 44.5 points.

My Early Lean: Falcons -6.5

The Falcons simply do not lose that often at home. Indeed, they are 38-12 inside the Georgia Dome with Matt Ryan as the starting quarterback over the past six seasons. They beat the Saints in their opener despite being a 3-point underdog, and they should have no problem taking care of the Buccaneers by a touchdown or more.

Obviously, last week’s performance against the Bengals is a bit unsettling, but I look for them to bounce back in a big way at home. The Bengals are obviously a quality team as they’ve been to the playoffs each of the last three years and have opened 2-0 this season, so I’m not going to read too much into it. There’s no question the Falcons are improved this year on both sides of the ball, especially offensively with Julio Jones and Roddy White back healthy.

The Buccaneers have been 4.5-point home favorites in each of their first two games, and really could not have looked much worse. They were down 17-0 to the Panthers before rallying late to make the final score seem closer than it appeared in a 14-20 loss. They also were outplayed by the Rams at home for the majority of the game in a 17-19 loss. Falling to quarterbacks Derek Anderson and Austin Davis at home is a very bad sign for the Buccaneers. They will be in trouble against Matt Ryan in this one.

Falling to quarterbacks Derek Anderson and Austin Davis at home is a very bad sign for the Buccaneers. They will be in trouble against Matt Ryan in this one.

There are several injury concerns for the Buccaneers heading into this game as well.  Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is doubtful, while DE Adrian Clayborn and CB Mike Jenkins are on the injured reserve.  There’s also RB Doug Martin, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, DE Michael Johnson and LB Mason Foster listed as questionable.

Tampa Bay is 1-8 ATS in the first half of the season over the last two seasons. Atlanta is 18-6 ATS in its last 24 games after allowing 400 or more total yards in two consecutive games. Lovie Smith is 5-16 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points in all games he has coached. Mike Smith is 13-3 ATS off a loss by 10 points or more as the coach of Atlanta. Smith is 23-11 ATS off one or more consecutive losses as the coach of the Falcons. The Falcons are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. The Bucs are 0-6 ATS in their last six vs. NFC opponents.

About the Author: Jack Jones has been one of the top experts on the site while competing against roughly 80 of the best handicappers in the world each year. He has made most of his money on the hardwood. In fact, he has finished in the Top-5 in college basketball each of the last three seasons (#5 2011-12, #5 2012-13, #3 2013-14). He was also the No. 1 NBA handicapper from 2012-13. As of early April, Jack has compiled an 802-631 basketball run that has seen his $1,000 game players profit $124,030. He was the No. 3 College Football handicapper in 2012-13. While he doesn't have any top finishes in the NFL, he has produced steady profits without killing his clients. Jack also was your No. 7 MLB handicapper in 2009 and backed it up with a No. 8 MLB finish in 2010. No matter the sport, the one thing you can count on with Jack Jones is that he won't leave any stone unturned. You'll know why he is on a game with his detailed analysis, and more times than not, you will come out well ahead against your book. Head on over to Jack's premium pick page to see what he has in store for tonight!
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