Falcons Seek to Continue Big Closing Kick vs the Bucs
There is no question that the Atlanta Falcons have experienced less in the way of success than they did last year, when they rambled all the way to the Super Bowl. But with four victories in their last five games, they have maneuvered themselves into a position where they could make the NFL playoffs. However, it is far from guaranteed, and on Monday night they will tackle the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game that begins at 8:30 PM at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. ESPN will televise the game on a nationwide basis, and BetAnySports customers can get their fill of real-time wagering as they access the state-of-the-art software from Live Betting Ultra.
Falcons vs Buccaneers Odds – 2017 Week 12 NFL Betting Line:
In the Monday night NFL betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, Atlanta is the solid favorite on the road:
Atlanta Falcons -6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +6
Over 49 points -110
Under 49 points -110
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Falcons vs Buccaneers Odds – CJ’s Take:
There are a couple of different ways Atlanta can go at this point in the season. They trail in the NFC South race by one game, with both the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers ahead of them, and in terms of wild-card play, they are tied with the Seattle Seahawks, who they have beaten already. Hot on their trail are the Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, all of whom have 7-6 records. The Falcons are 8-5 straight-up and 6-7 against the points.
For the Buccaneers, this is definitely a time to reflect and perhaps rebuild. Whether Dirk Koetter, the head coach, retains his job is a big question, and there are rumors of some tension between him and quarterback Jameis Winston. That’s ironic, because Koetter, who was Winston’s first offensive coordinator in the NFL, got the job on the basis of his rapport with the franchise quarterback. Winston has been dealing with shoulder injuries this season, so he has rather modest numbers (2475 yards, 14 touchdowns, eight interceptions). And Tampa Bay has been in search of a ground attack all season long. They are 4-9 straight-up and 3-9-1 ATS.
The Falcons have been in some transition this season, as offensive coordinator Ryan Shanahan, who had a great relationship with quarterback Matt Ryan, left to take the head-coaching job in San Francisco. Steve Sarkisian entered the picture as the new coordinator, and to be clear, Atlanta has not been the offensive powerhouse it was last season. They have, however, done relatively well on the defensive end; even though they’ve intercepted only four passes, they have held the opposition to just six yards per attempt.
Tampa Bay has allowed 276 passing yards per game, and the Buccaneers have been the most generous team in the NFL when it comes to third-down situations, allowing the opposition to convert 48.3% of the time. What has to be a major disappointment is the fact that they had only 17 sacks this season. And there is the possibility they will be without Gerald McCoy, one of the best offensive lineman in football, who has a shoulder injury. BetAnySports patrons should take note, though, that McCoy insists he wants to bypass surgery and play in this one.
The last time these teams played, the Falcons won by two touchdowns in their new home (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), and Julio Jones caught a dozen passes for 253 yards. The Buccaneers are missing perhaps their top cornerback, Vernon Hargreaves, so there is no secret as to which direction Ryan is going to look first. And we may not not have any choice but to look in Atlanta’s direction, as we were kind of impressed by the way they rose to the occasion and beat New Orleans last time out. And the fact that it came on a Thursday night game, giving them extra rest, doesn’t hurt either.
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By Charles Jay