Well, if you like a lack of defense then Sunday’s NFC South matchup between the Bucs (2-2) and Falcons (1-4) should be fun. They are the two worst scoring defenses in the NFL and it’s amazing both coordinators are still employed. The Falcons are favored on the NFL Week 6 odds with a huge total.
Buccaneers vs Falcons NFL Week 6 Betting Lines & Prediction
“Every week, you have to bring your ‘A’ game if you want to be competitive, especially in a divisional game.”🗣 » @CGtwelve_ #GoBucs pic.twitter.com/ZOmAWixAa9 — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) 8 de octubre de 2018
- When: Sunday, 1 PM ET
- Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
- TV: Fox
- Radio: SiriusXM/NFL
- Live Stream: NFL League Pass
- NFL Week 6 Betting Lines: Atlanta Falcons -3.5 (Total 57)
- Clear: 22°C/71°F
- Humidity: 55%
- Precipitation: 1%
- Cloud Cover: 28%
- Wind: 7 mph SE
- Stadium Type: Retractable
The Falcons won both meetings to take a 25-24 all-time lead. The game in Atlanta was a 34-20 victory. Julio Jones hauled in 12 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns in one of the best games of his career. Jones hauled in a 51-yard scoring pass from fellow receiver Mohamed Sanu and went 25 yards for a TD on a throw from Matt Ryan.
Keanu Neal battled down Ryan Fitzpatrick’s pass on fourth-and-1 at the Atlanta 18 with just over 7 minutes remaining, and the Falcons drove for a clinching touchdown on Tevin Coleman’s 14-yard run with just under 2 minutes to go. Coleman, filling in for injured Devonta Freeman, rushed for 97 yards and two TDs. Fitzpatrick finished 26 of 44 for 283 yards, setting up a pair of short touchdown runs by Peyton Barber.
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?
The Bucs were on the bye last week after being embarrassed 48-10 in Chicago in Week 4. Even though Jameis Winston was eligible off his suspension, the Bucs started Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB again. But Fitzpatrick was replaced by Winston to start the third quarter. Fitzpatrick was reportedly only “one or two plays away” from being benched in Week 3, too. Coach Dirk Koetter pulled the trigger in Week 4 as the Bucs went into the half trailing 38-3. Fitzpatrick totaled 126 yards and one interception before sitting.
Winston completed 16-of-20 passes for 145 yards, one touchdown, and two picks. An 80% completion rate was pretty good given that Winston was suspended and away from football during the first three weeks. Winston had the entire bye week to become acclimated to football again and will be the starter against the Falcons’ injury-riddled secondary. Winston didn’t go home during the bye week. He felt it was too important to stay in Tampa to continue training with the guys he worked with during his suspension.
The Bucs will be without top tight end OJ Howard, though. He is out 2-4 weeks with a sprained MCL suffered vs. the Bears. Cameron Brate should see more balls thrown his way. Brate 3-of-4 targets for 29 yards and one touchdown in the Bucs’ Week 4 loss to the Bears. Brate has either been Jekyll or Hyde through the Bucs’ first four games, being held catchless in Tampa’s first two contests only to score in the past two.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay defense has given up 139 points in four games, more than any other team in the league on a per-game basis. They’ve surrendered 35 explosive plays (run plays of 12 or more yards and pass plays of 16 or more yards), tied for fifth-most in the league, and tied with the Oakland Raiders for most yards given up on explosives (975 yards). But the offense was able to overcome that in Weeks 1 and 2. This season, the Bucs’ defense is giving up almost 446 yards per game. By comparison, in Lovie Smith’s final season in Tampa, his defense was giving up 340.4 yards per game.
Why Bet on Atlanta?
The Falcons were routed 41-17 in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Matt Ryan completed 26-of-38 passes for 285 yards, one touchdown, and zero interceptions. Ryan also lost a fumble that the Steelers returned for a touchdown. Under siege — he took six sacks and was pressured countless other times — Ryan played really poorly in this one, going three full quarters before finally finding Julio Jones for a reception.
Ryan has now struggled mightily in each of his road starts while having big days at home. Ryan underwent X-rays on his foot following Sunday’s loss but he’s fine. Ryan got pulled from the game in favor of Matt Schaub after taking his sixth sack with 3:45 left in the game. The Steelers hit Ryan 11 times.
Devonta Freeman rushed eight times for 32 yards, adding two receptions for nine additional yards. Freeman started in his first game since Week 1 due to injury. Tevin Coleman rushed seven times for 15 yards and had two receptions for 15 additional yards. Jones caught 5-of-9 targets for 62 yards. The offense converted just six of 14 third-down attempts (43 percent) and made just one of three fourth-down attempts (33 percent).
The last time Jones didn’t have a reception in the first half of a game was in 2016 against Denver in Week 5. Sunday marked the third time in his career that Jones had been held without a catch through three quarters. It also occurred during his rookie season in 2011 against the Minnesota Vikings and in 2012 against the Carolina Panthers.
“Obviously, we want to get him involved,” Ryan said. “I missed one for him earlier in the game on his back hip; then one was tipped when we had a shallow cross. … They made a pretty concerted effort to take him out and that created opportunities elsewhere.”
The Falcons’ defense had no answer for Steelers running back James Conner, either. Conner, who ran for 135 yards in the Pittsburgh’s season-opener, had rushed for only 97 yards since. Against the injury-ravaged Falcons, Conner ran it 21 times for 110 yards and added another 75 yards receiving.
Buccaneers vs Falcons NFL Week 6 Betting Trends
- Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Atlanta
- Favorite is 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 meetings
- Tampa Bay is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
- Tampa Bay is 5-12 SU in its last 17 games
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games
- Atlanta is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
- Atlanta is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Atlanta’s last 5 games
Expert NFL Betting Prediction for Buccaneers vs Falcons
Agree with both trends – take Atlanta and the over.