If you’re ready to bet NFL football online as the start of Week 9 approaches, then you’re going to have a great chance to cash in with a winning wager when the inconsistent Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the high-scoring Atlanta Falcons in a Week 9 NFC South divisional showdown on Thursday night. Now, let’s find out where the value in this matchup lies.
Week 9 NFL Betting Lines: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Host Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When: Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 8:25 PM ET
Where: Raymond James Stadium
NFL Odds: Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.5 / Over/Under: 51
The Falcons (5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS) snapped their two-game losing streak by getting past Green Bay 33-32 this past weekend despite failing to cover the spread as a 3-point favorite. Veteran quarterback Matt Ryan completed 28 of 35 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns and connected with wideout Mohammed Sanu on an 11-yard TD strike with 31 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Falcons to victory.
Now, Ryan and company are looking to win their fifth road game in their last six tries. For the season, Ryan is completing 69.2 percent of his passes for 2,636 yards with 19 touchdowns and four interceptions. Ryan has thrown at least two touchdown passes in six of his last eight games.
Atlanta ranks first in scoring (32.7 ppg) as wide receivers Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu have combined for 1,201 receiving yards and seven touchdowns while running back Devonta Freeman has rushed for a team-high 543 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, Atlanta Falcons is allowing 18.9 points and 379.3 yards per game. Blossoming linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. has racked up a team-high 7.5 sacks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) had their two-game winning streak snapped in their crushing 30-24 Week 8 loss to Oakland while filing to cover the spread as a 1-point favorite. Second-year signal-caller Jameis Winston completed 16 of 32 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns, but the Bucs allowed Oakland quarterback Derek Carr to throw for a franchise record 513 yards and four touchdowns.
Tampa Bay has lost five straight home games overall. For the season, Winston is completing a modest 58.7 percent of his passes for 1,776 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The Bucs are averaging a modest 21.7 points per game to rank an uninspiring 19th in scoring. Winston has thrown five touchdown passes over his last two games. Wide receivers Mike Evans and Adam Humphries have combined for 886 receiving yards and six touchdowns while running back Jacquizz Rodgers has rushed for team-high 393 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, Tampa Bay is allowing 27.0 points per game to rank a dismal 23rd in points allowed. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has recorded a team-high three sacks while cornerback Brent Grimes has one interception.
Expert Prediction and Pick
I know this is a divisional showdown, but the Atlanta Falcons are the easy pick to win and cash in for me as they are simply, the better team on both sides of the ball. The Falcons are 5-0 ATS in their last five road games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall while the Buccaneers have gone 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games and 0-5 ATS in their last five home games.
Tampa Bay beat Atlanta 31-24 earlier this season and has won three straight in this series. Nevertheless, the Atlanta Falcons are the pick to win and cover the NFL betting line as I fully expect Matt Ryan to hook up early and often with Mohammed Sanu and Julio Jones en route to the convincing road win.