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Falcons at Buccaneers (-13) Betting Preview

5 days ago
By Scott Gramling
Tampa Bay wide receiver Antonio Brown
Antonio Brown is beginning to look like a superstar again.
Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-13)
Sunday 9/19, 4:05 p.m. ET

Three things you need to know before betting on Falcons-Buccaneers:

1. Although the road team has won five of the past eight meetings between Atlanta and Tampa Bay, the home team is 6-2 against the spread in this head-to-head series since the start of the 2017 season. The Buccaneers allowed Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott to throw for 403 yards in their 31-29 season-opening victory as a 9-point home favorite last Thursday, but teams coached by Tampa’s Bruce Arians are 9-2 against the spread—including 5-0 against the spread in home games—when coming off a game in which they allowed 350 or more passing yards.

2. The Buccaneers prevailed in their season opener despite having turned the ball over four times: running back Ronald Jones and wide receiver Chris Godwin both fumbled, and quarterback Tom Brady threw two interceptions (one of which was a Hail Mary into the end zone at the end of the first half, the other of which bounced off the hands and face of running back Leonard Fournette). Tampa Bay’s defense, meanwhile, managed just one takeaway, a Carlton Davis interception of a Prescott pass that went through the hands of Dallas receiver CeeDee Lamb. NFL favorites are 14-45-5 against the spread since the start of the 2017 when coming off a game with a turnover margin of minus-3 or worse.

3. The Buccaneers were at their best last season in games that were projected to be high-scoring. Including the postseason, they played eight games that closed with an Over/Under higher than 51, and they went 7-1 straight-up and 8-0 against the spread in those games—the lone straight-up loss was a 27-24 defeat as a 5-point home underdog to Kansas City, which would turn out to be the last time Tampa Bay has left the field without a victory. The key to the Buccaneers’ success in games projected to be high-scoring has been their defense, as the Under was 6-2 in those eight games that closed with a total of higher than 51. Bruce Arians’ teams are 17-7 against the spread in his career in games with an Over/Under of more than 49 points.

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