NFL Thursday Night Football Betting Picks: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Raymond James Stadium – Tampa Bay, Florida
Thursday, November 3, 2016, 8:25 pm Eastern, TV: NFL Network
Opening Line: Atlanta -3
Current Line: Atlanta -4
Opening Total: 51 1/2
Current Total: 50 1/2
Opening Money Line: Falcons -175 / Buccaneers +155
Current Money Line: Falcons -180 / Buccaneers +160

The Atlanta Falcons travel to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday night in a key NFC South contest.
The Atlanta Falcons travel to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday night in a key NFC South contest.

The 5-3 Atlanta Falcons can take control of the NFC South as they travel to the 3-4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday night. New Orleans is also 3-4 in the division.

Tampa Bay leads the series 24-22 against Atlanta. The Buccaneers have won three straight games in the series all by 7 points or less. Tampa Bay won at Atlanta in the season opener 31-24. The Buccaneers led 31-13 with five minutes to go in the third quarter.

Atlanta is coached by Dan Quinn. The Falcons lost at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-24 and San Diego Chargers 33-30 in overtime last week at the Seattle Seahawks 26-24. The Falcons beat the Green Bay Packers 33-32 last week at home to snap a two game losing streak. Atlanta has road wins over the Oakland Raiders 35-28, New Orleans Saints 45-32, and against the Denver Broncos 23-16, plus a home win over the Carolina Panthers 48-33. Atlanta was a 3 point favorite against Green Bay and the total was 51. The Falcons are 5-3 ATS and the total is 7-1 this season.

Tampa Bay is coached by Dirk Koetter. The Buccaneers have road wins over the Falcons, Carolina Panthers 17-14, and San Francisco 49ers 34-17. Tampa Bay has a road loss at the Arizona Cardinals 40-7, and home losses to the Los Angeles Rams 37-32, Denver Broncos 27-7, and Oakland Raiders 30-24 in overtime last week. The Buccaneers were 1 point favorites against the Raiders and the total was 48. Tampa Bay is 3-4 ATS and the total is 4-3 this season.

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Atlanta is outscoring teams 33-29 this season. The Falcons are #1 in scoring and #29 in points allowed. Atlanta averages 425 yards per game on offense including 314 passing yards and 112 rushing yards. Atlanta leads the league in total offense, and is #2 in passing. On defense, Atlanta allows 379 yards per game including 285 passing and 94 rushing yards. Atlanta is #25 in total defense and #27 against the pass. The Falcons are #11 in rush defense. The Falcons are 43/112 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 54/117. Atlanta has forced 18 sacks and allowed 20 this season. The Falcons are +2 in turnovers with 3 defensive touchdowns.

Quarterback Matt Ryan has completed 69.2% of his passes for 2,636 yards with 19 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, plus 21 carries for 69 yards. He is an early contender for the MVP.

Running back Devonta Freeman has 116 carries for 543 yards and 3 touchdowns and also has 26 catches for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tevin Coleman has 59 carries for 234 yards and 5 touchdowns, and also has 19 catches for 330 yards and a touchdown. He is out with a hamstring injury for the second straight game. Tarron Ward will get the back-up carries after being activated from the practice squad last week. He had 6 carries for 46 yards and a catch for 11 yards last week against the Packers.

Receiver Julio Jones has 43 catches for 859 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is probable with a knee injury. Tight end Jacob Tamme has 22 catches for 210 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is out with a shoulder injury. Mohamed Sanu has 32 catches for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns. Austin Hooper and Taylor Gabriel each have 11 catches and a touchdown. Eight defensive players are listed on the injury report for the Falcons.

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Tampa Bay is being outscored 27-22 this season. The Buccaneers are #25 in points allowed. Tampa Bay averages 352 yards per game on offense including 238 passing and 113 rushing yards. Tampa Bay allows 390 total yards per game including 275 passing and 115 rushing. The Buccaneers are #22 or worse in all three categories.  Tampa Bay is 39/101 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 36/99. The Buccs have forced 15 sacks and allowed 16 this season. Tampa Bay is -2 in turnovers. The Buccaneers have allowed two defensive touchdowns and scored one this season.

Quarterback Jameis Winston has completed 58.7% of his passes for 1,776 yards with 14 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, along with 24 carries for 65 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Running back Jacquizz Rogers has 88 carries for 393 yards and a touchdown, plus 9 catches for 58 yards. He is out with a foot injury. Charles Sims has 41 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown, along with 14 catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. Peyton Barber has 16 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. Running back Doug Martin has 25 carries for 85 yards, plus 5 catches for 34 yards. He is out indefinitely with a hamstring though.

Receiver Mike Evans has 44 catches for 595 yards and 6 touchdowns. Adam Humphries has 25 catches for 291 yards. Vincent Jackson has 15 catches for 173 yards. He is out for the season with a knee injury. Cameron Brate has 23 catches for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns. Russell Shepard has 10 catches for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is doubtful with a hip injury. Receiver Louis Murphy is questionable with a knee injury. Five defensive players are on the injury report as well.

Atlanta is 5-0 ATS in road games, 4-0 after a straight up win, 5-1 in Thursday games, 4-1 after scoring more than 30 points and allowing more than 30 points, 5-2 overall, 3-7 against NFC South teams, 4-10 against NFC teams, 3-8 against teams with losing records, 3-10 after passing for more than 250 passing yards, 2-10 after failing to cover, and 0-4 in November. The favorite is 8-3-1 ATS in this series recently. The under is 4-1 in Tampa Bay in this series recently.

Tampa Bay is 19-7-1 ATS in November, 5-2 in week 9, 7-3 against NFC South teams, 18-43-1 at home, 2-5 after a straight up loss and after failing to cover, 3-8 overall, 2-6 against teams with winning records, 2-7 on grass, 1-4 against teams with winning road records, 1-5 in Thursday games, and after allowing more than 350 total yards. The Buccaneers are 3-1-1 ATS at home against the Falcons.

Both of these teams have been a little puzzling. Sometimes they look great but not so much at others. Tampa Bay is 3-1 on the road but 0-3 at home this season. i think this will be a high scoring game but I like the Falcons to win a close game.

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