Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Odds Preview - NFL Week 12

Everyone knows the Atlanta Falcons are one of the teams to beat in the NFL this season. What may have gone unnoticed by some is that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won their past 4 games. Going into this week Atlanta is 9-1 and Tampa Bay is 6-4. Atlanta’s record is clear; they have beat top teams, middle teams and bottom teams. Their only loss has come at the hands of the New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay lost to the NY Giants, the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins and also lost to New Orleans.

Tampa Bay is the favorite to win this game with a 1 point spread and an over/under of 49 points

The trouble with picking Tampa Bay this week is that they have yet to prove themselves against one of the stronger teams in the league. Most of the teams that Tampa Bay beat have a losing record. That said it is tough to win 4 in-a-row in the NFL. Tampa Bay has scored more points over the past 4 weeks than their average points scored gives them.

Tampa Bay wins the average points scored battle with 28.7 points to Atlanta’s 27 points. But for points against, Atlanta wins allowing an average of 19.3 points to Tampa Bay’s 23 points. Atlanta has never scored below 23 points this season and because that is the same as Tampa Bay’s average points allowed we can assume the Falcons will at least score 23 points. Atlanta rarely goes over 30 points so that sets the probably range between 23 to 30 points for Atlanta.

With a point total of 49 points and a one point spread the odds makers are saying this game will finish at 25-24. That’s an unusual score but it is also the exact difference between each team’s average points scored and the opponent’s points allowed. However, looking at it that way says Atlanta should win. Perhaps the home field advantage is factoring strongly into Tampa Bay being the favorite.

A comparison of each team’s rankings demonstrates this to be an interesting match-up because each team has the opposite strength. Atlanta’s offense is ranked 3rd in the pass and 28th in the run. Tampa Bay’s defense is ranked 32nd against the pass and 1st against the run. Tampa Bay’s offense is ranked 14th for the pass and 9th for running. Atlanta’s defense is ranked 10th against the pass and 26th against the run. This could turn into a shoot out but Atlanta’s defense has a slight edge in average yards allowed per game at 347 yards to Tampa Bay’s 394 yards allowed.

A key injury that will detract from Tampa Bay’s ability to defend against the pass is the questionable status of CB Eric Wright who sustained an ankle injury last week. For Atlanta LB Sean Weatherspoon is questionable after being out for three weeks with an ankle injury. However Atlanta has managed to win without Weatherspoon, if he returns this week that adds a huge bump to the Atlanta defense.

It seems more likely that the score will go over 49 points based on the fact that Tampa Bay’s offense has been hot scoring an average of 34.75 points over the past 4 weeks. To say that the score will be greater than 25-24 is not a stretch. As for the spread, that’s a tough call. More often than not games do not end in a tie or a 1 point spread.

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