Falcons Big Road Dogs
Not a lot of people expected the Atlanta Falcons to still be undefeated on the young 2008 season. But after racking up over 300 yards on the ground against the Lions last week, the Falcons are 1-0 and there’s a lot of excitement surrounding the young franchise. Rookie quarterback Matt Ryan threw his first touchdown pass on his first passing attempt of his career last week, and Michael Turner rushed for 220 yards. Atlanta won’t have it that easy this weekend in Tampa, as a Bucs’ defense that has dominated the Falcons over the years. A lot of the Falcons’ success this week will hinder on whether Ryan can minimize mistakes and if Turner can once again be effective on the ground.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost more than a game last week when they fell 24-20 to the Saints in New Orleans, they also lost their starting quarterback. Brian Griese will replace Jeff Garcia under center this week and while Griese can still be effective, he doesn’t offer the same mobility as Garcia does. Still, the Falcons defense can be had and if Tampa can strike a good balance of run and pass, they should keep Atlanta on its toes and produce a victory.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Buccaneers 7-ponit favorites. The over/under total has been set at 37.5 and current public betting information shows that 68% of bettors favor Atlanta +7. It’s rather surprising that the Falcons are a full touchdown underdog with how well they played last week against Detroit. Obviously the Bucs offer a greater challenge, but Atlanta has enough weapons on offense to keep the game close as long as they don’t fall behind early. The Bucs should still pull out a win, but it should be a close game, unlike last year when Tampa absolutely crushed the Falcons at Raymond James Stadium. We predict the Bucs over the Falcons 20-17.
Falcons at Buccaneers Game Odds, Spread & Over Under Total
Falcons +7 over 37.5
Buccaneers –7 under 37.5
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