Buccaneers vs. Falcons Pick
The Buccaneers are one of the better underdog plays for bettors this afternoon, as they'll visit the Falcons at 1:00PM ET.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Falcons are 3-point home favorites versus the Bucs while the over/under currently sits at 47.5 points. While the total hasn't moved off the original number posted by oddsmakers, the Falcons have gone from -3 down to -2.5 at some sports books.
The Buccaneers have a new head coach in former offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who did a great job maximizing quarterback Jameis Winston's abilities as a rookie. Doug Martin, Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson all return from last season, while Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander are joined by newcomer Brent Grimes on defense. This team is still probably a year away from securing a playoff spot, but the Bucs will be competitive this season.
The Falcons return largely the same core on offense, with Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones all returning. Mohamed Sanu was signed to a free agent deal this offseason to help complement Jones, while second-year receiver Justin Hardy will man the slot position. On defense, Dan Quinn wanted to get faster and faster he did, with linebackers Deion Jones and De'Vondre Campbell set to start today. That said, unless Vic Beasley makes huge strides in his second season, pass rush figures to be a problem again in Atlanta.
OUR PICK: The Buccaneers beat the Falcons outright both times last season and are 11-5 against the spread in their last 16 games in Atlanta. Ryan did not look sharp this preseason and is still struggling with turnovers in Kyle Shanahan's offense. While Jones will be a handful for Tampa Bay to slow in the secondary, McCoy will wreak havoc on an average Atlanta offensive line and cause Ryan to have happy feet in the pocket. Take the points if you want a little insurance, but don't be shocked if the Bucs pull off the small upset outright.
NFL WEEK 1 PICK: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS +3