Falcons vs. Bucs Prediction
Will the Atlanta Falcons cover the point spread as nearly a touchdown-sized road favorite versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET?
Who Oddsmakers Like: Atlanta. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Falcons are 6.5-point road favorites versus the Bucs, who opened as 4-point home underdogs. The total, meanwhile, currently sits at 48.5 points after hitting the board at 47.5.
Who the Public Likes: As of Monday morning, 79% of the betting tickets are on the Falcons to cover the spread and 67% of the money is also on Atlanta.
Who the Trends Like: The favorite is 7-2 against the spread in the last nine meetings between these two teams. The Falcons are also 4-1 against the number in their last five games overall, are 5-0 against the number in their last five Monday night games, and are 6-2 at the betting window in their last eight divisional games.
On the other side, the Bucs are 1-10 against the spread in their last 11 conference games, are winless at 0-5 against the number in their last five divisional games, and are 2-9-1 at the betting window in their last 12 games overall.
Who We Like: Atlanta. There's a lot of value in taking the home underdog tonight in a divisional game because the Bucs have nothing to lose and all the pressure is on the Falcons. The Lions and Cowboys both won over the weekend, which means they remain hot on Atlanta's tail for that sixth spot in the NFC playoff picture. The Falcons also still have an opportunity to win the NFC South if they win out, but the Saints and Panthers both did their jobs this weekend by winning their respective games. So again, all the pressure is on the Falcons to keep pace.
Still, if you want to be a playoff team then you have to boat-race this Tampa Bay team, which enters Monday night severely banged-up. The Bucs will be without linebacker Lavonte David (hamstring), defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (triceps), and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (hamstring). The Bucs were struggling defensively with those players, so how are they going to fare without those defenders? Ugly.
So yeah, taking the 6.5 points offers value. But the Falcons are the better team, they have ever reason to win, and they're healthy outside of Tevin Coleman (out/concussion). I'm going to lay the points now since the line is under a touchdown.
NFL WEEK 15 PREDICTIONS: ATLANTA FALCONS -6.5