The Atlanta Falcons (6-9) head to Florida this weekend for an NFC South duel with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-8). Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on December 29th at Raymond James Stadium and the game will be televised on FOX.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Buccaneers listed as 1-point home favorites. The spread hasn’t moved at all after early betting, as Tampa Bay is currently available at -1. The total for this matchup is 48 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 17 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Buccaneers vs Falcons Game Odds & Betting Preview
The Falcons won their third consecutive game last weekend, beating Jacksonville 24-12 at home to improve to 6-9 on the season overall. Atlanta jumped out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, cruising to a double-digit victory down the stretch. QB Matt Ryan went 32/45 for 384 passing yards and a touchdown through the air but also got picked off twice as well. Brian Hill and Devonta Freeman torched the Jaguars defense, combining for 119 rushing yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Julio Jones led the way for the receiving corps, exploding for 166 yards and ten catches. As a whole, the Falcons generated over 500 total yards of offense and found the end zone three times in the win.
Atlanta was very impressive defensively against the Jaguars, giving up around 300 total yards of offense but just a single touchdown. The Falcons were especially solid defending against the pass, holding Jacksonville to under 200 yards through the air.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers saw their four game winning streak come to an end last weekend after falling 23-20 at home against Houston. Tampa Bay fought hard all game but couldn’t over come several costly turnovers on offense. QB Jameis Winston had another up and down outing, throwing multiple interceptions while also going 25/48 for 335 passing yards and a touchdown through the air. RB Ronald Jones II led the way on the ground, racking up 77 rushing yards and a touchdown. Breshad Perriman also chipped in, making seven catches for 102 receiving yards. Overall, the Buccaneers gained under 450 total yards of offense and scored two touchdowns in the defeat.
Tampa Bay had a decent outing on the other side of the ball against the Texans, holding Watson and Co. to under 250 total yards of offense and just one touchdown. The Buccaneers really did a solid job shutting down Houston on the ground, yielding only 68 rushing yards.
Free NFL Betting Predictions and Pick: OVER 48
I really don’t have a strong lean against the spread with either team in this NFC South showdown, as both teams currently have similar records overall. Neither side has a winning record outright or against the spread through their first 15 outings, so it’s hard to place a ton of confidence in Atlanta or Tampa Bay. While I suppose I’m leaning slightly towards taking the free point and rolling with the surging Falcons, the Bucs offense is capable of exploding at any point in time. Therefore, my favorite play in this particular spot is the OVER on 48 total points scored.
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These two NFC South rivals have certainly had their fair share of shootouts in recent years, as the total has now gone OVER in six out of their last seven meetings overall. The OVER has also come through in 11 out of Tampa Bay’s last 13 outings as well. Finally, the OVER has hit in five out of the Buccaneers last seven games at Raymond James Stadium. Instead of throwing darts against a pretty efficient spread, I’ll take my chances with the OVER on 48 total points scored in what should be a pretty entertaining divisional battle.