Falcons Bucs Spread Line and Predictions NFL Week 13 Picks

The upstart Bucs have struggled against tougher opponents and the Falcons have a vital chance to fortify their shot at the top seed in the NFC. This is a do or die game for Tampa Bay. Mike Williams might be able to test an iffy secondary deep if Josh Freeman can buy time. The (9-2) Atlanta Falcons travel south to the hostile confines of Raymond James Stadium to clash with the resurgent (7-4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers, kickoff slated for 4:15 PM EST. In the teams’ first meeting of 2010 on November 7th, a late stop by the Falcons’ defense preserved a 27-21 win for the home-team Dirty Birds. Three games have passed since, and both squads have kept up with their impressive starts to the season.

Matt Ryan has had another outstanding year as the Falcons’ signal-caller, throwing for 2,715 yards and 19 TDs with just 5 interceptions (none since Week 7 against Cincinnati) while helping Atlanta fight for another playoff run. The Falcons were able to halt the Buccaneers late game surge in early November and escape with a 27-21 home win. Atlanta’s running game was effective with 130 yards on 33 carries. Tampa Bay turned it over two times and took none away from the Falcons. Atlanta made a key fourth quarter goal line stand against the Buccaneers to preserve victory. In order for the Falcons to shut down Freeman and the rest of Tampa Bay’s offense, they have to find a way to make him uncomfortable and make him turn the ball over. Freeman hasn’t thrown an interception since the last game against the Falcons, in which he threw two. Clearly Atlanta’s game-planning worked, so it would be smart to do the same thing again, right? Wrong. Freeman hasn’t been so successful as part of a quickly-rebuilt Buccaneers team by accident. He knows what it takes to be a quarterback in the National Football League, and he is smart enough to look study defenses and see how they made him make mistakes. Atlanta will look to mix up their coverage’s and blitzes throughout, because if there’s one thing for sure, it’s that the Falcons shouldn’t make it easy for Josh Freeman. The Falcons must be ready to play sixty minutes of football, because Tampa Bay has already proven once this season that they can hang with Atlanta.

The Buccaneers will be looking to their creamsicle throwback jerseys this Sunday for some much needed inspiration, which the woeful Buccaneers wore for over twenty years. The Buccaneers are at home for the sixth time on the season where they are 3-2. All losses at home and this season came against winning teams. Their two home losses came against New Orleans 31-6 and Pittsburgh 38-13 and failing to cover the spread as an underdog in each game. The team is coming off a 17-10 road loss at Baltimore last week as a road underdog. Tampa Bay put up 263 yards and converted on 6 of 16 on third down. The team ran it 23 times on the Ravens defense for 101 yards for nearly 4 ½ yards per carry. The Buccaneers were penalized 9 times for 78 yards. Quarterback Josh Freeman completed 17 of 37 passes for 162 yards with a touchdown and no picks. Running back LeGarrette Blount on 13 carries rushed for 55 yards. Cadillac Williams got only 4 carries for 19 yards. Cadillac caught 5 passes for 41 yards. Tampa Bay allowed the Ravens 349 yards and only 3 of 12 on third down. The Buccaneers gave up just pedestrian run totals to their AFC North opponent last week by allowing 92 yards on 26 carries for a 3.5 yards per rush average. The Buccaneers got hurt in pass defense by allowing the opposing quarterback to hit on 25 of 35 passes for 289 yards with two touchdowns and 1 pick. Second-year QB Josh Freeman hasn’t been a slouch by any means, playing a key role in Tampa’s resurgence into NFL-caliber football with his 2,261 passing yards, 15 TDs, and 5 interceptions. Freeman’s success has been shadowing in the NFC South due to the play of Ryan and New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, and while casual fans might not yet know his name, those who really study the league understand that he is the real deal and that he has the potential to be a starting QB in the NFL for several years to come. Tampa Bay’s strength on defense is slowing down the pass, allowing 206 passing yards per game as average and 17 touchdowns this season. The Buccaneers are in danger of letting a promising season slip away if they cannot find a way to win this week. All seven of their wins this season have come against teams with a losing record and they have been outscored 113-50 in their four losses this season.

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Falcons vs Buccaneers Spread, Line and Betting Odds:


Atlanta Falcons -2.5
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers +2.5

Game Total:

Over (-110)
Under (-110)

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Falcons vs Buccaneers Prediction for Week 13:

Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – The Atlanta Falcons may very well be the most secure lock to come out of the NFC this year and play in Dallas come February. QB Matt Ryan is playing at the top of his game and he is complemented by arguably the best receiving threat in the league in Roddy White, one of the most solid and elusive backs in Michael Turner, and the resurgence of TE Tony Gonzalez also helps. Atlanta is on the road for the sixth time on the season where they are 3-2. Their two losses came in a 15-9 overtime loss at Pittsburgh in week 1 as a -1 point favorite and a 31-17 road loss at Philadelphia as a +2 point underdog. Atlanta is 14-5 ATS in games where the line is +3 to -3 over the last 3 seasons. The Falcons will look to jump on the Bucs early as they win 85% of games when they lead after the first quarter. The Bucs have had a resurgent year and second year quarterback Josh Freeman looks like the real deal. The Bucs have been playing well over their head for four weeks now, ever since the last game against the Falcons, and they are due for a let down performance. The Bucs feast on turnovers, but with the Falcons and their third ranked turnover margin coming to town I believe the Bucs chances will be few and far between. Consider the Falcons inching one more stop closer to a first place seeding in the NFC playoffs with a convincing win in Tampa this Sunday.

Top Play Prediction = Falcons -2.5

Game Total Prediction – In early November these two teams hooked up for a offensive gem. Both Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman had career days and the game total of 48 surpassed the posted game total of 45. The Falcons have now had the offense for three years but it is the Bucs who have now risen to the occasion. Tampa Bay now possess a fairly potent offensive attack, one in which has afforded them seven wins on the season already. The total has gone OVER in 5 of Atlanta’s last 6 games and has gone OVER in 8 of Atlanta’s last 12 games on the road. I expect both teams to be slinging the ball down the field as both secondary’s have looked fairly shaky the last two weeks. The Bucs are ballhawks and I expect them to find themselves in a couple redzone situations from forcing turnovers in the Falcons end of the field.Take a look at the OVER in Tampa this Sunday. Cheers!

Prediction = OVER 44.5 Total Points

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