Monday Night Football in Week 15 brings on a divisional showdown featuring the Falcons and Buccaneers of the NFC South. With the Panthers and Saints winning on Sunday, the pressure returns to the Falcons if they want to maintain pace for the division and qualify for the post-season.
Atlanta has been up and down this season, and as a result enter at 8-5 despite likely having more talent than their record would indicate. They realize it’s desperate time, but don’t expect their rivals in Tampa Bay to simply roll over for them. The Bucs have talent and though they are just 4-9, we’ve seen many times in recent weeks – a motivated underdog derailing the playoff hopes of a rival. This could be yet another example and as such makes for a very intriguing Monday night contest. Read on below for a full betting breakdown and game analysis to end your week on a high note.
Falcons vs. Buccaneers Betting Odds:
Atlanta Falcons -6 (-110)
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers +6 (-110)
Over 48 (-110)
Under 48 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Falcons vs. Buccaneers Pick:
Even though the Buccaneers aren’t all that great – it’s Monday Night Football and they have a legitimate shot to ruin the season of the Atlanta Falcons. They’ll be highly motivated to spoil Matt Ryan’s party here in Week 15, and though the Falcons will put up points – I like the Bucs to at least keep things relatively tight. When these teams first met, Atlanta dominated the Bucs’ defense. That could and likely should happen again on Monday evening. Tampa will again be without Gerald McCoy in the interior of their defense. The Falcons will put up their fair share of points, but can they keep the Bucs off of the scoreboard? Doubtful.
Tampa Bay as well can take advantage of some mismatches of their own. The first time these teams faced off, Jameis Winston was still hurt. He’ll be in uniform Monday evening and should be able to find Mike Evans in space downfield. Evans has been pretty bad in recent weeks, but should be eager to bounceback in Week 15 against the Falcons on primetime. On the ground, Peyton Barber has been quite the revelation of late. He’s taken over for a sluggish Doug Martin and should be able to open things up through the air for Winston.
Even though this game is big for Atlanta, they have New Orleans looming in Week 16 – another massive contest. The Bucs know this is their last ‘meaningful’ outing of the season, so you can expect a solid outing and effort from all involved. The public is all over the Falcons and though I understand why, I’m leaning toward Tampa Bay showing up and giving Atlanta all they can handle in front of their home crowd.
PICK = Buccaneers +6 (-110)