Can Atlanta Falcons win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers week 17

Will the Atlanta Falcons win the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 17?

Normally when I am checking the odds on any football game, I almost always check the line at Bet Online first. I then will often look at Sportsbetting, sometimes Bet Fred or William Hill as well.

Checking the line on this game on Thursday evening gives me some interesting results. Currently the odds have this game at even with no point spread. This could end up being a very interesting game.

The Atlanta Falcons come in to this game after having already clinched the NFC South Division Title, the first round bye and home field advantage for the playoffs. Tampa Bay is currently tied for 2nd place in the division with the Panthers, but with a win could end the season in 2nd, or tied for 2nd with the Saints depending on how they play Sunday. In either case the Buccaneers are out of it for post season play.

This does not mean that Tampa will not try to win, and in fact I think they will make the game very interesting. Looking at the overall ranks of their offenses they are a close match with the Falcons ranked 7th and the Buc’s ranked 10th.

Atlanta earns that rank mostly from their 5th ranked passing game and 28th ranked rushing game. Tampa is ranked 9th for their passing game and 16th on the ground. As far as defense the Flacons are ranked 23rd overall with a 23rd rank against the pass and 20th against the run. Tampa on the other hand has a 29th rank on defense with the worst defense against the pass at 32nd but the number one ranked defense against the run.

These two teams met in Tampa during week 12 and the Falcons won that game, but only by 1 point. This tight of a matchup is part of why there is no spread currently, and the Falcons could have their hands full in a number of areas.

If Tampa can improve their pass coverage a bit in this game, the Falcons may find it a bit more difficult to score then in their previous game with them.

Falcon wide receiver Roddy White did not practice this week, and although he has missed other practices and still played due to a knee injury, it is unknown if he will play against the Buc’s. Quarterback Matt Ryan does have other receivers to go to, but White, with 1309 yards and averaging 15 yards per reception, will be missed if he is not on the field. Ryan will likely run a lot of plays throwing to Julio Jones, with 1142 yards also averaging 15 yards per reception.

Interestingly, both Ryan and Tampa quarterback Josh Freeman have only been sacked 26 times this year which is tied for 4th lowest in the season. One would hope that Tampa concentrates on their coverage in the secondary and try and stop the short pass plays and screens since this is one place where the Buccaneers have been lacking.

Obviously with as accurate of an arm as Ryan has, they can’t play without rushing him at all, but I would think they need to pay close attention to the secondary, or they could possibly lose a handle on the game very quickly.

In their previous game in week 12, Ryan threw 26 for 32 and 353 yards and was sacked once for 8 yards. Tampa’s Freeman threw 19 for 30 and 256 yards and was sacked twice for 8 yards. Atlanta won that game 24 to 23 and it was the closest game they played the entire year.

It’s interesting that the line on this game is currently even and the books are not giving a clear edge to either team. I will however go out on a limb and give the edge to Atlanta. I think the Falcons can win this game by 2 points.

Whether you like the edge that I give them or if you want a straight bet on this game, or maybe you want to place a bet on a different game with a larger spread, I suggest you take a look at the sports betting on football available at Bet Online. They have great odds and offer a number of deposit options for sports bettors world wide.


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