Can the Atlanta Falcons make the point spread against Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Will Atlanta Falcons make the point spread against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 12?

This week for our Offsides series, Frank Benjamin and I had decided to do our picks article on the NFC South division leaders the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. These football teams meet on Sunday afternoon November 25, 2012 at 1:00 PM. The game is at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Looking at what the line is at the online sports books late Friday night I see that Bet Online and Sportsbetting each have this game at no points. Checking at William Hill, the point spread is at 1 point with the Falcons as the favorite.

Atlanta is currently in the lead in the division at 9 wins and 1 loss. They are also the conference leaders. Tampa is at 6 and 4 and in second place the division.

Atlanta already has their spot in the playoffs and Tampa is not out of it just yet either. In fact depending on the outcome of their next few games they are in a position to possibly end up in the division playoff game. This is certainly incentive on the part of the Buccaneers for wanting to win and Atlanta would like to preserve their winning record although a loss on Sunday would not hurt their playoff spot.

Let’s look at the game and some of the possibilities of what could happen. Looking at the Falcons we see a team that has quite a few wins under their belt for the season. Their offense is current ranked 8th in the league but that ranking doesn’t come from their running game, it is due to their air attack.

The Falcons are ranked 4th for passing and that is because of quarterback Matt Ryan and receivers like Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas. And let’s not forget that he can go to his tight end Tony Gonzalez or running back Jacquizz Rodgers as well as a handful of others that have gotten free of their defenders and made the catch and sometimes the big play when needed.

This will be the most difficult thing for the Tampa defense to defend against. This means that corners like Danny Gorrer, E.J. Biggers and others will see a good bit of action. Corner back Leonard Johnson is probable for the game Sunday and with Eric Wright out he will be needed so hopefully he is fully recovered. I also look for Michael Bennett to pull his weight and help out both on the line as well as the backfield.

The entire Tampa defense will have to be on alert since the Falcons can really be deadly in the secondary and although they may blitz some; his offensive line has protected him well this year and he is known for having a fast release and getting the ball to his intended receivers.

On the offensive side of the ball the Buccaneers have been holding their own respectively. They have won their last 4 games and I am sure they are determined to score well against Atlanta this week. The Bucs are ranked 11th in offense and 9th on the ground in the league.

Quarterback Josh Freeman is completing a little less than 60% of his pass attempts overall but when it comes to the short pass, up to 10 yards he is at 64%. Although I am sure he will throw the ball some, I think Tampa will also need to access their running game a fair amount.

We will likely see a good bit of play from running backs Doug Martin, LeGarrette Blount and D.J. Ware. Martin is having a good year and in fact he just hit the 1000 yard mark and I see no reason for him not to do well on Sunday.

Will Atlanta make the spread or will Tampa beat the odds?

If the Tampa offense is able to mix it up well and get some effective passing along with their running game which has been getting them yards against their opponents then I do believe that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do have what it takes to beat the Atlanta Falcons.

I make no secret of the fact that I often like to pick what many will call an underdog, but picking Tampa this week is a little more than that. Tampa is really on a roll, they are hungry for a win to keep their playoff hopes alive and if they can play like they have in the last few games I think they will hand Atlanta their second loss of the year.

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Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday as well as time constraints and family committments, Frank Benjamin at OddsOnBetting will not be providing the opposing viewpoint in this weeks Offsides picks. Be sure to visit us again next week for opposing articles when we cover another game.

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