Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons Week 2 Betting Preview, Odds, and Prediction
Date: Sunday, September 19, 2021
Game Time: 4:05 PM ET
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
TV Network: FOX
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Record: (1-0-0 SU, 1-0-0 ATS)
Atlanta Falcons Record: (0-1-0 SU, 0-1-0 ATS)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons Week 2 Betting Preview
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got their championship-defense campaign off to a bright start, beating America’s favorite team 31-28 with a last gasp field goal. However, for the Atlanta Falcons, it was a case of failure to launch as they whimpered to 32-6 defeat at home to the Philadelphia Eagles. To lose so badly is one thing, but to lose to a team that was supposed to be terrible according to oddsmakers is another matter entirely.
The upshot of the contrasting fortunes enjoyed by these familiar NFC South foes is one of the most lopsided betting markets in Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season. The Buccaneers are laying…wait for it…drumroll….12 points to the beleaguered Falcons. It’s one of only two games that’s tipped to double-digits in point spread betting markets. The other game features the Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Odds & Overview
Tom Brady is no spring chicken, but the 44-year-old quarterback is showing no signs of slowing down. With the game on the line, the Buccaneers trailing the Cowboys by a point, Brady marched the Bucs down the field to set up Ryan Succop for the game-winning field goal. It was vintage Brady; it was simply the best start to any NFL season in recent memory.
Brady and the Bucs quashed the Super Bowl hangover myth last Sunday with aplomb. Granted, the Bucs started slow and played from behind for most of the game, but they were always in it. There was no panic, no desperation about how the defense and offense took turns on the field. Instead, they were methodical, clinical, and, importantly, calm. That’s what winning a championship (or seven, as is the case with Brady) does. The belief is there, and until proven otherwise, that won’t change.
The Buccaneers failed to cover the closing 9-point spread, but they got the all-important victory, which matters in the race to the postseason. The offense put up 431 yards in total offense – 379 passing yards and 52 rushing yards – in the 31-28 win over the Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium. Brady went 32-of-50 passes for 378 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. However, he wasn’t sacked by the Cowboys defense and held his own in the pocket.
Leonard Fournette led the team in rushing with 32 yards on nine carries, while Antonio Brown led the Bucs receiving corps with 121 yards on five receptions and a touchdown that was something to behold. Chris Godwin added 105 yards receiving on nine receptions and one touchdown, while Rob Gronkowski had two touchdowns and 90 yards receiving on eight receptions. Fournette, Mike Evans, and Giovani Bernard combined for an additional 63 yards receiving.
Lavonte David and Devin White led the Bucs offense with 21 total tackles combined, and Shaquil Barrett recorded a sack on Prescot and two quarterback hits. The Bucs pass rush struggled against Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense, conceding over 400 yards in passing offense. But the rush defense held the Cowboys to just 60 yards on the ground, including Ezekiel Elliot, who was neutralized to just a paltry 33 rushing yards.
Atlanta Falcons Betting Odds & Overview
What’s there to say about a team that put up merely six points and conceded 32 points against a team that was supposed to be the delinquent child of the NFL in 2021? Not much. Suffice it to say, the Falcons were a complete and utter disappointment, marring the debut of new head coach Arthur Smith.
The Falcons put up 260 yards in total offense, 136 yards passing, and 124 yards rushing. They were inefficient on third downs, converting just 3-of-14. Matt Ryan went merely 21-of-36 for 164 yards passing and zero touchdowns. He finished with a woeful 17.6 QBR and a 71.6 rating. Cordarrelle Patterson and Mike Davis combined for 103 rushing yards, while the highly touted tight end Kyle Pitts accounted for just 31 yards on four receptions.
Since the offense went M-I-A, the defense was nowhere to be seen either. The Falcons conceded a whopping 434 yards to the Eagles – 261 passing yards and 173 rushing yards – giving new meaning to the phrase “porous like a sieve.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons Odds
|Falcons||+550||+12.5||Over 52 (-110)|
|Buccaneers||-650||-12.5||Under 52 (-105)|
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons Week 2 Betting Preview & Prediction
It’s never advisable to overreact to the first week of the NFL season, but it’s a case of ongoing concern in this matchup. Matt Ryan has been off-color and off-form ever since he failed to close out Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Ryan and the Falcons were up on the Patriots 28-3 at the start of the third quarter before things started to go awry. Tale told, they lost 34-28 to the Patriots, marking one of the worst collapses in Super Bowl history.
The Falcons started the season with a new coaching staff spearheaded by Arthur Smith. As a result, there are bound to be growing pains as Ryan adjusts to the new schemes and game plans. At the same time, though, Ryan’s future is on the line. If Ryan doesn’t deliver this season, it may be the end of his career with the Falcons, at least.
The Buccaneers swept the Falcons last season but went 1-1 against the spread. The Bucs beat the Falcons 31-27 in Week 15 in Atlanta and then closed the season with a 44-27 win in Week 17 over the Falcons at Raymond James Stadium. The 12-point spread that is currently trading is absolutely massive. Still, if the Eagles could fly the coop with a 26-point margin of victory, indeed, the Bucs could inflict a similarly demoralizing defeat.
Most shops have the Bucs laying -12 in this game, but some still are dealing the Bucs at-11.5 points. So shop around to get the best price on the Bucs to win and cover this game.
NFL Picks: Bucs -11.5 (-110)