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Lightning Locks gives us their best bet for the divisional bout between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Prediction: Are Oddsmakers Too High on the Bucs?

Click here for complete Falcons vs Bucs betting odds

Sometimes in the NFL, you see a score but you can't just look at it -- you actually have to watch the game and look more at how it happened rather than just stating that 48-25 is a blowout.

We are, of course, talking about the Bucs-Falcons first meeting in Tampa where, in the fourth quarter, this was a three-point football game until Matt Ryan exploded and threw not one, but two pick-sixes. Before that, Tampa was sweating this game out, and let's be honest, the Bucs don't seem all that interested in the regular season this year. They have lost to the WFT, the Saints (who are awful this year), and they should have lost to the Colts last week -- this isn't the team that won last year.

We also have so many injuries in Tampa. Brady is still missing Antonio Brown and Gronk is far from 100% right now. The Super Bowl champs will not get excited for Atlanta with a match against the Bills next week being a highly anticipated game, especially if the Bills can win on Monday Night. Brady is still an AFC East guy so he knows how tough that draw can be. Meanwhile, the Falcons will always be linked to a 28-3 choke against Brady.

Why do the Falcons have a shot in this game, you might ask. Well, the first game was much closer than the score shows as Tampa didn't outplay the Falcons for most of that game, the Falcons just beat themselves. The falcons have their star back Cordarelle Patterson, who has been amazing all year, is healthy, and is fresh off a dominant game (over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns). Atlanta also has a great tight end in Pitts, who is a matchup issue. Matt Ryan also knows this opponent well and definitely wants to make up for the fourth-quarter meltdown in Week 2.

All that said, the most important factor is that the Falcons defense has been playing much better -- the scores or stats may not say it, but they have been playing as well as they have all year, and being at home always helps.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick

Laying points on the road in the NFL is not great, laying double digits is even worse. The Bucs have the South wrapped up and I honestly don't think they care where they end up, as they proved last year. The Falcons are still in the playoff hunt, so they aren't just going to go through the motions.

Tampa got 5 turnovers last week and we know how close it was the first time these squads met. I am sure the Falcons will not just hand the Bucs two pick-sixes like last time. It doesn't help that the Bucs are playing their fourth road game in five weeks, and with them being a veteran team, that does catch up to your body.

I also have a personal number on this game that is 100% this year. Look for the Falcons to stay within double digits at home today. Take the Falcons and watch Patterson do what he does.

  • Atlanta Falcons +10.5 (-105)

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