October 20, 2023, 11:43 am
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Falcons (+120) @ Buccaneers (+100): O/U 37.0
Falcons +2.5 (-110), Buccaneers -2.5 (-110)
Bet: 4-7 -2.9u
Lean: 7-4 +2.11u
This is a classic NFC South showdown between two teams that don’t bring a lot to the table. The Buccs are coming off a bye and are a surprising 3-2 despite not having a dominant offense or defense. The Falcons are 3-3, mainly on the back of a surprising defense and an effective run game. Neither of these teams pose much of a threat in the conference, but they have proven to at least be competitive and can sneak up on you if you take them for granted. The Buccs have won five of the past six meetings, but those were with Tom Brady at the helm and with a total of only 37, this figures to be a game won in the trenches and a heavy field goal affair with both teams struggling to get into the end zone. Both teams will try to run the ball in order to take pressure off of the respective QBs, but they might struggle as each team has a top-10 unit vs. the rush. Chris Godwin and Mike Evans have historically tore it up vs. the Falcons at home, but all those hefty stats do come with a GOAT sized asterisk, plus the Falcons are currently a top-five unit vs. the pass for the first time in what feels like forever.
Main Storylines to Watch
Rookie Wall?: Bijan Robinson exploded onto the NFL scene with highlight play after highlight play, but the consistency hasn’t been there on the ground. He’s been as advertised in the passing game and hauled in several errant throws from Desmond Ridder, but he’s failed to reach even the 50-yard rush mark in three of the last four games and hasn’t even scored a rushing TD this season. This isn’t the game I would predict him to get off the snide, but if Buccs nose tackle Vita Vea can’t play or is limited, that could open the running lanes.
No Brady, No Problem: The Tampa Bay offensive line was supposed to be a major weakness heading into this season as QB Baker Mayfield is famous for holding onto the ball too long, but yet he’s only been sacked five times and only has three INTs to seven TDs. Mayfield looks as comfortable in the pocket as he ever has and has this team believing in him and his ability to make magic happen. Mayfield is still a bottom-tier QB for fantasy and is only really an option as a last resort, but with Godwin and Evans doing most of the legwork, it’s easy to imagine him and Buccs winning this division. .
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