Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7) vs. Atlanta Falcons (6-6)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to Atlanta in Week 14 NFC South action that could have significant playoff implications, meeting up with Atlanta Falcons for a pivotal divisional matchup that could help either team achieve their playoff aspirations. With both teams looking to bolster their standings, this game is a key focus for expert NFL picks.
The Buccaneers’ rushing attack has taken a step forward in recent weeks behind rookie Rachaad White. White is averaging 53.6 rushing yards per game but has shown big play ability with 5.7 yards per carry over the last three contests. If White can continue to bring balance and take pressure off struggling quarterback Baker Mayfield, Tampa has a chance to pull off the upset. Mike Evans is putting up WR1 fantasy numbers with 10 touchdowns already, though most of his production has come in three big games..
The Falcons offense flows through versatile rookie running back Bijan Robinson. After a slow start, Robinson has exploded in recent weeks, racking up over 100 total yards in 4 of his last five games. The Falcons are 3-1 when Robinson gets 20+ touches. Rookie receiver Drake London has also come on of late, catching 5 balls in back-to-back games after failing to record over 3 receptions in each of his first seven contests. London’s emergence gives quarterback Desmond Ridder a true WR1 option in the passing attack.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons Game Info
|Sunday, December 10, 2023 at 1:00 PM ET
|NFL Game Pass
Baker Mayfield QB vs. Desmond Ridder QB
Baker Mayfield has struggled mightily in his first season with in Tampa. Despite having top receivers like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, Mayfield has amassed just 18 touchdowns to go along with 8 interceptions and 6.8 yards per attempt. Those pedestrian numbers have added up to a 90 quarterback rating that ranks among the league’s worst. Mayfield will need to improve his decision making and accuracy if the Bucs are going to keep pace on the scoreboard.
Desmond Ridder has experienced typical rookie quarterback growing pains in his first professional season under center. While he has protected the football well, evidenced by his 82.4 rating, Ridder has lacked consistency and big play ability in the passing game. If he can get the ball downfield to emerging star Drake London and keep drives alive with his legs, Ridder can do enough to allow Atlanta’s rushing attack to lead the way. Relying on the ground game has been a recipe for success when Ridder avoids costly mistakes.
NFL Odds/Point Spread: Tampa Bay Buccaneers +2.5 (-116), Total 40
The total sits at just 40 points. In a crucial divisional game between evenly matched opponents, expect a tight, lower-scoring contest that could come down to the final possession. Consider taking the points with Tom Brady and Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Trends
The Buccaneers have been solid against the spread recently, covering in 4 of their last 6 games overall. Tampa Bay has also dominated this NFC South rivalry, going 5-2 straight up and 5-1 ATS over the Falcons in its last 7 meetings. Notably, the Bucs are 5-1 against the spread on the road against Atlanta over that span, while 6 of the last 7 contests in Atlanta have gone over the posted total.
Atlanta Falcons Betting Trends
Atlanta has struggled against the number with a 3-8 ATS record on the season. The Falcons defense has shown improvement, keeping games below the total in 13 of 18 overall contests and 5 of the last 7 against Tampa specifically. However, history states Atlanta tends to play higher-scoring, tightly contested affairs at home versus the Bucs. 6 of the Falcons’ last 7 home matchups versus Tampa Bay have gone over the total.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons 12/10/23 Betting Picks
Based on the trends and matchups, this game presents a challenging pick. The Buccaneers have the experience and talent to upset the Falcons, especially with Mayfield’s connection with Evans. The Falcons, while not as strong ATS, have shown the ability to keep games competitive.
In deciding which team to back, the Buccaneers might be the more enticing pick, given their recent ATS record and Mayfield’s potential for big plays. Prop bets on individual player performances, especially receivers, could be interesting. Considering the total points trend, the over might be a reasonable bet, particularly with best bookie software for betting.
Free Pick and Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24, Atlanta Falcons 21