Atlanta -4 @ Tampa Bay 51
Friday November 4, 11:25am AEDT
Atlanta managed to hold on for victory after a late score against Green Bay, winning 33-32. The Falcons were out rushed in the game 5.7ypr to 4.7ypr but 60 of those yards for Green Bay came from Aaron Rodgers, leaving their running backs to average 3.7ypr. Atlanta averaged 7.5yps and held Grenn Bay to 5.4yps. Overall, Atlanta out gained the Packers 6.6yppl to 5.5yppl.
Tampa Bay was out played badly despite losing in Overtime on a broken tackle that went for a touchdown late in the period. The final score was 30-24. Tampa Bay jumped out to a 10-nil lead, partly due to a fumble recovery that turned into a short touchdown drive for the Bucaneeers. Tampa Bay was out rushed 5.3ypr to 3.8ypr, out passed 8.2yps to 4.9yps and out gained overall 7.4yppl to 4.4yppl and 626 yards to 270 yards. Having lost the time of possession by about 15 minutes, Tampa Bay was out gained badly, but 23 penalties for 200 yards kept the Raiders in check despite the big yardage difference.
Atlanta averages 4.4ypr against teams allowing 3.9ypr, 8.4yps against 6.6yps and overall 6.8yppl against teams allowing just 5.6yppl. On defence, they are allowing 4.0ypr against 4.0ypr, 6.5yps against 6.5yps and 5.6yppl against 5.5yppl.
Tampa Bay averages 3.9ypr against teams allowing 4.2ypr, throws for 5.8yps against teams allowing 6.3yps and 5.0yypl against teams allowing 5.4yppl, so they have been below average on offense this year. On defence, they allow 4.2ypr against 4.1ypr, 7.2yps against 6.5yps and 5.9yppl against teams averaging 6.5yppl, and as we saw last week, they have struggled against the pass this year.
For Atlanta, RB Tevin Coleman is out again as is DE Dwight Freeney and TE Jacob Tamme who was injured against the Packers.
For Tamba Bay, RB’s Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers are out as is DT Clinton McDonald.
This game qualifies in an under situation, which is 287-199-2. I favour Atlanta by four points in this game and make the number 54. Atlanta has been a horrible favourite of late. They have failed to cover their last eleven games as a favourite in the Dan Quinn era (0-11 against the spread). Quinn covered his first game last year at home against Houston but has failed ever since. Going back further, Atlanta is now just 1-14 against the spread the last 15 times they have been favoured. After going 11-0-1 to the under, Atlanta has now gone over in seven of their last eight games.
Tampa Bay is just 3-8 against the spread at home since the beginning of 2015 and 0-3 ats in the Dirk Koetter era this year. Tampa Bay has now played three teams over .500 this year and they are 1-2 straight up with the lone victory over these Falcons back in week one in Atlanta. They’ve also now won three straight against Atlanta, meaning Jameis Winston has never lost to the Falcons. Their losses are by 20 to Denver and 6 last week to Oakland. Going further, they’ve lost to the two 3-4 teams they’ve played as well, losing by 33 at Arizona and by five at home to the Rams. Their victories are against Atlanta and a one-win team (San Francisco) and a two-win team (Carolina). The two good offenses Tampa Bay has faced this year they’ve allowed 24 points to Atlanta and 30 points to Oakland. They’ve faced four average to below average defences this year and scored 31, 17, 34 and 24. Atlanta has scored at least 23 points in every game this year and allowed at least 26 points in all but one game. That game was the Paxton Lynch rookie start for Denver where he clearly wasn’t ready to start a game.
Atlanta has been horrible as a favourite and Tampa Bay can’t cover at home. In addition, Atlanta is without Tamme and who knows really how healthy Julio Jones is. He was a non-factor last week as a whole but especially in the second half after his first half injury. He served as more of a decoy than anything else, however Atlanta is also looking for revenge here and with their balanced attack and an improving defence they are the preferred choice. This is also a big step down in class for Atlanta after having played Denver, Seattle, San Diego and Green Bay the last four games. The under here is intriguing because we have a high total (despite the lack of value in my numbers), a Thursday night game where the game planning is pretty vanilla and a Falcons team that is without their pass catching tight end and possibly a very limited Julio Jones. All that adds up to potentially a lower scoring game than normal to go along with the situation on the under.
Atlanta 27 Tampa Bay 20
YPR = Yards Per Rush
YPS = Yards Per Pass
YPPL = Yards Per Play