Falcons vs Buccaneers Odds, Picks, Prediction
Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Tom Brady (left) and Bucs OC Byron Leftwich.
- The Buccaneers are home favorites against the surging Falcons in Week 5.
- Tampa Bay has lost its last two games, while Atlanta has won back-to-back.
- Anthony Dabbundo previews the game and makes his pick below.
Falcons vs. Buccaneers Odds
Atlanta is the only team in the NFL still unbeaten against the spread after beating Cleveland (23-20) at home last week.
The Falcons have covered in all four games and won two of them. All four contests have been within one possession, though they were a bit fortunate to be that close Week 2 against the Rams as they trailed 28-3 in the third quarter.
The Falcons' toughest test of the season comes Sunday on the road in Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers have lost consecutive games to Super Bowl contenders in the Packers and the Chiefs. Tampa's offense struggled in Week 3, scoring just 12 points against Green Bay. Its defense had no answer for Patrick Mahomes, who led Kansas City to a 41-point explosion.
Atlanta has a couple of key offensive injuries to be concerned with, but the market has gotten too low on them given the movement from -8.5 to -10.
Falcons vs. Buccaneers Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Falcons and Buccaneers match up statistically:
Falcons vs. Buccaneers DVOA Breakdown
Atlanta built its offense around the running game but is now without Cordarrelle Patterson, who is on the injured reserve with a knee injury. He's a significant loss because of his versatility, though the Falcons aren't a good running team solely because of him.
Backup running backs Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley have been successful when needed in limited work thus far. Both have averaged more than five yards per carry and the Buccaneers' run defense has shown some vulnerability of late.
Tampa Bay's run defense is 25th in Success Rate allowed and just 15th in EPA per rush allowed. In years past, it was nearly impossible to run against this group, but it seems they've regressed a bit thus far in 2022.
The path to success for the Falcons' passing offense comes entirely through play-action and hitting big-chunk plays.
Don't expect to see a ton of traditional dropbacks from Marcus Mariota, but do expect to see the Falcons play at a slow pace to try to limit possessions. The Falcons are 18th in first-half pace this season, per Football Outsiders.
Atlanta's biggest weakness defensively is its run defense, which was exposed by Seattle and Cleveland the last two weeks. But while the Falcons are 26th in rush DVOA defense, the Bucs haven't been able to run at all.
Leonard Fournette has found almost no success running through the tackles and has been one of the league's worst running backs by rushing yards over expected.
The Buccaneers' receivers are getting healthier and Tom Brady won't be under pressure much in this game, but the Falcons' secondary is talented and has gotten excellent safety play. With Tampa Bay's non-existent ground game (29th in rushing DVOA), it will be all on Brady to get the required margin.
Tampa Bay's offense — even after the explosion last week — is just 13th in Passing EPA/play and is now 32nd in rushing EPA/play.
I do trust that Brady will figure it out in the long run, but assuming that will happen on Sunday is giving a lot of respect to Tampa's reputation and not much respect to a month's worth of mediocre offensive data.
The loss of Kyle Pitts is a major reason why the line moved further toward Tampa, but it seems like an overreaction to me.
Tampa Bay's offense wasn't nearly effective enough over the first three weeks of the season for me to buy in on them as a double-digit favorite against a team that has shown to be more than competent offensively.
While you would think that teams 4-0 ATS in Week 5 would be naturally inflated the following week, that's not been the case. Atlanta is the 28th team in the last 20 years to start 4-0 ATS, and those teams are 13-13-1 ATS in Week 5, per our Action BetLabs system. None of those squads have closed higher than +4.5.
The trends surrounding Brady point to betting Tampa in this spot. He's 8-2 ATS in his career off multiple losses and there's no denying this is a good get-right spot.
I just can't get to the number where Tampa Bay is a double-digit home favorite and I will take the Falcons +9 or better.