NFL Pick of the Week – 2013 Week 7

Matchup: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Date/Time: October 20th, 1:00 PM ET

Television: FOX

NFL Betting Odds from WagerWeb.AG

Spread: Atlanta -9

Total: 43

Week 7 of the NFL season is here! With all of the games on the docket each and every week, we are going to be zeroing in on just one side or total that we think is the best of the bunch. Join us today, look at the game on Sunday, October 20th between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons.

The Cardinals were very unlucky not to stick in front of the number last week against the 49ers, and we definitely don’t regret making that call. More often than not when we make that call, we improve to 3-3 ATS instead of dropping to 2-4 ATS on the season. Not to worry though, as we are going to jump on the back of another really ugly dog this week.

Tampa Bay is going to be going on the road, and generally speaking, taking a rookie signal caller on the road to take on a team that is fighting for its life off of a bye week in a generally hostile environment isn’t a good idea. However, in this case, we’re taking advantage of a team in the Falcons that really is overrated as we see it. We don’t think that Atlanta is going to get into the playoffs, and we really don’t think that this is necessarily the better team at all, let alone the better team by basically a full touchdown on a neutral field and nearly double digits here at home.

The case against Atlanta is very simple in spite of the fact that it had its bye week last week. QB Matt Ryan is great, and he is throwing the ball all over the field. Yes, this team has put up 313.0 yards per game thus far this season through the air, but a heck of a lot of things have changed at this point.

WR Roddy White is clearly not himself. Perhaps during the bye week, he was able to get all of his leg ailments figured out, but the report right off of the Monday Night Football loss to the New York Jets was that White was going to miss the first game off of the bye. His hamstring is still acting up, and the timing couldn’t be much worse. WR Julio Jones was put on IR with a broken foot, and his season is now over with. We’ll bet that you can’t name any other receivers on the Falcons aside from these two guys and WR Harry Douglas. Know why? They’ve all combined for one catch for 12 yards this year.

DB Darrelle Revis and the Bucs had some problems last week against the high-octane Philadelphia Eagles defensively, but for the most part, this hasn’t been the side of the ball with the issues. Teams are averaging 247.8 yards per game against the Tampa Bay secondary through the air, but remember that all of this has come against a schedule that has included QB Drew Brees, QB Tom Brady, QB Carson Palmer, and now the Philly offense which runs a zillion plays per game.

The bottom line for Tampa Bay is that it can’t beat itself in this game. The team has nine turnovers in five games thus far this season, but the squad has looked a lot more efficient with QB Mike Glennon under center than it ever did with QB Josh Freeman. Glennon had more time to stand in the pocket and throw the ball against the Eagles than he did against the Arizona Cardinals, and we expect that he is going to have time to pick apart this Atlanta secondary as well, knowing that DE Kroy Biermann is out for the season.

The Falcons only have 11 sacks in five games this season, and though that is certainly a respectable number, it’s not phenomenal by any stretch of the imagination. The defense let QB Geno Smith stand back in the pocket and pick it apart, and that’s why the Falcons lost that game. That might be why Tampa Bay has a shot inside the Georgia Dome as well.

Tampa Bay has a good history of coming to this building. The team is 7-6 SU and 10-3 ATS in its last 16 visits to the Georgia Dome, and the Falcons are just 1-5 ATS in their last six games played here, including a loss to the Bucs in the final week of the regular season last year and two ATS defeats in the playoffs. This is a dangerous spot for the Falcons to be in, even off of their bye. They have a lot of pressure on them to win these games against Tampa Bay, Arizona, and Carolina in these next three weeks, and even one slip might be the end of the season. Remember that Atlanta still has games against Seattle at home, New Orleans at home, Green Bay on the road, and San Francisco on the road, so the rest of these games aside from those, the team has to be perfect to have any shot at even finishing with a shot at the second season. The pressure is going to be too much. This is far too many points to be giving Tampa Bay in this game.

Week 7 NFL Pick of the Week: Tampa Bay Buccaneers +9

Andrew Ryan

Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.

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