Free Thursday NFL Week 3 Picks: Buccaneers vs Falcons (9/18/14)

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons
Date and Time: Thursday, 9/18/14 at 8:30pm on CBS
Game Line: Atlanta Falcons -6.5 (from WagerWeb)
Over/Under: 44.5
Thursday Night NFL Football Analysis: The Atlanta Falcons have played two games at very opposite ends of the spectrum to start their 2014 season. In game one at home against the Saints quarterback Matt Ryan threw for a career best 448 yards with three touchdowns. It was a much different story against the Bengals, as he went 24 of 44 for 231 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. The Falcons are also the only team in the NFL that hasn’t recorded a sack, in They’ve also allowed 950 yards and 635 yards passing through two games, second highest in the league.  In fact they have only one hit on the quarterback through two games.  On the other side of the football, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dropped two home games against St. Louis and Carolina.  Josh McCown and the Buc’s passing offense could have a hard time taking advantage of the Falcons weak pass defense.  They’re the second worst passing team in the NFL at 168 yards per game with no touchdowns and three interceptions.  On top of their passing troubles, running back Doug Martin will miss his second straight game a knee injury leaving the rushing duties to Bobby Rainey who had a very strong showing last week against the Rams with 144 yards on 22 carries.  He’s going to have to carry a heavy workload and keep the Atlanta offense on the sideline if Tampa Bay is going to be competitive in this contest.  The Atlanta offense likes to score points, especially at home, and they will have a good chance against a very beat up Buccaneer defense.  Two time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Mason Foster are both unlikely to play this weekend.  The biggest weakness on this Atlanta team is their inability to stop the passing game, which to this point has been non-existent in Tampa Bay, albeit against two of the league’s best pass defenses in St. Louis and Carolina.  If the Tampa Bay offense is ever going to get it going this season this is one of their best chances.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons Free NFL Picks: Tampa Bay +6.5 and over 44.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons Game Prediction: 28-27 Falcons

What to expect in this Week 3 NFL Football match up: We really like the over in this contest.  Atlanta’s offense always plays better at home, Tampa Bay’s defense is beat up, Atlanta’s pass defense is among the worst in the league and Tampa Bay has their running game working right now.  If the Buccaneers can control the time of possession and use the run to set up the pass even their sub par passing attack will find some seams in the Atlanta secondary as the game goes on.  The combination of great offense, especially at home, and a terrible pass defense make the over a great bet for games in Atlanta.

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