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Bet Buccaneers Falcons – Buccaneers Wrap Up Disappointing Season At Atlanta

Posted by Tony Bryant on 12/27/2011 3:06:14 PM
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When the NFL regular season schedule was released at the beginning of the year, many thought that an NFC South showdown between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons on the final Sunday would have major playoff implications. Fast-forward to the end of the year, and in the midst of a nine-game losing skid the Buccaneers limp in to Atlanta looking to end the season with any sense of optimism following a tumultuous year in which nearly everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons

Sunday January 1, 2011 – 4:15 PM ET
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
NFL Betting Lines: Atlanta Falcons – 14

While the Buccaneers have struggled, Atlanta has already secured one of two NFC Wild Card spots, even with a loss to the New Orleans Saints that sealed the division on Monday Night Football this past week. The Falcons are listed as the sports betting favorites for this game, but it could be close if they rest their starters.

Bet Buccaneers Falcons Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Head coach Raheem Morris’ team actually opened the year with a ton of optimism, winning four of their first six games, including victories over both the Falcons and Saints. However, a 24-18 loss to the Chicago Bears sent them in to their bye week just a game above .500, and the Buccaneers haven’t won since, as a 32-point loss to the Carolina Panthers last weekend was their ninth straight. Whether or not the team has quit on Morris is debatable, but the fact remains this team is a shadow of the one that started the year so strong, limping in to their finale.

Bet Buccaneers Falcons Preview: Atlanta Falcons

The story of the Falcons’ season is the exact opposite of the Buccaneers, as Atlanta actually lost three of its first five games before getting things going, before clinching a playoff spot with four wins in five games prior to another loss to New Orleans this past week. If the Falcons are going to have any chance against the Saints, they will need to reverse back to last year’s power-rushing offense that used the pass only to go over the top, as they were able to wear New Orleans down with running back Michael Turner pounding the rock. Atlanta has somewhat lost that edge this season with a more pass-happy offense, and while it has worked for them at times, they have not completed the transition and may be better off pounding the rock.

Bet Buccaneers Falcons Preview: Outlook & Pick

Considering some of the Buccaneers’ most recent performances, it is hard to imagine keeping this one close, but at the same time Atlanta has nothing to play for with their playoff fates already determined. If the Tampa Bay players have any sense of pride they will rally together to try and end their season on a positive note, and although they may not be able to get that done, they should be able to at least cover such a big sportsbook spread.

Bet Buccaneers Falcons Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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