The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to make it three wins in a row this Sunday, as they go to Georgia to take on the Atlanta Falcons.
The Bucs already handled the Falcons once this season, dismissing them with ease in Tampa in Week 2, and will hit the road as a double-digit NFL betting favorite.
Here are our NFL picks and predictions for Buccaneers vs. Falcons, with kickoff on December 5.
Buccaneers vs Falcons odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
The Buccaneers opened between -9.5 and -10 but were quickly bet up to -11 and as high as -11.5 at some books. The total sits at 50.5 as of Thursday afternoon, after hitting the board at 50.
Buccaneers vs Falcons predictions
- Prediction: Buccaneers -11 (-110)
- Prediction: Under 50.5 (-110)
- Best bet: Chris Godwin anytime touchdown (-110)
Predictions made on 12/2/2021 at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Buccaneers vs Falcons game info
• Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
• Date: Sunday, December 5, 2021
• Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
• TV: FOX
Buccaneers at Falcons betting preview
Buccaneers: Jaelon Darden WR (Out), Jordan Whitehead S (Out), Steve McLendon DT (Out), Kyle Trask QB (Out), Richard Sherman CB (Out), Antonio Brown WR (Out), Mike Edwards (S).
Falcons: Josh Andrews OG (Out), Jonathan Bullard DE (Out), John Cominsky DT (Out), Wayne Gallman RB (Out), Mike Pennel DT (Out), James Vaughters LB (Out), Hayden Hurst TE (Out), Calvin Ridley WR (Out), Isaiah Oliver CB (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 4-1 in the Falcons' last five games. Find more NFL betting trends for Buccaneers vs. Falcons.
Buccaneers vs Falcons picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
A brief two-game losing streak is in the past for the Bucs, as they rebounded with a decisive win over the Giants and then a gritty win on the road against the Colts, holding off Carson Wentz's best game since his MVP campaign was cut short in 2017.
While some concerns remain in Tampa's secondary, it's a team otherwise without faults. On offense, the Bucs are first in season-long, weighted, and passing DVOA, while sitting second in rushing. They're first in points per drive and drive success rate. Rob Gronkowski returned from injury and looks as spry as he did early in the year. Leonard Fournette has ascended to Week-in, Week-out Lenny. It's simply impossible not to believe in the offense surrounding potential MVP Tom Brady.
The Bucs' run defense remains elite thanks to the singular efforts of Vita Vea, while the pass rush overcomes a relatively shallow pool of talent thanks to Todd Bowles scheming up blitzes to the tune of a sixth-ranked pressure rate. Even that previously worrisome secondary is getting healthier and improving for a Tampa defense up to sixth in DVOA.
Put simply, the Buccaneers are who we thought they were. On the other side, so too are the Falcons.
The offense has bottomed out, with Matt Ryan appearing to be increasingly washed with every solemn sideline shot. They're 31st in season-long and rushing DVOA, 29th in weighted, and a dizzying 26th(!) in passing.
Kyle Pitts hasn't caught more than four passes in a single game since Calvin Ridley stepped away from the team and has just five catches for 55 yards over his last two games. And yet, the defense is even worse, sitting in the Bottom 3 in weighted DVOA and drive success rate.
The Buccaneers have proven throughout this season that they can win decisively over bad teams. They beat the Falcons, already, by 23, the Dolphins by 28, the Bears by 35, and the Giants by 20. Atlanta was, and still is, a bad team. As such, Tampa Bay will cover.
Prediction: Buccaneers -11 (-110)
There's an offense involved here that scored three points combined over Weeks 11 and 12, then managed just 21 points against the Jaguars in Week 12. They're ranked 31st in DVOA (29th in weighted), 25th in yards per drive, and 24th in points per drive. Yet the total is sitting at 50.5? Whew.
That's a lot of heavy lifting for the Buccaneers to do on Sunday if we expect their game against a pathetic Falcons offense to go Over the total. That isn't a completely unreasonable expectation, seeing as the Bucs scored 48 on the Falcons earlier this year, but that was helped by a 20-point fourth quarter after Atlanta went and stirred the beast with a feisty third quarter.
In the time since the first meeting, the Falcons' offense has regressed and become considerably more reliant on do-all chess piece Cordarrelle Patterson. Tampa matches up brilliantly with Patterson, with two of the game's best coverage linebackers in Devin White and Lavonte David, and held him to 5.75 yards per touch in the first meeting. On the ground, where C-Patt has been used more often for the better part of two months, it was even more decisive, as he was held to 11 yards on seven carries.
The Falcons are stunningly uncompetitive, despite a seemingly impossible 5-6 record, and there's no reason to believe their offense will muster much of anything on Sunday. As such, the Bucs will have it put away early and keep this one going Under.
Prediction: Under 50.5 (-110)
Chris Godwin has made a habit out of torching the divisional rival Falcons. In the six games he has played against Atlanta since his sophomore season, Godwin has caught 32 passes for 585 yards and nine touchdowns, scoring at least once in every single meeting since 2018.
The former Nittany Lion has also been rolling since Antonio Brown suffered an ankle injury this season, averaging 6.6 catches and 79.4 yards per game over the last five weeks, while adding three scores.
There's no reason to expect Godwin's recent production, nor consistent production in this matchup, to drop off against a Falcons pass defense ranked 29th in DVOA. We'd happily take the Over on Godwin's receiving yards but an anytime touchdown gives us slightly better odds, and Atlanta's allowed the third-most scores to wide receivers this season (15) while sitting a respectable 24th in yards allowed to the position.
Pick: Chris Godwin anytime touchdown (-110)