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Monday Night Football Betting Preview: Falcons are in Must-Win Territory

The Week 15 edition of Monday Night Football is virtually a must-win game for the Atlanta Falcons, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would love nothing more than to spoil the party for their division rivals.

MyBookie opened the Falcons as 6-point road favorites with a total of 48.5.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone OVER in 11 of the Falcons’ last 14 games after a win.
  • The Buccaneers are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games after a loss.
  • The favored team is 7-2 ATS in the last nine games in this matchup.

The Falcons, who are coming off a big 20-17 win over the New Orleans Saints in Thursday Night Football last week, have matchups with Carolina and the Saints after this one, so this game is by far the easiest contest left on the schedule. If Atlanta can get past Tampa Bay, Matt Ryan needs to step up. The signal-caller threw three interceptions vs the Saints and finished the game with a league-low quarterback rating of 55.2.

At this point, the Falcons could either make an appearance in the postseason or miss out on the playoffs entirely. The good news for Falcons bettors is their penchant for producing at night. In the Falcons’ last 12 prime-time contests, they’re 10-2 ATS.

Tampa Bay has dropped three straight heading into this game and has been a major disappointment after the 2016 edition of the team won nine games and looked to be on the upswing. Jameis Winston hasn’t taken the leap into the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks, and turnovers are the major reason why. In 42 career games, the Florida State product has turned the ball over 53 times – the second-most in the league since his 2015 rookie year.

OVER bettors love seeing these teams collide, and for good reason. In the previous three meetings between the NFC South foes, the OVER is 3-0.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

The Atlanta Falcons opened as 4.5-point favorites in this one at most sportsbooks tracked here at OddsShark (including BetOnline), while the total was hovering around 47.5 at most shops.

Handicapping models based on recent betting stats and prediction formulas picked a 26-21 win for the Falcons. Injuries during the week may cause the formula to be re-run, so check the NFL picks page before game time. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NFL matchups here.

Atlanta Falcons vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently sport a record of 4-9, and have posted a corresponding betting slate of 3-9-1 ATS. The Atlanta Falcons are 8-5 and 6-7 ATS. Betting totals have seen the Buccaneers post a 7-6 OVER/UNDER record this season, while the Falcons have gone 5-8 against the number. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Tampa Bay vs Atlanta injuries news.

According to the Power Rankings here at OddsShark it's the No. 23-rated Buccaneers and the No. 10-rated Falcons in this matchup.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' No. 23-ranked offense (20.27 PPG) against a Atlanta Falcons defense that ranks No. 13 at 20.91 PPG. The Buccaneers passing attack has averaged 264.64 yards per game, more than the Falcons give up through the air (207.91 YPG on average).

Defensively, the Falcons feature the league's No. 24-rated road run defense, allowing 123 yards per game. The Buccaneers, meanwhile, rank No. 20 in rushing offense at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

In their last game, the Falcons were Week 14 winners, coming out on top of the Saints by a score of 20-17.

The Buccaneers' last action saw them get a 2-TD performance from Jameis Winston, but they were handed a 24-21 loss by Detroit at Raymond James Stadium.

Betting Trends
  • Atlanta is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
  • Atlanta is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Atlanta's last 10 games
  • Atlanta is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 games on the road
  • Tampa Bay is 2-9-1 ATS in its last 12 games
  • Tampa Bay is 2-8 SU in its last 10 games
  • Tampa Bay is 6-12 SU in its last 18 games when playing Atlanta
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Tampa Bay's last 9 games when playing Atlanta

Next Betting Matchups

Atlanta at New Orleans, Sunday, December 24
Tampa Bay at Carolina, Sunday, December 24