The Falcons are favored on the road on Thursday night as they take on the Buccaneers, who dealt Atlanta a message-sending Week 1 loss.
The Falcons (5–3) ended their two-game losing streak with a 33–32 home win over the Packers last Sunday and now travel to face the Buccaneers (3-4) as 3.5–point road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for the Week 9 Thursday night game.
Including the victory against the Packers, the Falcons have failed to cover the spread in 11 straight games as favorites, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. They closed as three-point chalk versus Green Bay.
Atlanta’s previous two losses were decided by a combined five points. Quarterback Matt Ryan turned things around Sunday with an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mohamed Sanu with 31 seconds left. Ryan completed 28 of 35 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns and will get a chance to avenge the team’s Week 1 loss to Tampa Bay at home. The Bucs arrived in Atlanta as 2.5-point underdogs only to upset the Falcons, 31–24.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay saw its two-game winning streak stop with a 30–24 overtime loss to the Raiders at home last week. The Bucs surrendered 513 yards to Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, who threw four touchdown passes, the last of which was a 41-yard game-winner to wide receiver Seth Roberts with 1:45 remaining in OT. The Raiders were somehow able to overcome committing an NFL-record 23 penalties for 200 yards, as Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston failed to take advantage of one of the NFL’s worst pass defenses and finished with only 180 yards and two touchdowns.
Even though Atlanta has struggled in the role of the favorite lately, the favored team has won 19 of the past 22 meetings between these NFC South rivals.
The Falcons snapped a seven-game losing streak as favorites straight-up by beating the Packers, but they have gone 0–8 against the spread in their last eight games as favorites of 3.5 points or less. The Bucs have been abysmal at home against teams with winning records recently, dropping nine of 10 straight up following last Sunday’s loss.
Bettors expecting another high-scoring game like the teams’ first meeting should be aware that four of the past five meetings at Tampa Bay have hit the under. The under is 13–2 in Atlanta’s last 15 Week 9 matchups.