It’s always telling to see what the oddsmakers over in Las Vegas think about games each and every week. I was especially interested this week for a few reasons. Tampa Bay was coming off of a bye week, Atlanta is 1-4 and their season is on the line, but Tampa Bay also just got shelled by Mitchell Trubisky. Either way, it’s a tough game to predict, especially for Vegas.
So far this season, the Buccaneers have opened as underdogs every week. That has not changed this week and it will mark the fifth time Tampa Bay has been an underdog this season.
In no way am I a professional gambler and in no way am I telling you to put your money with what I predict. This is really just for fun and something we here at Bucs Nation thought the readers would enjoy after sports gambling was legalized.
For those that don’t know sports gambling, I will quickly go over the three main bets that are often placed. Also, the lines could always change and the website you use, could be different from mine.
Betting with the spread: Currently, the Buccaneers are +3 . This means that if you were to take the Buccaneers with the spread, they could lose by 2 points and you’d win. If they lose by 3 points, it means you push, so the bet offsets. On the opposite side, if you took the Falcons at -3 , they’d have to win by 4 for you to win the bet. Same as before, if you pick the Falcons -3 and they win by 3, you push. Spread bets always have the same odds, which are -110. This means that you need to risk $110 to win $100. This is a classic case of Vegas simply making the home team the favorite. If the game was in Tampa Bay, they would be favored by three points.
Money line bets: As of late friday night, the Falcons are anywhere from -150 to -160, depending on the website or sportsbook you use. The Buccaneers are +135 in most cases. In money line bets, all the team you bet on has to do is win. It doesn’t matter if they win by 40 points or 1 points. In terms of what the -160 means for the Falcons , you’d have to risk $160 dollars just to win $100 because they are the favorite to win this game. The Buccaneers at +135, means that a $100 dollar bet would win you $135 dollars.
Over/Under bets: Again, no matter what way you pick, the odds in this case are -110. Vegas sports books currently have the over under at 57½ total points scored . In case you were wondering, 57 ½ is the highest total Vegas has put out on an NFL game this season. The second highest was last weekend’s Steelers Falcons game with a total of 57. If you take the over, the Bucs and Falcons must combined to score 58 points in order for you to win. Obviously, 57 points or under would result in a win if you go that route.
Last week was miserable. I took the under 46 ½ (Chicago beat that themselves) and I took Tampa +135 (best value pick) and we all know how that ended. Overall on the season, I have a .500 record (5-5) just like the Buccaneers. Things were looking up until my failure last weekend. We will try and bounce back on the winning side this week.
A few things to consider: The total has gone OVER in five of Tampa Bay’s last five games. The total has also gone OVER in five of the last six games Tampa Bay has played on the road. On Atlanta’s side, they also have been hitting the over a lot, especially at home against Tampa Bay. In fact, the total has gone OVER in four of the last five games Atlanta has played host to Tampa Bay. The public is also loving the OVER this week. 63% have taken the over 57 ½ , while 66% have taken Atlanta -3.
My picks: This is another tough week in terms of betting. To me, Tampa at +3 holds no real value. If Tampa does lose, I don’t expect it to be a 2 point loss, i’d expect more of a 10-14 point defeat because the defense simply can’t stop anybody. Tampa Bay should win this game. They has two weeks to prepare, they are fresh, healthy and motivated to get back on track and knock the Dirty Birds off the ledge. Value is too good at Tampa +135. Also, just take the over. Neither of these teams can play a lick of defense. Honestly, whichever team gets to 35 first might be the winner. In summary, i’m rolling with Tampa +135 and the over 57 ½.