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Falcons Host Bucs on Thursday Night Football

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons will look to get the better of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Week 3 edition of Thursday Night Football.

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons will look to get the better of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Week 3 edition of Thursday Night Football.

Week 3 of the 2014 NFL season gets underway with a Thursday Night Football showdown between the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Kickoff at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta is scheduled for 8:25 p.m. ET.

The NFC South rivals will each be looking to bounce back from Week 2 losses, and will be hoping to earn an early advantage in a division that has yet to show its hand.

The NFL Landscape

After an overtime victory over the New Orleans Saints to open the season, Atlanta (1-1, 1-0 home) suffered a road loss against the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend.

While the victory over the Saints promised good things for the season to come, a 24-10 loss to a Bengals side that was depleted on offense suggested that this Atlanta side may be in for a rocky season. The loss was enough to see Mike Smith’s side tumble to 17th place on Bovada’s list of Super Bowl XLVIX odds.

On a short week, the Falcons will now look to return to winning ways, picking up another home win and divisional win in the process.

Few expected Tampa Bay (0-2, 0-0 road) to be a contender in the NFC South this season, so opening the season with a pair of home losses wasn’t a huge shock to anyone. Things aren’t all doom and gloom on the left coast of Florida though.

With the Carolina Panthers making short work of the Detroit Lions this past weekend, the Buccaneers’ 20-14 loss to the Panthers in Week 1 all of a sudden doesn’t look so bad. The Panthers certainly look like an early season contender.

A narrow loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, a loss that came following a field goal in the last minute of the game, means that you have a Buccaneers team that wasn’t all that far from beginning 2-0. Now that is a surprise.

Of course, not everything is as clear as it might seem. Both of those games have a big asterisk beside them, at least as far as the Bucs are concerned. Against Carolina, the Bucs avoided playing Cam Newton, instead facing second string quarterback Derek Anderson. Meanwhile against the Rams they faced NFL debutant Austin Davis, a third string quarterback. Now they’ll face Matt Ryan, one of the league’s more superior quarterbacks, despite last week’s performance. Does that mean big trouble for Josh McCown and Co.?

The Buccaneers hit the road for the first time this season Thursday night. They’ll be looking for a first win of the season, as well as a first intra-division win of the year.


Tampa Bay leads the all-time head-to-head series 21-20 but is just 8-11 when playing in Atlanta.

The Flacons are 8-3 in the last 11 head-to-head meetings and 6-1 in the last seven played at the Georgia Dome. The Buccaneers’ last road win in the series came on December 30, 2012, a game in which Atlanta rested many of its starters in preparation for the postseason.

The two sides split a pair last season, each winning at home.

Injury Report

Tampa Bay will be without linebacker Mason Foster (shoulder) and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle), while defensive end Michael Johnson (ankle), running back Doug Martin (knee) and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (hand) are all listed as questionable.

Atlanta wide receiver Roddy White is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury, while Julio Jones (ankle) is amongst the Falcons listed as probable for Week 3.

Check out the full injury report

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is listed as questionable for Thursday's game.

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is listed as questionable for Thursday’s game.

Betting Report

Below you’ll find Betting Sports’ breakdown of odds and betting trends.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons odds for 09/18/2014

Moneyline: Playing at home, Atlanta (-275) opened as the favorite over Tampa Bay (+244) on the moneyline. The line itself has stayed fairly static since opening.

Spread: The spread opened at 4.5 but has risen to as high as 7 with some sportsbooks.

Atlanta (1-1-0 ATS) failed to cover the spread in last week’s loss to Cincinnati, and will be looking to bounce back with a comfortable win. Tampa Bay (0-2-0 ATS) has yet to cover the spread this season.

The Falcons are 2-5-0 ATS in their last seven home games against the Buccaneers, and 4-9-1 ATS in the last 14 head-to-head matchups all told.

Total: The total opened at 45, and has climbed one-half point in the process.

After the over paid out in Week 1, Atlanta (1-1-0) saw the under pay out last weekend. Tampa Bay (0-2-0) has seen the total go under in both games this season.

The total has gone over in eight of Atlanta’s last 11 home games, and under in seven of Tampa Bay’s last 10 on the road. The over has paid out in five of the last eight head-to-head meetings.


For an up-to-date list of Week 3 NFL odds, click here.

For a full list of NFL Futures, click here.

For NFL team prop bets, click here.

For NFL player prop bets, click here.

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