Week 3 Thursday Night Special

We will provide our total review of Week 2 and predictions for Week 3 later this week, but wanted to make a prediction for tonight's game before. Of course, this pick will be included as one of our 5 weekly picks.

Tampa Bay +7 (120) @ Atlanta

Last week Atlanta took a slight step backwards, losing to a fantastic Cincinnati team, while Tampa Bay took a huge step backwards, losing at home to a not so good St. Louis team to go to 0-2 on the season. Despite the apparent performance gap between these two teams, Tampa Bay has still managed a better point differential (-8) in their 0-2 start than Atlanta (-11) has in their 1-1 start. Tampa Bay's tighter point differential is partially explained by their ability to run the ball effectively, which limits the number of possessions and therefore scores each team has per game. Considering that Tampa Bay has run the ball effectively against two top notch defenses in St. Louis and Carolina, we believe that they will be able run at will against Atlanta on their way to another very narrow loss.