Falcons vs. Buccaneers 2013 picks and predictions: Expert opinions split in game between two struggling teams

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The gap between Atlanta and Tampa Bay is a lot closer now after the Bucs picked up their first win of the year. Can they pick up their second this Sunday?

Nearly one month ago, the Atlanta Falcons beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to improve to 2-4 and possibly on the verge of getting back to .500, whereas the Bucs would lose their first eight games of the season. Now facing off against Atlanta in Week 11, Tampa Bay might be the legitimate favorite.

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Coming off their first win of the year, 22-19 over the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football, the Buccaneers have been more than competitive in their last two games. Two weeks ago, they held a 21-0 lead over the Seahawks in Seattle before ultimately squandering the lead and losing in overtime. The Falcons have not been as competitive.

Since its win over the Bucs, Atlanta has lost three straight and by an average of over 20 points per game. Nearly on their way to the Super Bowl this past January, the Falcons still have an outside shot at picking first overall next April. If they can't beat Tampa this Sunday, it would be a huge step up in the draft order and backward in the standings.

Here at SB Nation, four of six panelists believe the Buccaneers will get their second win of the season and move into a tie for last place in the NFC South. The Bucs are 1-4 at home, but lost by only two points to the New Orleans Saints and by three to the now-hot Arizona Cardinals.

The experts are split over at CBS Sports, where four are picking the Bucs and four are going with the Falcons, but it's all Atlanta at Yahoo Sports. Things are close over at ESPN with their experts, in what should be a close game.

A lot closer than was to be expected a month ago.

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