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Michael Taylor 14th Dec 2008 - 11:08

Turner can burn Buccaneers

Michael 'the burner' Turner can give the Atlanta Falcons a timely boost as they prepare to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a vital NFC South match.

Turner, 4/1 to score the first touchdown, has been the star of the Falcons offence leading the franchise in rushing yards and touchdowns while his threat has opened the door for rookie quarterback Matt Ryan to flourish.

The fifth-year running-back is in his first year with the Falcons after leaving the San Diego Chargers and he has found a new lease of life chipping in with 14 touchdowns and the second most rushing yards in the NFL.

Going into Sunday's game, Turner will have been especially encouraged after watching the Carolina Panthers in week 14 as DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart destroyed a fragile Tampa Bay rush defence, combining for over 300 yards.

With the season nearing its finale, Atlanta head coach Mike Smith knows a win is essential if his team have realistic play-off ambitions as they find themselves third in the division and a game behind the Bucs.

Tampa Bay are also desperate to get back on track following their loss against Carolina but face a tough task as the road team at the Georgia Dome given that the home team has won every NFC South divisional match this season.

There are also doubts over the fitness of quarterback Jeff Garcia after he missed training with a calf injury, his replacement would be Brian Griese if he is unable to recover in time.

Atlanta are the 5/12 favourites to win the game but more interestingly the 2/1 about Tampa is huge and while they are not guaranteed a win they are certainly worth a punt.

There are a number of great NFL games on Sunday evening with play-off places still up for grabs and all five televised games have the added incentive of in-play betting using our betlive service.

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets

Brett Favre's Jets have been struggling for form but with Thomas Jones playing at a high level alongside the veteran quarterback they should have enough to see of the Bills.

At 5/18 to win the Jets are short so the smart money could be on the Jets with a -7.5 handicap priced at 5/6.

Minnesota Vikings @ Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals are 1/2 favourites but with play-off participation assured they may find Adrian Peterson's (3/1 first touchdown) Vikings a tough task.

The 17/10 about Minnesota is definitely the value bet in this one.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore are playing way above expectations and look reasonable value at 4/6 although they know that overcoming the awesome Pittsburgh defence will not be easy.

The Steelers at 13/10 looks fairly short given the Ravens form.

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys

The Giants have already qualified for the play-offs and with Plaxico Burress' absence they may find the Cowboys too tough to overcome.

The Cowboys at 5/8 are great value and with Tony Romo back fit they may fancy a late season run.

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