Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots
Date and Time: Sunday, October 22, 2017, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium
Week 7 Opening NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Patriots -4.5, O/U 53.5
Falcons vs. Patriots TV Coverage: NBC
How on god’s green earth did the Falcons fudge last week’s game up so bad that they ended up going down to a Miami Dolphins squad that looked terrible over the course of the game’s first 30 minutes? Atlanta went into the break holding what looked to be a decisive 17-0 lead, but then proceeded to give the game away in the second half by allowing the Fins to outscore them 20-0! Coughing up big leads has been this team “MO” for quite some time now.
The numbers are there. Atlanta ranks amongst the Top-12 in most pertinent offensive categories, while the defense ranks amongst the top-15. However, the main missing ingredient has been the offense’s lack of ability to put points on the board. After denting scoreboards for an average of 34.1 points per game last season ( No. 1 ), the Falcons are only averaging 24.2 points per game this season. Maybe a matchup against the Patriots porous defense will help rectify that situation.
The Patriots fell into an early 14-0 hole versus the Jets last Sunday. After closing as heft 9-point favorites, it set up a beautiful scenario for those that laid the points to recoup their losses on the live betting line. New England ended up getting back on top of the spread later in the game, but only eventually won the game by a 24-17 final count. Still, those that hit them on the live betting moneyline came out grinning ear-to-ear.
New England’s defense continues to be the elephant in the room, and it doesn’t look like it will be vacated anytime soon. Though Matt Petricia’s stop unit has held its last two opponents to 17 points or less, the Buccaneers and Jets were still able to rack up a grand total of 817 combined yards. The Pats rank No. 32 in total defense ( 440.7 YPG ) and No. 30 in scoring defense ( 26.5 PPG ). On top of that, they’re allowing the opposition to convert 43.3 percent of their third down tries ( No. 26 ). All three of their home games have combined for easy overs.
Player to Watch
Matt Ryan – Matty Ice completed 15 of 21 passes to help lead the Falcons to a 233-140 edge in net yards in the first half of last week’s game against the Dolphins. He finished the game 24 of 35 for only 248 yards. On top of that, he threw another interception which amounted to his sixth of the season. Last year, the winner of the MVP Award was only picked off seven times. While he’s been without his favorite targets in spurts, the Falcons’ offense needs their QB1 to return to last year’s form. If not, Atlanta will become yet another team that falters terribly a year removed partaking in the Super Bowl. If he can’t rise to the occasion in this spot, there’s something in the water in Atlanta that must be avoided at all costs.
Falcons vs. Patriots Picks
Not surprisingly, early week betting is all on the Falcons and the over. Atlanta is now down to 3-point dogs with the total up to 55. Both the side and total have had 1.5-point moves at the top rated sportsbooks. I hate to say it, but I agree with both moves. I’m not prepared to lay any type of chalk with the defending champs until the defense proves it can limit its opposition both on the scoreboard and field of play. While the Falcons have been far from impressive since pounding Green Bay in Week 2, I truly believe it has everything to do with this game. They need to get on the field, get it out of their system, and move past it. I give them an excellent shot of winning a high scoring game, so I’ll take the points even though I missed out on the best of the number.
Falcons vs. Patriots Week 7 ATS Pick: Parlay Falcons +3 & Over 55 at BookMaker.eu
Falcons vs. Patriots Score Prediction: Falcons 42 - Patriots 41