Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons Betting Pick

It felt like a normal Sunday in Philadelphia last week. The Eagles were beating up on division rivals, Carson Wentz was being Carson Wentz, and, oh yeah, DeSean Jackson is back in green and catching deep balls for touchdowns. The Eagles got behind early in Week 1 to the Redskins, but then scored 25 unanswered points and held off the late Case Keenum surge to get the victory. It wasn’t the prettiest of victories, but the offense beat up on a bad Redskins defense enough to pull out the win.

Matty Ice melted in Minnesota last Sunday in a disappointing Falcons loss. The offense couldn’t do much of anything until garbage time against the Vikings defense. Their leading rusher, Ito Smith, not Devonta Freeman, had only 31 yards. Matt Ryan barely had over 170 yards passing through three quarters. Even Julio Jones was kept in check. Jones had six catches on 11 targets but only managed 31 yards and got a garbage-time touchdown with a minute left and the game way out of reach. It’s not often you when a team gives up only 98 passing yards and loses a game in 2019, but the Falcons managed to do just that.

What Vegas Says

Sportsbook has this game with an over/under of 53 points, which is the second-highest of any game on the NFL slate after the Chiefs-Raiders game. While both offenses have changed since last season (Falcons incorporating Calvin Ridley more, Eagles drafting Miles Sanders and signing Jackson) their 2018 numbers would suggest this game isn’t going to hit that mark of 53 points.

The Eagles averaged just under 23 points per game last season, and the Falcons just under 26 per. Speaking of last season, the Eagles only reached or exceeded 53 points combined in three games, against the Rams, Saints and Texans. The Falcons, on the other hand, did it seven times.

Sportsbook has the line of this game at Eagles +1.5, which seems reasonable considering both team’s Week 1 performances and that the Falcons are at home. The interesting thing here is that in 2018, Atlanta was absolutely putrid against the spread. Two teams tied for the worst record ATS last season, Atlanta and San Francisco, and mind you the Niners were missing their QB almost all year.

They only covered in 31.2 percent of their games, and after coming off of a loss, only 33.3 percent of the time. The Eagles, on the other hand, were pretty solid. They were 9-9 ATS and 5-5 after coming off a victory. Here’s the kicker though, as a road underdog the Eagles covered 60 percent of the time, sixth-best in the league based on the number of games that situation occurred.

The Pick

After what we saw in Week 1, it looks like those 2018 betting tendencies may becoming habits once again. The Falcons once again failed to cover, while the Eagles didn’t. However, I don’t think that Matt Ryan and the offense will have that much trouble against a defense that saw Case Keenum throw for 380 yards and three touchdowns. It’ll be a fairly high-scoring game in the dome, but I think the Falcons will pull this one out by a field goal.

Falcons -1.5/Under 53

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