Atlanta Falcons (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions 2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date/Time: Sunday, September 24, 1:00pm EST
Where: Ford Field - Detroit, MI
by Bob, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ATL -3 / DET +3
Over/Under Total: 50
Sunday in Detroit, the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons will take on the upstart Detroit Lions in an NFC game that could potentially be a preview of a playoff showdown in 2017. Both teams come in at 2-0 on the season and both teams so far have looked pretty respectable on both sides of the ball.
The line has the Falcons as a three point favorite on the road over the Lions and the total points are set at 50 seeing as how both offenses like to sling the ball around. So far, 59% of the action is on the Falcons to cover on the road while the bettors like this game to go over the posted total of 50 with almost 65% liking te over.
The Falcons and Lions do not play every year, but they have faced off nine times since the 2000 season. Head to head, the record is 5-4 in favor of Atlanta with the Falcons winning four of the last six. Also, against the spread, the Falcons have covered the spread in the last four meetings. Many consider this game a toss up and it will be interesting to see how it pans out.
The Falcons are 2-0 and it seems the schedule makers wanted to go ahead and let Atlanta get their NFC North games out of the way. They have already faced Chicago and Green Bay (winning both) and now Detroit from the NFC North. The only team left to play in Minnesota from the North Division but that game will take place a little further down the schedule. In week one, the Falcons did not seem to click offensively, at least not click in the way that saw them coast to the Super Bowl and coast through the first three quarters of that Super Bowl. Many thought the Bears handed the Falcons the week one win and that my be true, but then the following week, the big bad Green Bay Packers came to town and Atlanta looked like the Atlanta from December and January of last year. Against the Packers, the Falcons combined on the ground and in the air for 364 yards, but lets not forget by the middle of the third quarter, Atlanta was already milking the clock….this woulda come in handy against the Patriots in February but hey, at least they learned. The Falcons on offense claim to be getting in rhythm and they are still a few weeks away from playing to their full potential…that will be scary. As for the Falcons defense, they are looking solid. They pretty much won the Chicago game and then on Sunday night against Green Bay, they made things very uncomfortable for Aaron Rodger which is not easy to do. The Falcons picked off Rodgers and forced a bad pass behind the line that resulted in a Desmond Trufant touchdown. The only negative from the Packers game was the injury to last years NFL sack leader, Vic Beasley. Beasley suffered a slight hamstring tear that will sideline him at least four weeks. Against the Lions, the Falcons will need stellar play from rookie Tak McKinnley and the rest of the Dirty Birds defense. If they can shut down Stafford, I think the Falcons can leave Ford Field with a win.
Well ever since becoming the highest paid player in the history of the NFL, Matthew Stafford has not lost a regular season game. Many think the Lions are for real after the 2-0 start, but they played an Arizona team that cannot score and turns the ball over 17 times a game and a Giants team that has a running game that is almost as bad as what we saw from Dallas this past Sunday. Are the Lions legit? Maybe so but the thing is, I just do not know. They have looked good in their two wins but this week will be the test. If they beat Atlanta, then its game on for Detroit. So, the question is, how do the Lions beat the Falcons. Well, the leader of the Falcons offense is reigning MVP, Matt Ryan. Along with Ryan is a squad of talent with Julio Jones, Devante Freeman, Mohammed Sanu, Tevin Coleman, Taylo Gabriel and the list goes on because Ryan finds a way to make those around him better. The Lions defensive front will need to set the tone early. The Falcons are without O-Lineman, Ryan Schraeder, due to concussion protocol. This should not be a huge loss from the start, but could cause some depth issues later in the game. Stop the run and pressure Ryan, that is how the Falcons are defeated.
I am a life long Falcons fan and no, I am not biased. As you can see from my history, I used to pick against my guys a lot. I am optimistic but I am very guarded. Being an Atlanta sports fan teaches you to be cautious no matter how great things look (see Super Bowl LI). With that said, I think Atlanta gets an easy win this Sunday. Will I be surprised if they lose? No. Playing on the road is tough in the NFL but I think this Falcons team is very focused and lets also not forget the Lions are on a day less of rest and preparation because they played Monday night. I do not think the Falcons blow this game away, but I think Atlanta gets out with a 28 to 23 type win.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE ATLANTA FALCONS -3 - Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a 50% bonus up to $250 at one of the web’s oldest and most trusted betting sites: BOVADA