Atlanta Falcons (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 O/U) at Detroit Lions (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS, 1-1 O/U)
NFL: Sunday, September 24, 2017 at 1 p.m. ET
The Line: Falcons -3
After a less than impressive season opening win over the Chicago Bears, the Falcons were impressive in their last game beating the Green Bay Packers in a rematch of last season’s NFC title game. They beat a solid Packers team by 11 points and while they had three fewer overall years in the game they forced two turnovers and did not commit any.
Well, the Lions have gotten off to a good start and Matthew Stafford has played great after signing the biggest contract in NFL history. They stuffed the run in their last game, which was a Monday night win over the New York Giants, and while Stafford only passed for 122 yards he had two TD.
The Falcons have covered the spread in their last four games facing the Lions.
These teams last met in the 2014 season at Atlanta where the Lions beat the Falcons 22-21.
Going up big
The Falcons beat the Packers in their last game 34-23 on Sunday night, where they took a big 34-10 lead heading into the 4th quarter and gave up two late TD’s when they already had the game in hand. Matt Ryan was 19 for 28 for 252 yards with 1 TD and no INT and star WR Julio Jones had 180 receiving yards, while Mohamed Sanu had 85. Ryan only has one TD in both games this season he has not been picked off and has passed for at least 252 yards in each game. Atlanta rushed for 84 yards in the win over the Packers with Devonta Freeman got over his less than stellar performance in Week 1 to rush for 84 yards with two TD and averaged 4.4 yards per carry. Ryan and company will be going up against a Lions’ defense that gave up just 270 yards in their last game.
Less yards, still impressive win
In the Lions last game, they beat the Giants 24-10 where they had fewer total yards than the G-Men and still won easily. Matthew Stafford did not put up a ton of yards (122), but he was 15 for 21 and he had two TDs while not getting picked off. He spread the wealth around with his targets and in two games he has six TD and only one INT. Ameer Abdullah rushed for 86 yards in the game and like Freeman, he was solid after not being so in Week 1. The defense is what got it done in the win over New York, holding them to 10 points, only allowing 62 rushing yards, and they had recorded five sacks. Their pass rush will be vital in this game and if they allow Ryan time in the pocket they may be in for a long day. On the flip s, de Detroit’s offensive line will be facing the Falcons’ pass rush that had three sacks in their win over Green Bay.
The Atlanta Falcons are:
- 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games
- 7-2 ATS in their last 9 vs. NFC
- 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in September
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
The Detroit Lions are:
- 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. NFC
- 0-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- 4-12-1 ATS in their last 17 games in Week 3
Both the Lions and the Falcons won their last game even though they had fewer yards than their opponents. I think both of these teams are legit playoff contenders, but the Falcons are the only Super Bowl contender. With all the stars on the field in this one the Atlanta offensive line will be the real star in this game, as they will protect Ryan and open up holes for the run game. Atlanta will win this game and cover the spread even giving three points on the road.