Many New England Patriots fans are worried about their team despite a 3-0 start and they have good reason. The Atlanta Falcons are 1-2 and are already facing a must-win situation. This week’s Sunday night showdown could be huge. The Falcons are a one-point favorite on the NFL betting lines.
New England Patriots @ Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, September 29th – 8:20 PM ET
Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA
NFL Odds: Falcons -1
Why The Patriots Can Cover The Spread:
To the Patriots’ credit, they have been playing excellent defense this season, holding their first three opponents to a total of 34 points. This will be their big chance to prove it isn’t a fluke since their first three opponents were Buffalo, the New York Jets and Tampa Bay, none of which have the weapons that the Falcons do. The defense has to play inspired because Tom Brady hasn’t looked like the Tom Brady we have been used to seeing over the years. Part of it has been his young receivers (he could have Rob Gronkowski back for this game, however), but Brady has also missed more passes than usual. If he takes advantage of an Atlanta defense that has suffered some injuries, the Patriots could roll on the road.
Why The Falcons Can Cover The Spread:
The Falcons could very well be 3-0 as well as all three of their games have been decided by seven points or less, but they need Matt Ryan to step up and make some plays. To be considered an elite quarterback, you have to overcome your team’s deficiencies and win games, and he hasn’t done that this season. Sure, the Falcons do have injuries on both sides of the ball and on offense, they could be missing Roddy White and Steven Jackson on Sunday night. But there is still Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez and the jury is still out on the New England defense. Ryan has to take control of this game, especially at home, because the Falcons can’t afford to go 1-3 in an NFC South that could be up for grabs.
The Patriots have had the Falcons’ number in the 2000s, winning and covering in all three meetings since 2001. Two of those were in Atlanta, so they’re not going to be afraid to go on the road in a hostile environment. Two of those meetings were also under the posted total, and you would think that they could go over the total of 49.5, but the way these offense have been playing, the over isn’t a sure thing.
This is a massive test for both teams, who were supposed to be Super Bowl contenders, but neither have looked like it so far this season. This is going to be a battle of attrition and the Patriots seem to be more mentally tough, not to mentioned, they are a better coached team. Even though they haven’t played that well, the Patriots are still 3-0 and that will give them the confidence to pull out a win in Atlanta. Take them on the NFL spread.
Pick: New England +1