Atlanta Falcons to Cover Against Deceptive 3-0 Patriots at Home
The New England Patriots may be the most vulnerable 3-0 team in the NFL. With an empty cupboard of weapons, Tom Brady's contribution to New England's normally explosive offense is more similar to a band aid's contribution an open wound.
Atlanta should be one of many teams this week likely to cover a small point spread by a significant margin.
Week 4 features a tempting slate of home underdogs and several games with point spreads hovering around field-goal range. Given the blowouts that have already been seen through three weeks of NFL play, many games may not be as close as their teeny-tiny point spreads indicate.
Atlanta (-2.5) over New England (via 5Dimes)
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons are 1-2. A team with Super Bowl aspirations cannot afford to start the season 1-3, especially with the New Orleans Saints a likely 4-0 team once all is said and done with Week 4.
The Falcons get an emotional edge as a home team on a nationally televised game with Matt Ryan coming off a loss in which he dueled Miami Dolphins' second-year quarterback, Ryan Tannehill.
Atlanta's two losses have come against undefeated teams in the Saints and the much-improved Dolphins. Two of New England's three wins have come against teams with losing records, with the exception being the depleted 2-1 New York Jets, who should eventually come down to earth.
The Falcons rank fourth in the critical yards-per-play category, while the Patriots are a dismal 29th. Belichick's smoke and mirrors with a talent-deficient team may work against weak divisional foes, but Atlanta is too talented and too good at home for New England to hide its glaring flaws.
Prediction: Atlanta, 30-13
Houston (+3) over Seattle (via BOVADA)
The Seattle Seahawks are coming off back-to-back blowout wins at home, but in Week 4 they are playing a road game in the central time zone. Seattle's record-setting homefield crowd noise will not be traveling with the team to Houston. Coming off a 30-9 blowout loss, the Texans gain value as Seattle's 28-point blowout win over the Jacksonville Jaguars makes for a 49-point swing.
Which pick do you think is this week's best bet?
The chances of Seattle continuing to win big are much slimmer on the road, while Houston will be looking to bounce back after a rout.
Houston is a talented home underdog more than capable of hanging with Seattle. The Seahawks aren't the same team on the road, and Houston's top-ten run defense should bottle up Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawk's run-first offense.
Prediction: Houston, 20-16
There is a reason Andy Reid is 2-0 against the NFC East this season. The former Philadelphia Eagles coach spent 14 years watching countless hours of film to game-plan for teams within this division. This familiarity gives Big Red and the Kansas City Chiefs a distinct advantage.
Facing one of the toughest home-field advantages, an incompetent Giants offensive line will go head-to-head with one of the NFL's best defensive lines. The Chiefs lead the league in sacks, and their constant pressure on Eli Manning should force yet another turnover-riddled game for the football Giants.
At -9, the New York Giants are currently dead last in turnover differential. At +9, the Chiefs lead the league.
Prediction: Kansas City, 28-17
Week 3 ATS: 1-2
Season ATS: 3-5-1
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