Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
SNF - Eagles at Falcons
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NFL Week 2 Sunday Night Football Betting Preview
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (NBC, 8:20 p.m. ET)
Recent Head-to-Head Meetings:
Sept. 6, 2018 - Philadelphia 18 vs. Atlanta 12 (Eagles +1, Under 44)
Jan. 13, 2018 - Philadelphia 15 vs. Atlanta 10 (Eagles +2.5, Under 40.5)
Nov. 13, 2016 - Philadelphia 24 vs. Atlanta 15 (Eagles -1, Under 48.5)
It's a rematch of last year's season opener on SNF this week, as the 18-12 season opener in 2018 between Philadelphia and Atlanta was one that resembled last week's season opener in the sense that defense and some sloppy play dominated the day. This time around, the Eagles have to be pleased to have QB Carson Wentz back on the field, as Wentz shook off a slow start in the 1st half vs Washington a week ago to lead the Eagles to a 1-0 mark.
On the other side of the coin, it was another sloppy season opener for Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense a week ago, as a 21-0 halftime deficit turned into a 28-0 one by the start of the 4th quarter before a couple of garbage time TD's by the Falcons made the score a bit more respectable. Ryan did throw for 304 yards on 33-for-46 passing, but it was his two INT's that really stifled the Falcons early on in that game.
Returning home for the home opener should help Ryan and the Falcons on SNF, but will it be enough to pull off the upset as small home underdogs?
To start, at first glance, this is a line that looks to be right where it should be in terms of both side and total, as early action this week has come in support of the Eagles and the 'over'. Can't say that's too surprising after what we saw from each franchise in Week 1, but it's not like either side doesn't have plenty they'd like to improve on.
For the Eagles, it's two-fold, as they'd love to eliminate the sluggish start they had against Washington and tighten up their defensive play as well. Hindsight is always 20-20, but the Eagles appeared to be taking Washington extremely lightly in that first half – on both sides of the ball – and they paid for it by trailing 20-7 at the break. They were able to flip the switch coming out of the break before grabbing the lead and pushing it up to double-digits before giving up a garbage time TD to allow Washington ATS backers through the back door, but Eagles fans would like to see the execution and focus that their team brought from minutes 30-58 throughout the entirety of this Falcons game.
Whether the flipping of the switch was intentional or not, teams that go down that route tend to play with fire too often, and even though it's just Week 2, that is something to keep in mind for this contest. There are plenty in the betting market that are quite high on Philadelphia's long term prospects in 2019 (I am not one of them), but consistency effort is always key in achieving success in this league and that's the next step for Philadelphia in the coming weeks.
For the Falcons, it's about cleaning up some sloppy 1st half play as well, although their ineptitude continued on well through the 3rd quarter of their loss to Minnesota. This team has so many talented weapons on offense that putting up 25+ points a week shouldn't be too hard for this Falcons team to do – especially at home. But mistakes in all forms are what hurt them a season ago, and if that becomes a theme in 2019, it's eventually going to fall on the shoulders of the head coach and questioning whether or not he's 'lost' the team. Being back at home this week should help the Falcons clean up some of those issues, but Philly's defense can be nasty when they want to be – see the 2nd half vs Washington – so Atlanta can't expect too much to come easy for them here.
This total has been bumped up a full 1.5 points since opening at 51, and with Wentz and Ryan and all the offensive weapons both sides have, it would only be that side of the total I'd look to get down on. Unless this number eventually gets to 53 by kickoff that tune probably shouldn't change, as being indoors in Atlanta on a fast track should help both offenses.
What could hurt this game climbing over that number is the idea that all the prime time games outside of the Texans/Saints on MNF last week have been an under bettors haven. We've seen too very sloppy Thursday Night Football games now that never even sniffed the closing total, and even that Texans/Saints game needed 13 points in the final minute to push that game 'over' the number.
Prime time games are generally going to get more 'over' love from the betting public and because of that you can find value on going 'under' some of these numbers. However, after the way these prime time games have gone so far, you know the NFL would prefer to see a much cleaner, crisper, contest on the national stage sooner rather then later, and this game has all the ingredients to potentially get that done. Betting percentages currently up at VegasInsider.com show a bit more then 70% of the bets have already come in on the high side of this number, forcing that move, and if you are late to the party in that regard you'll probably want to hit the 'over' before it hits 53.
Those same betting percentages at the site are showing a number a little higher in the 70's in support for Philadelphia, pushing their number up about a point from the opener as well. Given that underdogs are now 4-1 ATS with three outright wins in NFL prime time games this year, the Falcons as a home dog do have some attractiveness to them in that regard. NFL teams hate to fall to 0-2 SU in a season right out of the gate, and with two division rivals already holding at least one victory, and Atlanta can't afford to fall too far behind this early again.
There is good news and bad news for Atlanta in this spot too, as they are 9-7 SU at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium since moving into the building, but this is also the first time in any of those 16 contests where they've entered the game as an underdog. Underdogs and 'under' have been the way to go in prime time games so far in 2019, and Falcons fans would love to add their team's name to that list of winners this year.
In the end, this game looks to be one that's probably best to pass on from both a flat side and total perspective given how early it is in the year and the market action/moves we've already seen. However, the notion that this line and total are about where they should be for this game makes the contest one of those potential games where 'teasing' the game any which way could end up hitting.
A 6-7 point teaser pairing either side with either total is the only way I'm really considering getting action down on this game, and from there it's all about personal preference really. Mathematically it does make a bit more sense to tease the Falcons side up through the +3 and +7 key numbers to go with either side of the total really (or an earlier game on Sunday), and teasing the Falcons side to the 'over' would be my preference here.