Patriots favored against Falcons in Super Bowl rematch

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It’s rare that the New England Patriots and Tom Brady are laying so few points at home, but then again, it’s been even longer since the Pats were dead last in the NFL in defense.

In a rematch of last season’s Super Bowl, if not necessarily a preview of this season’s, the Patriots are three-point favorites for Sunday night against the Atlanta Falcons with a 56.5-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

There have been only four games dating to 2009 when the Patriots were favored by 3.0 or fewer points in a regular-season home game, and they are 4-0 straight-up and 3-0-1 against the spread in that small sample. Counting Super Bowl LI, the Falcons are 0-5 SU and ATS in their last five games against the Patriots according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Patriots are 14-3 SU in their last 17 night games, but only 2-2 in the last four.

The Falcons, who are 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS, are still a top-5 offense with QB Matt Ryan at the controls but have not shown the same dynamism they did while winning the NFC in 2016. New England has been dismal in coverage, ranking last in the NFL in yards per game (440.7) and yards per pass (8.6) allowed. Two of its top three cornerbacks, Stephen Gilmore (concussion) and Eric Rowe (groin), are iffy to play.

The Patriots might be stretched too thin to cover three-wideout looks with WRs Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel; after all, this is a unit that was last seen allowing 354 yards to the New York Jets’ Josh McCown.

One reason why Atlanta is 9-2 SU and ATS in its last 11 road games is due to the stability of the 1-2 punch of RB Devonta Freeman and RB Tevin Coleman. One way to beat the Patriots is to outscore them, and Atlanta would seem to be capable of such if it curbs its turnover problems.

The Patriots, who are 4-2 SU and 2-4 ATS, are No. 1 in the NFL in total offense and passing yards thanks to Brady, TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Brandin Cooks and slot WRs Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan. The Falcons defense is allowing just 6.1 yards per pass, but it has not been making many disruption plays (12 sacks and only three takeaways), which teams need a few of against the Patriots in order to get Brady out of rhythm.

New England is 5-0 SU and ATS in its last five games against Atlanta but, of course, that required an epic combination of collapse and comeback during the Super Bowl. In the present, the Patriots offense is a little pass-heavy, ranking 21st in the NFL in yards per rush while relying mostly on RB Mike Gillislee. That’s unlikely to strike much fear into the hearts of Atlanta.

The game has the highest total of the week, but the total has gone over in 19 of the Falcons’ last 24 games and has also gone over in all three of the Patriots’ home games this season. The total has gone over in the Patriots’ last five games at home against teams with winning records.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

SNF Odds: Patriots favored by touchdown over Lions

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It’s not unusual for the New England Patriots to lay a touchdown as a road team – it just normally comes later in the season, which might raise a red flag about the underdog Detroit Lions.

The Patriots, with quarterback Tom Brady behind centre, are 7-point road favorites against the Detroit Lions with a 53.5-point total for Sunday Night Football, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Over the last three seasons, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, the Patriots are 8-1 straight-up and 6-3 against the spread as a road favorite of 6.5 or more points, but this is only the second time they have had such a large line before October 1. The Lions, led by quarterback Matthew Stafford, are 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last five games as an underdog.

The primetime matchup sees Patriots head coach Bill Belichick match wits with Lions head coach Matt Patricia, who was previously New England’s defensive coordinator. Under Belichick, the Patriots are 12-6 SU and 11-7 ATS in matchups against teams whose head coach once worked for the Patriots.

The main question offensively with the Patriots, 1-1 SU and ATS, is whether Brady’s complement of wide receivers, which includes Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett, are dangerous enough to draw attention away from tight end Rob Gronkowski. The good news for New England is the Lions have yet to show they can stop the pass or the run, ranking fifth-worst in the NFL in yards per pass allowed and third-last in opponents’ passer rating, and dead last in rushing yards allowed.

Newly acquired wide receiver Josh Gordon (hamstring) is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report for the week. Since 2000, the Patriots are 21-6 ATS after a double-digit defeat. They lost 31-20 against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2.

The Lions, who are 0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS, have had to play catch-up during both of their games due to the aforementioned dismal defense and the offense having six turnovers. The fact that the Lions are 7-2 SU in their last nine games at home after losing their most recent home game offers some reassurance that quarterback Matthew Stafford and his supporting cast of wide receivers Marvin Jones and Golden Tate should have a strong night.

The Patriots defense has also been leaky so far, ranking 13th in yards per pass allowed but 25th in yards per rush, so Detroit has an opportunity to use running backs LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick effectively and keep Stafford out of desperate down-and-distance scenarios.

This is already the Lions’ second prime-time game of the season, but they are 5-12-1 ATS in 18 games at night with Stafford as their quarterback.

The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Patriots’ last 10 road games when they were favored by at least 6.5 points, but all of those games were played outdoors on October 15 or later in the fall. The total has gone OVER in eight of the Lions’ last 10 games at home, with an average combined score of 51.1.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

 

Cowboys field-goal favorites on NFL odds for Sunday Night Football

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While the total has been a sure thing in one of the NFL’s oldest rivalries, bettors will have to decide whether to trust the Dallas Cowboys’ recent favorite trend or a longer-term issue as a slim favorite on home turf.

The Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott are 3-point betting favorites on the NFL odds against the New York Giants with a 42.5-point total in the NFL Sunday Night Football matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Both NFC East rivals are coming off low-scoring defeats in their season openers, and the OddsShark NFL Database affirms that the Cowboys are 6-1 straight-up and 5-1-1 against the spread in their last seven games as a favorite. However, since Jason Garrett became their head coach, they are 3-8 both SU and ATS in home games as a favorite of 3.0 or less.

The season is only a week old, but the Giants, with quarterback Eli Manning now in his 15th season behind center, still seem shaky along the offensive line after a 20-15 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars during their opener. The O-line issues are a contributor to the Giants being 2-9 SU and 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 away games against the NFC East.

Up front this time around, right tackle Ereck Flowers will have a challenge limiting Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. On the plus side for the Giants, they have superior individual talent in both the rushing and passing phases with running back Saquon Barkley and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., which means they always have an outside shot at pulling an upset.

The Cowboys, who lost 16-8 to the Carolina Panthers during Week 1, are facing doubts about the productivity of their passing game. Dallas has averaged 18.75 points against New York in four games started by Prescott. The once-vaunted offensive line has new parts with rookie left guard Connor Williams and center Joe Looney replacing Travis Frederick (Guillain-Barre Syndrome) and allowed six sacks against Carolina.

However, the Giants defense had only one sack last week and was nearly dead-last in the NFL in that defensive category last season. If the Cowboys keep the first-down chains moving with running back Ezekiel Elliott – they are 10-2 SU when he gains at least 100 yards – then it will help Prescott settle in and find wide receivers Allen Hurns and Terrance Williams.

The Cowboys are 7-3 straight-up in their last 10 games against the Giants, including 4-1 SU at home.

This matchup has been a throwback on the scoreboard. The total has gone UNDER in the Giants’ last four games against the Cowboys, with an average combined score of 29.5. The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Giants’ last eight games. The total has also gone UNDER in the Cowboys’ last five games.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.