NFL Best Bets for Thursday Night Football: Patriots-Falcons

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Thursday Night Football brings us two of the biggest names from the past draft in Mac Jones and Kyle Pitts. I’m excited to see where this matchup goes as the Patriots take on the Falcons in Atlanta. There isn’t much optimism for the Falcons, but the Patriots probably chose correctly in taking Jones in the first round.

Let’s start with the spread. I’m taking the Patriots to cover the -7. Maybe this is an overreaction to this past weekend’s games where the Cowboys beat the Falcons by 40 points, and the Patriots beat the Browns by 38. Two notes on that, the Patriots were at home, and the Falcons were on the road. Both are important factors in evaluating those games. There is no doubt that the Patriots have the better coach and coaching staff. Mac Jones is probably the better quarterback than Matt Ryan is at this point though, too. They have very similar numbers for this year. Either way, the Patriots have the better offense, the better defense, the better coach. I’ll lay the points with them.

Next up for me is the total. Both teams came off games that were blowouts. Now they both come into the game on a short week. The Patriots are more likely to keep rolling rather than the Falcons having time to fix all or many of the issues that are plaguing them. I don’t expect Ryan to turn the ball over and allow for any defensive touchdowns in this game, but that doesn’t mean the Falcons will rack up the points. The line would require basically seven touchdowns. That doesn’t seem unreasonable, but I’ll put a small play on the under 47.5 at -110 because I think the two teams will start the game slow – the Falcons will need to protect the ball if they want any chance in this game so they should try to milk the clock as much as possible.

The final play I’m taking here is Nick Folk over 7.5 points scored at -114. Folk has scored over 7 points in six of ten games this season. For those non-math majors, that’s 60% of the time. If a 50/50 chance is normally listed at -110, this means we are getting some decent value. It is possible the Patriots march down and score nothing but touchdowns, which would kill this. A couple of field goals and a couple of touchdowns seems reasonable for the Patriots’ offense. I’ll play this happily.

Written by David Troy

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