Atlanta Falcons (0-0) vs Philadelphia Eagles (0-0)Date : 09/06/2018
Time : 8:20 pm EST
Location : Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Atlanta Falcons vs Philadelphia Eagles
Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season will kick-off with an NFC rematch from 1-3-2017 as the Atlanta Falcons will travel to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, 9-6-2018, at 8:20 pm EST. the Eagles would pull away with a 15-10 home win in early January during the NFC semifinals and would take this momentum all the way to the Super Bowl where they would beat the Patriots in what was a very exciting matchup to become NFL champs in 2017. This year, however, much is expected of both the Falcons and the Eagles and they each have the talent and experience in which to make a run for the ultimate prize in 2018. Since 2015, there were 3 meetings against these squads with Philly taking 2 of 3 while 2 of those were at Lincoln Financial. The Falcons would win the only other matchup in Atlanta on 9-4-2015 by a 24-26 score. The Eagles would cash out on the spread 2 of the 3 games (all winning at home) while the Falcons would cover the spread as underdogs (+3) at home in 2015. These two teams have played some tight games lately, and I expect that to continue in the opener of 2018 as the Falcons will certainly look to exact revenge for their early exit last year from the playoffs.
Atlanta Falcons's Latest Performance :
The Atlanta Falcons needed to do well for the month of December of 2017. As it turned out, they would not only win 4 of their last 6 outings, but, they would also win a round one matchup with the Los Angeles Rams by a 26-13 score on the road before being ousted by Philly a week later. This year, with Matt Ryan looking to improve even more from his 4,000-yard season in 2017 along with a stout backfield with Devonte Freeman (196 rushes, 865 yards, 7 TD’s), the Falcons have a reason to be optimistic in 2018. Furthermore, Mohammed Sanu (67 catches, 703 yards, 5 TD’s) along with Austin Hooper (49 catches, 526 yards, 3 TD’s) and Julio Jones (88 catches, 1444 yards, 3 TD’s) will certainly be the main targets for Ryan all year long. Veteran Center Alex Mack and OT Ryan Shraeder will man the offensive line along with OT Jake Matthews in which to open some holes for the offense.
The Falcons D would rank 9th in rushing for 2017 (1665 yards) while being 12th in passing (3499 yards). This year, they hope to improve upon those stats as they will rely up front on Grady Jarrett (55 tackles, 4 sacks) and Vic Beasley (29 tackles, 1 FF) to lead the charge on opposing offenses. Deion Jones will man the middle linebacker spot for Atlanta after a great season in racking up 138 total tackles along with 3 INT’s for the year. They will certainly have much experience in the secondary as Desmond Trufant (41 tackles, 2 INT’s), Ricardo Allen (54 tackles, 1 INT), Keanu Neal (116 tackles, 3 FF, INT), and Robert Alford (68 tackles, INT) will all return this year each looking to yet another terrific season.
Philadelphia Eagles's Latest Performance :
After winning 3 of their last 4 games in December of 2017, the Eagles would march all the way to the Super Bowl to defeat New England 41-33. This year, they hope that the momentum will carry on into the regular season after an averaged preseason to where they would rank middle of the road in both offense and defensive categories. They did, however, ranked high in passing efficiency (4th) as they would average 233 yards per game during the preseason, yet, only averaging 17 ppg (23rd). Their rushing game was awful as they only posted 75 yards per game on the ground (26th). Nonetheless, with Carson Wentz still not cleared for action, the Eagles will begin their season with the signal caller which helped with the Super Bowl last year in Nick Foles, who looks to add to his 2017 output of 537 yards along with 5 TD. 2 INT’s, and a QB rating of 79.5 into the opener. He will have help in the receiving corps as Alshon Jeffrey (57 rec, 789 yds, 9 TD’s) will join Mike Wallace (52 rec, 748 yds, 4 TD’s) in which to both stretch the field while also providing for an over the middle presence. Jay Ajayi (208 rushes, 833 yards, 1 TD) will be the man in the backfield for the Eagles, however, much is being said of Marcus Smallwood (47 rushes, 370 yards, TD) spelling Ajayi from time to time. Zack Ertz (74 catches, 824 yards, 8 TD’s) will hold down the tight end spot for the defensing champs while veterans Jason Kelce and Brandon Brooks, who each started 15 games last year, will lead the charge in the trenches for an Eagles team that racked up a total of 3737 yards passing (13th) compared with 2115 rushing yards (3rd).
The defense for Philly should also be stout as Fletcher Cox (26 tackles, 1 FF. 5.5 sacks) and Tim Jernigan (29 tackles, 2.5 sacks) that will lead the charge in the trenches. Michael Kendricks (77 tackles) and Jordan Hicks (28 tackles) will lead the linebacking corps for Philly while Malcolm Jenkins (76 tackles, 1 FF, 2 INT’s) will lead the secondary in what will be his 10th season.
How Atlanta Falcons & Philadelphia Eagles Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
In this matchup of the NFC semifinal last year, the Falcons will be looking to exact revenge on the Eagles who would send them packing for a long offseason while they would go on to win the Super Bowl versus the Patriots. On one hand, one could say that the Falcons are just as equipped on offense and defense to win this game. On the other hand, the Eagles will come into this matchup with focus and intensity in which to battle Atlanta for 4 quarters in hopes of wearing them down with a strong running game that will be sure to open up their intermediate passing game. This, of course, will lead to longer pass opportunities down the field. This will be one of the most interesting and exciting matchups of week 1.
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: Atlanta Falcons +3.5
My reason for the pick :
The Eagles would need 5 field goals to edge the Falcons in their division semifinal showdown in January of this year. Foles would simply manage the game yet would end with 246 yards on 23-30 passing while Ryan would have 210 yards on 22-36 passing in the loss. Atlanta would give up 3 sacks in the loss, however, the Eagles would balance this out by having 4 fumbles for the night (2 lost). In all, this will certainly be a defensive minded matchup as the under has been the play in their last 3 meetings. Nonetheless, the Flacons will be looking for payback in this matchup as they are very familiar with Foles and company throughout the years. I will back the Falcons with the 3.5 points in this week 1 matchup as the Eagles may fly, yet, not high enough to be chased by the Falcons.
Totals Selection: Pick: Under
My reason for the prediction :
Again, recent matchups between these two teams resulted in the under. Furthermore, both teams rely on a solid defense in which to set the tone of the game. With that being said, expect Atlanta and Philly to come out a bit more motivated on defense in which to stop two offenses that are very dangerous at the skilled positions. In all, with defense being the mantra, once again, in 2018, I would expect the under to be the strong play for this matchup.
Betting trends for Atlanta Falcons:
- Under is 4-0 in Falcons last 4 road games
- Under is 7-0 in Falcons last 7 vs. NFC
- Under is 7-0 in Falcons last 7 games overall
- Falcons are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Philadelphia.
Betting trends for Philadelphia Eagles:
- Eagles are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games on grass
- Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 1
- Under is 4-1 in Eagles last 5 home games.