Oakland Raiders vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons and the Oakland Raiders face off on Sunday in the Georgia Dome in early NFL action. The Falcons are -9.5 point favorites over the Raiders with an over/under point total set at 48.5.
The Atlanta Falcons are one of two unbeaten teams left in the NFL and in what was supposed to be one of football’s tougher divisions, the NFC South, they are running away with it. Matt Ryan is colpleting 68.3 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions while being sacked 12 times. Michael Turner continues to be one of the better backs in the NFL averaging a tough 4.4 yards per carry with three touchdowns and Jacquizz Rodgers is seeing playing time but averaging just 2.7 yards per carry but he has caught 12 passes and scored a touchdown. Tony Gonzalez leads the Falcons in receiving with 39 catches and four touchdowns, Roddy White has 31 catches and three touchdowns, and Julio Jones has 26 catches and four touchdowns. Defensively the Falcons are allowing 18.6 points per game, 203 passing yards and 142.8 rushing yards with 13 sacks and nine interceptions. Stephen Nicholas has 39 tackles, Sean Weatherspoon and John Abraham have three sacks each, and Thomas DeCoud has four interceptions to lead the Atlanta defense. While it would be tough to believe the Falcons are going to win them all they are looking like they are going to be very tough to beat at this point.
The Oakland Raiders are coming off of a bye week and even at 1-3 they are far from out of it in the AFC West where no team has dominated. Carson Palmer has had times where he has looked good but others where he hasn’t as he has completed 61.1 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and two interceptions while being sacked seven times. Darren McFadden is back but he’s averaging just 3.5 yards per carry with just one touchdown but he has 18 catches out of the backfield. Rod Streater is an emerging target at receiver as Darius Heyward-Bey is still out and Brandon Myers leads Oakland with 16 catches, Marcel Reese has 13 catches, and Denarius Moore has 12 catches. Defensively the Raiders allow 31.3 points per game, 128.5 rushing yards, and 283 passing yards but they have no interceptions and only three sacks. Phillip Wheeler has 34 tackles, Tyvon Branch has 31 tackles, and Rolando McClain has 24 tackles. The Raiders have compounded their problems with penalties at seemingly the most inopportune times.
Atlanta is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games overall, 3-1-1 against the spread in their last five home games, and 33-16-2 against the spread in their last 51 games against a team with a losing record. Oakland is 5-2-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record, 9-4-1 against the spread following a loss, and 1-4 against the spread in their last five road games. The favorite has covered in the last four meetings of these two.
This is a lot tougher game tan many would think as the Raiders are coming off of the bye, are well rested, and have had a chance to regroup with the personnel changes which are just part of the course of a NFL season with injuries. Atlanta has been bruising it out and though they can make it look easy, it isn’t easy. To be honest right now I am on the fence with my side play do I will go with the total and say this one goes over.