Eagles vs. Falcons Spread Prediction
Will the Atlanta Falcons exact some revenge on the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night when the two teams open the 2018 NFL Season at 8:20 p.m. ET? Or will the defending Super Bowl champs hand the Falcons yet another loss in Philly?
8:20 p.m. ET, Thursday, September 6, 2018
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Eagles are 1.5-point favorites to beat the Falcons. The total, meanwhile, sits at 44.5 points. As of this writing, 51% of the public betting tickets are on the Falcons to cover the point spread.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn named Brandon Fusco the starter at right guard. Signed to a three-year, $12.75 million contract in March, Fusco was competing with incumbent starter Wes Schweitzer, who was a weak link on the line last season. It is promising Fusco was able to win the job, but he has struggled himself in recent years. Atlanta has one of the best rosters in the league, but guard remains a concern.
Jay Ajayi (foot) is not listed on the Week 1 injury report and will play Thursday against the Falcons. Ajayi practiced in full this week and is ready to roll against Atlanta.
Meanwhile, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) is "week to week." Pederson bristled a bit at a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter that Jeffery would miss "at least" the first two games of the season, but that seems like exactly what will happen. The Eagles kept Jeffery on the active roster, suggesting he will be back before Week 7, but his timetable is uncertain beyond that. Nelson Agholor and Mike Wallace will serve as the top-two receivers while Jeffery is sidelined.
NFL Betting Trends
The Falcons are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games played in September but are 2-6 in their last eight road games.
The Eagles have covered the spread in seven of their last nine home games and are 12-4 against the number in their last 16 games played overall.
Back in January when these two teams met in the Divisional round of the playoffs, the Eagles felt undervalued despite starting Nick Foles. We all know how the situation played out: The Eagles hung on to beat the Falcons in a narrow game, then romped the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game the following week before beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl. They also feel undervalued tonight.
The Falcons enter Thursday night with fewer questions than the Eagles but it’s not as if this Philadelphia team was a fluke last year. The Eagles return an outstanding pass rush and most-importantly, an offensive scheme orchestrated by Pederson that has often given the Falcons’ fits. Atlanta’s defense is extremely fast so if you can get Quinn’s players out of position, you can chew up yards, clock and keep Matt Ryan and Co. off the field, which is what the Eagles did in the second half of their playoff game against the Falcons last year. Teams like the Vikings and Chiefs, who also beat the Falcons last year, run a similar system. I’m taking the Eagles at a discounted price.
NFL Week 1 Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles -1.5