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Will Nick Foles Recapture the Magic vs Falcons?

It’s a battle of the birds when the NFL season kicks off between the Atlanta Falcons and the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are in prime position to go deep again this year and will have to rely on Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles to carry them until quarterback Carson Wentz can return. Foles and the Eagles held the Falcons offense in check in last year’s playoffs when they won 15-10 and Philly was near unbeatable at home in its run to the title, going 9-0 SU and 7-2 ATS in nine games last season as a favorite at the Linc.

SHARK BITES
  • The Eagles are 9-0 SU and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games as a home favorite.
  • The Falcons ranked 8th in points allowed per game last season (19.7).
  • The UNDER has hit in the Falcons’ last seven games (avg. combined score: 33.8 pts per game).

Falcons vs Eagles Game Center

Lincoln Financial Field Is a Graveyard for NFC Hopefuls

I think it’s safe to say that Eagles home games can be a hostile environment for outsiders (just ask Santa Claus). Opponents could find no footing at Lincoln Financial Field last year as the most points the Eagles allowed in any game in Philly last season (including playoffs) was 24 to both the Redskins and Giants. But when you average out their last nine home games as a favorite, it gets ugly for opposing offenses as they only averaged a pitiful 13.7 points per game and it’s no coincidence that Philadelphia was 9-0 SU and 7-2 ATS in those games. It’s also worth noting that the Super Bowl winner in Week 1 the following season is 15-3 SU in the last 18 years.

This is a tricky game to cap because while the Eagles defense was ferocious last year in the nine games we just mentioned, Foles only started in three of them and only looked good in the NFC championship game vs the Vikings. Of course, everyone and their dog will remember the Super Bowl when he carved up the Patriots but the Falcons had the whole offseason to study their (and his) shortcomings from when they lost in Philly last time, which means Atlanta may have been able to find some holes in Foles.

Falcons Offense Is Primed For Bounce-Back in 2018

And while we’re on the subject of the Eagles defense, let’s not gloss over the fact that in the biggest game of the year vs the Patriots, they gave up far over 500 passing yards and 33 points to Tom Brady as the 40-year-old surgeon put on a clinic before he got strip-sacked on the Pats’ penultimate drive and was forced into a Hail Mary scenario.

This is why there should be hope for Falcons backers as their offense looks locked and loaded for 2018. Blue-chippers at every position on the offensive side of the ball make Atlanta a matchup nightmare for Philly’s secondary as evidenced when Julio Jones managed nine receptions for 101 yards and was an end zone catch away from sending the Eagles packing in the divisional playoffs.

The Falcons were ranked eighth in points per game last season (19.7) and doubled down on the passing attack when they drafted Calvin Ridley out of Alabama to pair with Jones and Mohamed Sanu. That trio may be the best WR combo in the NFL and when you consider the Eagles allowed 227 passing yards per game last season (ranked 17th), taking it to the air may be the winning recipe for the Falcons.

UNDER Bettors Cashing in On Falcons

The total is hovering around 45.5 and trends are pointing to an UNDER for this matchup. The UNDER has hit in the Falcons’ last seven games (including playoffs) with an average combined score of 33.8 points per game. When these teams met in January in the divisional playoffs, the two could only manage 25 points of total offense and as mentioned, the Eagles don’t allow a ton of points at home. Expect this game to be a feeling-out process in the first half with a playoff atmosphere that may stifle wide-open play.

Why I Like the Falcons to Cover

I think the magical run ends for Nick Foles and the Eagles in this matchup. The Falcons spent seven long months with a bitter taste in their mouth when they fell short in the playoffs to Philly, and Foles has looked awful in his brief stints in the preseason (16-for-26, 171 yards, 0 TDs and two interceptions). Take the Falcons’ points and laugh (or take a drink, depending on your perspective) when Foles throws a pick.