Teams that score 64 points in their first two games are usually either 2-0 or 1-1, but the Atlanta Falcons (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) are bucking that trend as they look for their first win of the season Sunday against visiting Chicago (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS). The Falcons dropped a 40-39 stunner to the Dallas Cowboys last weekend and have surrendered 78 points through two games.
Opening Odds Analysis
Atlanta opened on the short side of the magic number at -2.5 but has since flipped to the other side in most spots at -3.5. The total, not surprisingly, has climbed 3 points from an opening of 44.5.
Chicago News & Notes
Three quarters into the Bears’ season opener vs Detroit, Bears fans and bettors were clamoring for Nick Foles to take over for Mitchell Trubisky. That was where everything turned around for Trubisky, who led Chicago to a 21-point fourth quarter and a stunning win. He was less impressive in Week 2 (190 passing yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) but appears to have a firm hold on the job.
The biggest reason for the Bears’ 2-0 start: a defense that has overcome a rough start against the Lions to allow just 17 points over its last five quarters. That said, Chicago’s biggest strength has been its run defense – and that won’t help the Bears as much against an Atlanta offensive attack that has more passes (61) than rush attempts (55) through the first two contests.
Atlanta News & Notes
You can hardly blame the Falcons offense for the 0-2 start. Matt Ryan looks like an early MVP candidate, having thrown for 723 yards through two games with six touchdowns and only one interception. Four Falcons have 110 or more receiving yards on the season, led by third-year star Calvin Ridley, who already has 16 receptions for 239 yards and four touchdowns on 22 targets.
If there’s one player in the Atlanta offense you should consider fading in DFS (and favoring the UNDER on his yardage total), it’s Todd Gurley. The marquee offseason acquisition has had a rough go of it despite Atlanta’s offensive explosion, averaging a paltry 3.3 yards per carry on 35 attempts with one touchdown. He also has just two receptions for one total yard.
Betting Pick: OVER 47.5 (-110)
Atlanta games have averaged 71 points over the first two weeks – so it’s hard to fade the OVER given how the hosts are playing on both sides of the football.