Are you ready for some football? Monday Night Football is back, showcasing the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons. Manning is Manning on no matter which team. Can the Falcons slow the roll of the All American Hero?
NFL Picks: Broncos vs. Falcons - spread pick
It’s total time for Monday Night Football, and this one should be an entertaining battle to end the Week 2 schedule. Peyton Manning and the Broncos visit Matt Ryan and the Falcons this week, and the NFL Odds have the total sitting as one of the highest of the week, at 51 points.
Both of these teams had nice double-digit wins during Week 1, and now they both get an extra day off to try and recover, and prepare to face one another. So, will this be the high scoring game that the books thinks it’s going to be, or will the game fall short of the 50 point range?
A look back
Starting with the Falcons, Atlanta was one of many teams that reached the 40-point mark on Week 1. Atlanta took advantage of the fact that the Chiefs were missing Brandon Flowers. Ryan had 4 touchdowns against the Chiefs on the road. Two of Ryan’s touchdowns were to Julio Jones, who could end up as one of the league’s best receivers this season.
The Falcons were able to do all of this on only 376 yards of total offense. However, the Falcons offense was very efficient when they had the ball. They only had nine offensive drives, (that’s nearly 4.5 points per drive) and averaged 6.8 yards per play.
The Broncos beat down Pittsburgh, due in large part to the return of Peyton Manning. Even though Tracy Porter ended the game with a pick six off of Ben Roethlisberger, Manning had control almost the entire game. Manning finished 19-26, with 253 yards and two touchdowns.
If Manning can continue to play like he can, this game might as well have a total of 60 points. Brent Grimes is out for the rest of the season for Atlanta, after being injured against the Chiefs, which will only do more to help Manning go downfield to his receivers.
Trends and stats
Four of Denver’s last six games on the road have gone over the total, and five of their last six games overall have gone over, including last week’s game. Also, seven of the last eight times Denver and Atlanta have played one another, the total has gone over.
These two teams last played one another in 2008, and that time; the total of 52 points went under. However, the four games before that 2008 game between the years of 1997 and 2004, all of those went over the total, and the average total score was 59 points.
Both of these squads were the NFL's top 10 in scoring during Week 1, and while both have solid defenses, neither of them have stellar top 10 defenses.
The Sharp Pick
With the exception of New Orleans versus Carolina, this is the highest total of the Week 2 schedule. With Manning looking like he is back to form, and the Falcons’ offense looking like a well oiled machine, I have to go with the over in this one. Obviously, there can be some issues that lead to the under, but there are too many trends and supporting data that lead to the over.
Grimes being out for Atlanta will have some affect, and while I’m a big fan of both Tracy Porter and Champ Bailey, I think Roddy White and Julio Jones will both win those matchups by the end of the game. I’m on the over OVER 51.
Free NFL Pick: OVER 51