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Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions Point Spread - Pick

Atlanta Falcons (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS)
Week 3 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, September 24, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: ATL -3/DET +3
Over/Under Total: 49

The Atlanta Falcons come up north to face the Detroit Lions in week three Sunday action from Ford Field. Atlanta easily moved to 2-0 on Sunday Night Football with a big 34-23 win over the Green Bay Packers in a game that wasn't even that close. The Falcons saw a lot of the things that make them a good team manifest in week two. The defense made big plays and a vast cast of offensive weapons manifested. Also in week two, Detroit came up with a big road win on Monday Night Football, beating the Giants, 24-10, to go to 2-0 on the season. Beating the defending conference champion would be a great win for the Lions.

In week one, the Falcons had a grind on their hands in a tough road win over the Bears. Opening up their new $1.5B stadium, they gave an effort fitting of the moment. With a big 17-point second quarter, the Packers were taken out of the game, with a late spurt with the game already decided making it look closer than it really was. A lot of people wondered how the Falcons would open the season on the heels of their Bowl collapse, but their energy looks good and despite losing offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the offense still looks a lot like it did last season.

Matt Ryan was good on Sunday, throwing for over 200 yards in the first half. Late in the third quarter, the Falcons led 31-7. Julio Jones was over 100 yards on the day, while Mohamed Sanu had 85 yards through the air. RB Devonta Freeman ran for 84 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Tevin Coleman had 42 yards on the ground and caught a TD pass. It was a good day for the offense, not a great one, as seven points came on a defensive touchdown. But when you conclusively beat a playoff contender in your own conference, it's hard to get overly-critical. Under new coordinator Steve Sarkisian, there might be some hiccups along the way, but they didn't look a whole lot different on Sunday night.

The Falcons defense really got after it on Sunday. Most of Green Bay's production came when the game was already more or less decided. Against a Green Bay offense that is capable of moving the ball, the Falcons held them to very little when the game was still up in the air. Desmond Trufant made some big plays, picking up a fumble and running it back for a touchdown, while also picking off a pass. Adrian Clayborn, De'Vondre Campbell, and Vic Beasley all had sacks, with Beasley's leading to Trufant's touchdown. Unfortunately for Beasley and the Falcons, he tore a hamstring and will be out for about a month. One thing to watch out for is that Atlanta's defense does lose steam late in the game and that's not just taking another cheap shot over what happened in the Super Bowl. They play a high-energy form of defense and it often leads to fatigue late.


The Lions have been looking really good through two games. One thing that jumps out immediately is that they play hard, with an abundance of energy. And that's true for both sides of the ball. They have the right combination of stoutness and playmaking acumen on defense, while their offense plays it somewhat safe, but with enough punch to make it stick.

Matthew Stafford didn't have a huge game on MNF against a tough Giants defense, but he was able to make it work with two TD passes, one apiece to Marvin Jones and Eric Ebron. Stafford is not blessed by a gifted offensive line, but he's a lot trickier in the pocket that what he is given credit for. Detroit had a nice development on Monday with Ameer Abdullah running for 86 yards, as it isn't often a Detroit back puts up numbers that even resemble anything good. Again, they put up just over 250 yards of offense, but that was against a really good defense. They also played good late in the game, something they also did in week one when they pulled away late from the Cardinals for the win.

Detroit's defense has had its moments in the first two games. Against the Cardinals, they tightened up late, while they were rigid for the entire game against the Giants. The line was very active, with Haloti Ngata, A'Shawn Robinson, and Ezekiel Ansah all having good games. Ngata and Robinson had sacks, while Ansah had three of them. Rookie MLB Jarrad Davis (questionable) looks like a future star and also had a sack, while running-mate LB Tahir Whitehead was all over the field and had an interception. The secondary has playmakers on it like Darius Slay, Glover Quin, and blossoming S Miles Killebrew. Safety Tavon Wilson hurt his shoulder late in the game. But all in all, this defense is a growing group of players and they have started the season very impressively.

Beating the Cardinals and then a sideways Giants team and upending the Atlanta Falcons are two different things. Atlanta seems to have a little extra edge to start the season, no doubt looking to clear out the stink left from how last season ended. One should expect an extra enthusiastic home crowd, with Detroit showing signs that they could emerge as a real contender. It just seems like a lot of people are going to lose money by underestimating Atlanta this season and we don't want to fall into that trap. We see this game going "under."

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Atlanta vs. Detroit game going under 49 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Atlanta vs. Detroit game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!

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