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Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Jets Point Spread - Pick

Atlanta Falcons (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS) vs. New York Jets (3-4 SU, 4-2-1 ATS)
Week 8 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: ATL -4/NYJ +4
Over/Under Total: 46.5

The Atlanta Falcons come to MetLife Stadium on Sunday to take on the New York Jets in week 8 action. The Falcons started 3-0, but have dropped three straight and some are rightfully wondering if that typical Super Bowl malaise is beginning to set in. On Sunday Night Football, they lost to the Patriots in a Super Bowl rematch where one would have thought they would be ready to pounce. Instead, they didn't get in the end zone until late in the fourth quarter, losing 23-7. The Jets, meanwhile, took a 14-point lead into the last quarter against the Dolphins, but were unable to hold on to it, losing to a late FG, 31-28. Despite two straight losses and a 3-4 mark, the Jets have been surprisingly plucky this season. Even with a desperate Atlanta team coming into town, they look to get back on the winning track this week.

So what gives with Atlanta? It shows that in the fickle NFL, a slight shift can be earth-shattering. Even against a New England pass-defense that couldn't get anything right in the first 6 games of the season, Atlanta struggled. And their defense isn't making a lot of plays or being particularly clutch. But for Atlanta to not be able to get anything going outside of a garbage touchdown late in the game is an abomination. They've come off the bye and for the last six quarters of play, completely stunk up the joint. Now, they're in their second of three straight road games and they really need a win before they officially implode.

The Falcons' offense didn't get much of anything right on Sunday Night Football. They converted just two third downs on the night and despite putting up yards at times, they couldn't convert it into points. Even steady Matt Bryant missed two field goals. Julio Jones is getting back to 100% and that could help, as he had 99 yards and the team's only TD on the day. And Devonta Freeman had some nice runs. Again, it didn't amount to much and with no turnovers and Matt Ryan only sacked once, drives just sort of died a quick death on Sunday. Still, even last season when they went to the Super Bowl, they had some moments during the season that didn't paint them in a good light, but nothing as pronounced as this. Make no mistake, the Falcons better snap out of it and quickly.

The Atlanta defense hasn't even been that bad. When a team like the Falcons go into a three-game swoon, one would almost assume it was because of this side of the ball. But in this recent stretch of losing, the most the defense has allowed was 23 points. Getting Vic Beasley back healthy is a big deal and he had a sack on Sunday. That could be big moving forward. If the Atlanta offense were in any way playing characteristically, no one would even notice the defense. They've been fairly average, which is usually more than good enough. But with the offense going into the tank, the shortcomings on this side of the ball stand out more. And truth be told, they haven't been bad, though more big plays would really go a long way.

Back-to-back losses have the Jets at 3-4. The loss to Miami on Sunday was tough as they led 28-14 early in the fourth with Miami playing with their backup QB. Having only failed to cover two spreads this season, the Jets have been a surprise. And the last two losses were close, with the Patriots loss being a controversial one and a late FG spoiling a win for the Jets this past Sunday. QB Josh McCown has been making some things happen on offense and he has 7 touchdowns through the air in the last three games. In a lot of ways, they are overachieving, taking a depleted roster and getting a lot out of it so far this season. A little more clutch on the defensive side of the ball would have gone a long way last Sunday, but for team that many thought would struggle to win more than two games, the Jets have been pretty good.

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McCown threw for three touchdowns on Sunday. Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins each caught one. They also got good production from Matt Forte, who had 41 yards both running and receiving. Bilal Powell added 43 yards on the ground and 40 aerially. Unfortunately, they couldn't sustain many drives in the second half, allowing for the Miami comeback to occur. Still, the 28 points they scored tops their previous season-high of 23 points. It still wasn't enough and against this Atlanta offense, they might need more this week.

The Jets' defense wasn't all that clutch on Sunday, playing three solid quarters before falling apart some in the last quarter. They get really good play in the middle with Demario Davis and young Darron Lee. Their run-defense hasn't been very sharp this season and the pass-rush is sometimes a bit lethargic. Safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye had moments on Sunday, but this "D" will be looking for a more-complete effort on Sunday. Sometimes, they're really good and in other games, they just don't deliver. Such is life when you're a young team trying to make headway in this crazy league.

On one hand, you feel inclined to give Atlanta a little extra credit from an urgency standpoint. A defending conference champion that can't let things keep going the way they are, you'd think they will come up with some right answers this week. Then again, that reasoning could have been applied this past week and it would have gotten you nowhere. This is an easier spot, however, albeit on the road. We see both offenses having success. We're taking the "over."

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting that the Falcons vs. Jets game will go over 46.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Falcons vs. Jets game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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