NFL Monday Night Football Preview & Free Pick- Week 1
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons
Pointspread: Philadelphia -3
Total Line: 55
In the first of two Monday Night Football matchups in Week 1 of the new NFL season, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons square-off at the Georgia Dome in a 6:55 p.m. (ET) start on ESPN. BetOnline has listed the Eagles as three-point road favorites with the NFL betting odds on the total set at 55.
The Eagles could be the most intriguing NFL team heading into the 2015 regular season given all the roster changes on both sides of the ball. Sam Bradford is now the team’s starting quarterback and former Dallas running back DeMarco Murray was signed as a free agent to anchor the ground game. The entire defensive secondary has be rebuilt form the ground up starting with the addition of Byron Maxwell as a free agent from Seattle.
The early results from the preseason have been encouraging with three lopsided victories against Indianapolis, Baltimore and Green Bay in which the Eagles scored a total of 115 points. Head coach Chip Kelly has already earned a reputation for his up-tempo style of play in his first two seasons at the helm and his motto has always been to score as many points as possible.
Atlanta is trying to turn things around after winning just four games in 2013 and six games last season. The one constant with this team whether it is winning or losing is the ability to move the ball through the air behind veteran quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones. Last season, this duo accounted for 104 receptions, 1,593 receiving yards and six touchdowns. As an added plus for Monday night, wide receiver Roddy White is now listed as probable.
Overall, the Falcons were ranked fifth in the NFL last season in passing yards per game, but their defense fell all the way to last when it came to stopping the pass. This unit also had its issues stopping the run and it ended the 2014 season ranked 27th in the league in points allowed (26.1).
Looking back at some of the past betting trends in this matchup, Philadelphia has a 10-3-1 record against the spread over the last 14 meetings. While I really like the Eagles’ chances to win and cover on Monday night, my top pick is still the OVER on the total line. Kelly and Bradford have to be just dying to take this new-look offense out on the open road and the Georgia Dome is the perfect place to do it.
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