Oct 042013

New York Jets (2-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-3)

Ordinarily, the Falcons dominate at home and ordinarily they dominate off of a loss, at least in the Matt Ryan era. In which started by Matt Ryan, the Falcons are 34-8 straight up at home, including 25-16 ATS. Off of a loss, Matt Ryan is 18-5 ATS. However, they were at home off of a loss last week and they still lost to the Patriots, in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score would have suggested. Though the Falcons lost by just 7, the Falcons’ win probability was about 1% with 6:18 left to go in the 4th quarter. It took an onside kick recovery to even make it competitive.

It’s very, very likely the Falcons just aren’t that good. I had them going 8-8 at the beginning of the season (thanks to a tougher schedule, off-season losses, and the fact that they’d have less “luck” recovering fumbles and winning close games). However, thanks to the Falcons’ injuries (Sean Weatherspoon, Steven Jackson, Kroy Biermann, Roddy White, Sam Baker), they might be 8-8 at best to finish this season. This is probably as bad of a Falcon team as we’ve seen as 2007, the final year before Matt Ryan/Mike Smith.

Given that, I don’t think they deserve to be 10 point favorites here, even at home and off of a loss. Besides, they are just 7-6 ATS under Matt Ryan as home favorites of a touchdown or more and have won just 1 home game by more than 10 points in their last 12 home games. The Jets, their opponents this week, aren’t terrible. They can’t move the ball offensively and having Santonio Holmes out and Stephen Hill being a game time decision at best won’t help. However, they have a fantastic defense that has allowed opponents to move the chains on 61% of chances, the best rate in the NFL.

They’ll be able to frustrate Matt Ryan all game, especially with a poor offensive line and running game unable to take the pressure off of him and a limited Roddy White, who re-aggravated his ankle injury against New England. They have one of the best front 7s and defensive fronts in the league and can absolutely dominate this game in the trenches.  The Jets also have a situational trend on their side. Teams are 90-55 ATS as road dogs off a road loss since 2008 and cover at about a 65% rate historically, no matter what year you use to cut off your sample. It’s not a big play on the Jets because of the situational trends on the Falcons’ side and the Jets’ injuries, but they should be the right side. This line is too big. The Falcons are my Survivor Pick, however, in a tough week for Survivor Picks.

Atlanta Falcons 20 New York Jets 13 Survivor Pick

Pick against spread: NY Jets +10

Confidence: Low

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