NFL Week 1 Thursday Night Football Betting (ATL - PHI)
by DS WilliamsonThe Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons open the 2018-2019 NFL Season when the teams clash in NFL Week 1 Thursday Night Football betting on Thursday, Sep. 9. Check out odds, analysis, and a score prediction for Falcons at Eagles!
NFL Week 1 Thursday Night Football Betting Matchup Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia - 8:20pm ET PHI -1.5 (44.5)Falcons Offense vs Eagles Defense We don’t know yet if Atlanta’s offense has improved from the 2017 unit that averaged 22.1 points per game. What we do know is that major changes hit Philadelphia’s defense after last season. Cornerback Patrick Robinson (4 interceptions and 39 solo tackles) bolted to New Orleans. Defensive tackle Beau Allen, who provided depth along the D-Line, signed with Tampa Bay. Not only that, but the NFL suspended linebacker Nigel Bradham for the first two weeks.
Unless Atlanta offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian doesn’t call the right plays at the right time, running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman should take advantage of Bradham’s absence. The rushing attack should set up quarterback Matt Ryan, who got a new target after the Falcons drafted Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley in Round 1 of the draft.
Eagles Offense vs Falcons Defense Although Philadelphia lists starting quarterback Carson Wentz as doubtful, he won’t play. Super Bowl MPV Nick Foles must carry the Eagles until Wentz is healthy. Foles completed 23 of 30 for 246 yards in Philly’s 15-10 win over Atlanta in last year's playoffs.
Foles might be the best backup quarterback in the NFL but he didn’t look sharp this preseason. He completed a combined 16 of 26 for 127 yards with no touchdown passes and 2 interceptions. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery won’t play, and the Eagles listed running backs Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement as probable.
The Eagles offense has too many questions to get the edge over Atlanta’s defense for the purposes of NFL Week 1 Thursday Night Football betting, which is why hordes of public bettors are flocking to the Falcons. To his credit, Foles was brilliant during the team's Super Bowl run last winter...but you could say the same thing about Joe Flacco when he put up historic numbers through the 2012 NFL playoffs.
Betting Analysis and Score Prediction Trends favor both teams. Atlanta is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 Thursday night games. Philadelphia is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Week 1 games. Philly opened as a -4 favorite, though. The line has plummeted to Philadelphia -1.5.
Oddsmakers feel that because of injuries to both quarterback Carson Wentz and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, and Nigel Bradham’s suspension, Philadelphia won’t score enough points for anything more than a 1-point cover. Atlanta’s offense, meanwhile, should score more than it’s 2017 average. By game time, Atlanta might be the favorites.
The Falcons appear poised to beat Philadelphia because of the Eagles’ injuries. If Sarkisian and Ryan are on the same page from Atlanta’s first drive, the Falcons should win by at least 6 points. There are big questions about whether or not Sarkisian can get his act together after the team suffered through his failings last season. But there are even more concerns about whether or not the Eagles have the right personnel to win a game.
Score Prediction: Falcons 27, Eagles 21
NFL Week 1 Thursday Night Football Betting Free Pick - Atlanta ML, +1.5 and OVER