NFL Football Betting: Atlanta Falcons at Oakland Raiders

NFL Football Betting:  Atlanta Falcons at Oakland Raiders

Something of a strange non-conference affair between the NFC Atlanta Falcons and AFC Oakland Raiders. It’s more strange for the Falcons in terms of scheduling and travel, forcing them to take a long trip to the West Coast before heading back East for divisional games at New Orleans and home against Carolina. It is the first game of a tough sequence for the Falcons where they’ll play 4 of their next five games on the road. It won’t get any easier–they’ve got their longtime rivals the New Orleans Saints up next with the next two road games downright brutal matchups at Denver and Seattle.

The mood surrounding these teams couldn’t be more different at this point. The Falcons were hoping to return to winning side of the ledger this year after an 8-8 season in Dan Quinn’s second year at the helm. That might have been ‘false hope’ as they looked awful against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week losing 31-24 at home in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. There’s a lot of enthusiasm in Oakland among the players and fans–despite efforts of ownership to move the team to Las Vegas. The team should have even more confidence after an impressive come from behind victory at New Orleans last week.

Very quietly, the Raiders have become one of the most physical teams in the league on both sides of the ball. That’s bad news for Atlanta who at their best haven’t been particularly good on the road (6-10 ATS L3 years). They’re also on a 3-5 SU/2-6 ATS run in non-conference games. The Falcons are at their worst against teams that ‘beat them up’ on the offensive and defensive lines and the Raiders should manhandle Atlanta here. The Falcons have other issues. Matt Ryan has never been a good road quarterback and the Falcons are on an 18-31 run with him as a starter. Derek Carr improved dramatically last year and should have a good day against a thin Atlanta secondary. And lest we forget the Raiders’ home games are *still* a showcase for the most intimidating, enthusiastic and often entertaining fans in sports. Raiders win by double digits.