September 6, 2018
Tonight is the official start of the 2018-2019 NFL season and SPS has released a pick for tonight's contest!
Take Atlanta Falcons +1 spread against Philadelphia Eagles for 3% of the bankroll.
The 2018 NFL regular season kicks off tonight when the Atlanta Falcons invade Lincoln Financial Field to take on the defending Superbowl Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles. This is a rematch of the division playoff game that was won by Philadelphia by a 15-10 final score. Atlanta managed just 281 total yards in that loss and took a real step back on offense last season with first-year offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian calling the plays. With a year under his belt and much more time for the offensive players to become accustomed to his method of coaching / play calling, we expect Atlanta to be primed for a bounce back season, which should start tonight against Philadelphia.
Starting QB, Carson Wentz, remains out for this contest as he continues to recover from an ACL injury suffered late in 2017. That means that Nick Foles will be under center tonight and considering he is the reigning Superbowl MVP, many are expecting him to regain the magic that he found a season ago. That being said, Foles did look rough in the Week 3 preseason dress rehearsal, tossing two picks and getting sacked three times while also losing a fumble. Foles won't have the element of surprise that he did a season ago and there will be a target on his back as long as he is under center. There is a reason why he has been a routine backup QB in his career and not at the forefront. Last season was a magical year for Philadelphia, and yes, they managed to win the Superbowl, but it would be absurd to think that this team is just as good with Foles at the helm, especially without one of their top wideouts, as WR Alshon Jeffrey is out of tonight's contest.
We also believe the Atlanta offense has been severely underrated given their poor performance a season ago. Despite their "down season", they still managed to rank in the Top 10 in nearly all offensive categories. They should be much better this season, with another year under Sarkisian's system, but also due to the addition of Calvin Ridley. Ridley was a playmaker at Alabama and despite being a rookie, offers another playmaking option opposite Julio Jones. We simply don't see the Eagles offense being able to keep pace with that of Atlanta's tonight.
The Falcons' defense also doesn't get the respect that the deserve. Dan Quinn has done a masterful job of turning the Falcons into one of the top defensive teams in the league. Atlanta was 9th in total defense and 8th in scoring defense a season ago. Given how young they were on that side of the ball and how much talent they have coming back, there’s no reason to think they won’t continue to get better.
This is a brand-new season and we expect a lot of changes to take place. It's customary for questions to be asked surrounding defending Superbowl Champions in their first game defending their title and expectations of a "Superbowl hangover" are not too far-fetched as no defending Superbowl Champ has covered the spread in the first game of the season dating back to the 2014 opener. We don't believe that trend will be broken tonight as the Falcons make a statement by spoiling the celebration of the Eagles with an outright victory.
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