2005 Season NFL Football Past Picks
October 24, 2005
This pick was released to clients on December 31, 1969 at 9:00PM ET.
New York at Atlanta
Monday 10/24 09:00 PM Eastern
1 unit on Game Total UNDER 40.5 -110 (risk 1 to return 1.91) RESULT: LOSS
The big favorites have been coming through this year in record numbers. Yesterday's covers by both Indianapolis at -15 and Washington at -13 (my first big favorite play in years) have caused this line to jump from -7 to -8 throughout the morning. In years-past, betting against the public has proved very profitable but not this year. Again tonight we have 70%+ of the money coming in on Atlanta. This one is another tough call tonight. The Jets are quite overmatched tonight. My power ratings peg the Jets as one of the five worst teams in the league. Atlanta is middle-of-the-road. I believe the Falcons remain a bit overrated. The Jets offense has struggled, no matter who is at QB. They are averaging 13 points per game and they took another major hit this week with Pro Bowl center Kevin Mawae getting injured (now out for the season). That can't be good for Vinny. Atlanta again leads the league in rushing at 185 yards per game. New York has been horrible against the run. For these reasons, and because Atlanta is very tough at home, I can't back the Jets tonight. But, laying eight points is very tough too, given that Atlanta is 1-9 ATS in weeks 5 through 9 over the last 3 seasons and underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points that are struggling offensively facing an average defensive team are 48-15 since 1983. The reason for this is simple - teams, even bad ones, break out of slumps eventually, especially when lines get inflated after several weeks of horrible offensive play. Let's instead look to the total. Atlanta is off four very good offensive performances. Over those four games, they have averaged 29 points. Their last two games their defense stumbled resulting in games in which 59 and 65 total points were scored respectively. As a result, three things have happened. One, the public expects a high scoring game here. Two, the Jets have spent the week figuring out how to contain Atlanta's high-powered offense. They know that if they are to have any shot tonight, they need to play great defense. And three, the Falcons have focused on improving their defense this week. Their offense is humming so naturally the coaching staff and offensive players are feeling good about that side of the ball. But, two weeks in a row giving up 31 points is cause for major concern. You can bet Atlanta's efforts this week have been focused on defense. In the end, I expect a better-than-expected defensive performance by both clubs as a result of the above events. Games with a total between 35.5 and 42 points featuring a winning team off a road win have gone UNDER 65% of the time over the past five seasons. Also, games in that same range featuring a winning team off a road win against a division rival, playing a losing team, have gone UNDER 72% of the time over the past ten seasons. One star on the UNDER here.