The New England Patriots opened as 2-point underdogs as they visit the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4.
After a three-week tour of the shitty residue on the bottom of the league’s shoe, the Pats will finally face a quality team in Week 4. Color me concerned about this one. There are some similarities between the two teams, particularly the average defense and quality quarterback. New England’s offensive line and defensive line is a bit better, but the important elements of Atlanta’s passing game are exponentially better. Playing on grass, that probably evens out. Playing on turf in a dome, that probably spells trouble for the Pats.
There is a perfectly reasonable blueprint for a New England win – no turnovers, put up 7s in the red zone, beat the hell out of Tony Gonzalez on the line and don’t let Julio Jones get behind the secondary. With Roddy White still a bit gimpy and Steven Jackson parked on the sideline, it’s not out of the question that the Pats could pull off the upset. But if you look back at that list, it’s a tough sled to accomplish most of the items on that to-do list.
This game will be the first of three measuring-stick games for the Pats. I’m a bit concerned that they won’t measure up in this one. I’m taking the Falcons and laying the points.
Other Lines I Like
Saints (-6) vs. Dolphins
The Dolphins deserve credit for playing well through three weeks. And Ryan Tannehill’s wife is smokin’ hot. But at some point, the bloom is going to come off this rose. The Saints are extremely tough in the Superdome.
Eagles (+12) @ Broncos
You know what happens every time the media starts gobbling at the nuts of a quality team who has played nearly flawless through three games? They usually get knocked down a few pegs by a plucky team that matches up well. Denver coming off a short week, the Eagles coming off a long one. This spells trap.
2013 Record ATS: 4-4-1
Record ATS since 2010: 111-103-5