The Atlanta Falcons are still the team to beat in the NFC. They took the Green Bay Packers to the woodshed last week, winning 34-23 as 3-point favorites in their first game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. That final score is misleading; Atlanta went up 31-7 early in the third quarter before giving up a couple of touchdowns in the fourth – as if their fans needed any reminders about what happened at Super Bowl LI.

The Falcons (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) are back on the road this Sunday to take on the Detroit Lions (2-0 SU and ATS), kicking off at 1 PM ET on FOX, and this could be another high-scoring game under the roof at Ford Field. Detroit’s offense looks much better now that quarterback Matthew Stafford has some more protection in front of him. Unfortunately for the Leos, their defense has already been thinned by injuries, including linebacker Jarrad Davis – their first-round pick out of Florida. Davis is in concussion protocol after getting drilled during Monday’s 24-10 win over the New York Giants (–3 at home). That, plus the short week for Detroit, could make the Falcons the right choice as 3-point road favorites.


Hart Foundation

The Giants (0-2 SU and ATS) are also on a short week heading into Sunday’s NFC East matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles (1-1 SU and ATS), another 1 PM ET start on FOX, and bettors have their eye on the Eagles as a 6-point home chalk. This says more about how poorly the G-Men have played this season; Eli Manning ranks No. 30 at his position with a 26.5 QBR, and he’s already eaten eight sacks behind an offensive line that lost right tackle Bobby Hart to an ankle injury in the Detroit game. Hart isn’t expected to be ready in time to play Sunday.

Philadelphia has taken a step forward this year on offense, with sophomore quarterback Carson Wentz (52.8 QBR, No. 16 overall) looking more comfortable despite absorbing eight sacks of his own. But their secondary took a beating in last week’s 27-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs (–6 at home). Safeties Rodney McLeod and Jaylen Watkins both suffered hamstring injuries; fellow safety Corey Graham went into the Chiefs game with a bad hammy, and all three sat out Wednesday’s practice. With cornerback Ronald Darby (ankle) not expected back until October, this could be the opportunity Manning and WR Odell Beckham Jr. have been waiting for – if Beckham isn’t limited by his own ankle problems. He was held to four catches for 36 yards in his season debut against Detroit.


*Odds as of September 21, 2017