ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 18: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons passes against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Georgia Dome on September 18, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Atlanta is a beast at home in September, at least against the spread. And the Broncos have been very tough as an underdog. Two trends clash in the Week 2 Monday Nighter.
There is something about being at home in Week 2 that suits the Atlanta Falcons and that should make Denver Bronco bettors nervous as the teams clash in the Monday Nighter.
The past five Week 2 games when the Falcons played at home, they are 5-0 ATS. They have also been a terrific home bet in the month of September as their 10-1 SU, 9-2 ATS marks would suggest.
So why only 44 per cent of the betting action Monday on the Falcons? Perhaps the threat of Peyton Manning repeating his Week 1 magic and perhaps the Broncos recent toughness as an underdog (6-2 ATS past eight games in this role).
It should be an exciting quarterback battle as the Broncos head to Atlanta. The Falcons opened as a 3-point favorite at home at most shops tracked by OddsShark.com and it has held steady throughout. (Get updates on line moves via Twitter).
Different jersey, same Manning. Going up against a team always among the NFL's best on defense in the Pittsburgh Steelers, Manning was masterful going 19/26 with 253 yards of passing and two touchdowns to lead Denver to a 31-19 win as a 2.5-point home favorite last week.
Like it did in 2011, the defense also looked strong, holding Pittsburgh to under 300 yards of total offense and coming up with a huge pick-six to seal the game in the final two minutes.
There has been a ton of buzz all preseason around this Atlanta Falcons passing attack, and it didn't disappoint in Week One. Going into Kansas City as a 2-point road favorite, the Falcons won 40-24 fueled by Matt Ryan's three touchdown passes and 299 passing yards.
This game will serve as a great litmus test for both teams. Both of these passing attacks figure to be strong all year long with elite quarterbacks at the helm. How will the defenses hold up?
Atlanta has the depth to fill in for lost cornerback Brent Grimes, but losing your star defender can be emotionally deflating; slowing down Peyton Manning would help lessen the blow.
In a game that on paper seems to close to call, a general rule is to go with the home team. This might be a particularly good rule in this game. Denver is just 6-13 SU in its last 19 road games, and Atlanta is 26-6 SU at home over the last four seasons.
Getting that kind of a track record and giving up only a field goal is a pretty good deal.
PICK: Atlanta -3