The Atlanta Falcons are off to a 1-3 start both straight up and against the spread to start this season, but they'll try to get back on track Monday night when they host the New York Jets.
The Falcons were a 9.5-point favorite for Monday night at most shops tracked by OddsShark.com.
After losing just three regular season games all season last year, the Falcons have already matched that loss total just four games into this season. All three of the losses have been close, though, with two of them coming down to their opponents (New England and New Orleans) making goal line stands to seal their wins.
The Falcons head toward the bye week desperately needing a win to avoid a 1-4 start. Lucky for them, they have been very tough in pre-bye week games (7-2 ATS past nine seasons).
Teams don't get points for being close in the NFL, however. Atlanta's passing attack ranks fourth in the NFL with 316.5 yards per game, but has led the offense to just 23.5 points per game. The defense is allowing 26 points per game.
The New York Jets got off to a strong 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS start, but took a step backwards last week in a 38-13 blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith has struggled on the road this season with an 0-2 record and an ugly one-to-five touchdown-to-interception ratio. His four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles) were the key issue in New York's loss to Tennessee.
With Atlanta's excellent home record in recent years and the Jets' struggles on the road, the Falcons seem like a pretty safe pick on the moneyline Monday night. But can the Falcons cover the 10-point spread? The Falcons are 12-0 in their last 12 games as a double-digit favorite, but are just 4-7-1 ATS over that stretch.
The Jets, meanwhile, are 0-6 in their last six games as a double-digit underdog, but are 4-2 ATS in those six games.
New York's defense has looked great this season and Atlanta has had trouble finishing drives with touchdowns. In the end, however, the outcome of this game will likely come down to the play of Geno Smith. If he can limit his mistakes and turnovers, the Jets should be able to keep it close.
If he keeps turning the ball over, though, Atlanta will likely take advantage.
Monday Night Football Pick: Falcons | Computer Prediction: 18-18 Falcons (which would be a Jets cover and UNDER bet)