Week 7 - Monday Night Football
We have one last game before it's time to move on to Week 8 tonight in Atlanta where the visiting New York Giants are looking to get the ship turned around. The truth is, neither of these teams are off to the type of start they had hoped for, with only three total combined wins. Our paid subscribers know this one is in the yellow zone for us, as they received all picks on Saturday, but we wanted to share some of our thoughts with the broader audience.
We have the Atlanta Falcons as the better overall team and see them winning the game by 4 to 10-points. As published, the spread on this game in the Las Vegas SuperContest was 5.5 points in favor of the Falcons. When we have some of our expected outcomes that fall below the projected spread, we can't only listen to the outputs saying it's GreenZone, so we have to stay true to our guns on that one. With the line coming down to -4 at some points today, we did debate pushing this one back in the GreenZone before ultimately deciding our approach would be to get some live action if the line gets down to -3 or better.
The main thing that is having our modeling return some valuations where the Falcons don't cover is their very very bad defense. They have had major key injuries, but the reality is they are one of the worst-3 defensive teams in the league, struggling to stop the run and the pass almost equally. Atlanta, once again, has a strong performing offense and Matt Ryan has plenty of options at WR to chuck the ball all over the yard to. The run game for Atlanta hasn't been great, but with a top-5 passing game, they can still generate more than enough offense to win games. Again, only issue is that is only a part of actually winning games...you still have to get some stops.
New York hasn't had the luxury of only being bad in one phase of the game so far in 2018, they haven't really done anything that well which makes a lot of sense when you see the 1-5 win/loss record. Eli Manning is taking a lot of heat for being washed up, but their offense has actually been about league average. Their defense has quietly been holding them back from success even more so and there isn't really any one reason for what is on paper a decent defensive roster. Both of these teams have the makings of what could eventually be contender type rosters, they just aren't getting it done on a consistent basis right now. If the Giants can establish a running game tonight with electric rookie RB Saquan Barkley, it may be difficult for Atlanta to pull away.
If you have to pick a side or can't stay away from some Monday Night Football, take the Falcs. However, you'd be better served waiting to see if you can get that down in the -3 or less territory after a slow start.