Bet Falcons +3 vs. Texans in NFL Preseason Week 2

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, August 14, 2014 5:10 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 5:10 PM UTC

While the Cardinals blanked the Texans in the first week of the preseason, the Falcons were able to come away with a win and cover. Now against one another, the NFL Odds have the Falcons as +3 underdogs in Houston this week, with a total of 40 points.

Falcons’ toughness
There’s a television show on right now that gives you an in depth look at the Falcons’ training camp this offseason, and it’s a great tool to see what kind of philosophy the Falcons are going into the season with. This year, after going 0-4 in the preseason and 4-12 in the regular season in 2013, the Falcons are trying to toughen up in order to compete in the NFC this year.

While they won’t be in the game long, it would not surprise me to see Matt Ryan and the starters play most or all of the first quarter against the Texans’ defense. They will want to put the ball in the air, as well as get some looks for rookie sensation, Devonta Freeman. Freeman ran for 50 yards on 10 carries last week, and he should get some more looks this week with Steven Jackson still banged up.

With the Falcons’ new defense likely playing some more this week as well, the Texans don’t look so good in this spot as -3 favorites. Their offense is still very much a work in progress, and while their defense does look like it has some upside this season, the starters wont’ be in the game long enough to see it affect this game. Plus, the Falcons’ starters on offense will likely get one or two scores before leaving the game, and that could be enough against the only team yet to score this preseason.

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The Sharp Pick
Even with the total of 40 points, this could be a lower scoring game in Houston. Assuming neither team plays their starters more than the first quarter, the total of 40 might be a good value for the under. However even though it seems like a good value, totals in the preseason are tricky. Instead, the underdogs seem like a value if indeed this is a lower scoring game. If the Falcons can jump on top early, the Texans’ don’t have the depth on offense to play catch up with their second and third stringers.

In his preseason career with the Falcons, Smith has only won once in Week 2 of the preseason, but this year seems much more desperate for Smith and his coaching staff. With the type of talent on this roster offensively, they should be above .500 every year, and anything but might cost Smith his job.

Winning in the preseason is not something that gives you much job security, but it might install some confidence in Smith from ownership. So even though the starters won’t be in long, the other guys will play to win. The NFL Odds having the Falcons as +3 underdogs in this game is severely overvaluing the Texans. I am on the dogs in this one, and I’m banking on Atlanta jumping ahead and not looking back.

NFL Pick: Falcons +3



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