NFL Picks: Falcons to Soar vs. Ravens in Week 7

Swinging Johnson

Monday, October 13, 2014 6:29 PM GMT

Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 6:29 PM GMT

Both teams boast top five scoring offenses but while the Ravens come home after a dominating victory over the Bucs, the Falcons must hit the highway after losing to the Bears. So which team is worthy of being included as one of our NFL picks this Sunday?

Atlanta Falcons (2-4 SU, 2-4 ATS)
Matt Ryan was under duress for much of the afternoon after a Bears swarming defensive front relentlessly applied pressure and brought the Falcons quarterback to the ground on several occasions throughout and accounted for four sacks on the afternoon. Ryan’s offensive line was no match and his receivers let him down as well with five drops that could have shifted the momentum and perhaps turned this pivotal home defeat into a celebratory victory. In addition, those NFL punters who backed the Dirty Birds as three-point home chalk in NFL odds were no doubt deflated when their team went into the half down 13-3 which ultimately ended in a 27-13 defeat.

Atlanta depends on the trusty hands of Roddy White and Julio Jones to make things happen offensively but a slew of drops and an aversion to the running game ensured that this result would depend on the Falcons defense – their 29th ranked defense in terms of scoring allowed. Obviously that is not a recipe for success and Atlanta will have to make every strike count this coming Sunday against a Baltimore Ravens offense that has been prolific this season under Joe Flacco’s guardianship.

 

Baltimore Ravens (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS)
The Ravens vacationed in sunny Tampa Bay last weekend and casually dismantled the Bucs between high fives and slaps on the back. Baltimore may have looked like a square play as three-point road chalk in NFL odds but when the whistle blew at the end of the first-half the game was already over and Joe Q. Public was vindicated as the Ravens held a whopping 38-0 advantage. The second-half was garbage time and Baltimore flew out of Tampa Bay with a 48-17 whitewashing of the Bucs and an easy winner for all those that included them in their NFL picks.

Joe Flacco was brilliant last week as his five TD’s and 306 passing yards will attest. He struck paydirt to four different receivers, with Torrey Smith catching a pair of touchdowns, and was 21-of-29 with no picks or sacks. Even running back Justin Forsett kept the chains moving on the ground with 111 yards on 14 carries for a 7.9 rushing yards/carry average. However, that stat is a bit deceiving considering it includes a 52 yard scamper on the second play from scrimmage. Defensively the Ravens held Bucs quarterback Mike Glennon in check but did allow a pair of passing touchdowns in the second-half.

 

Free NFL Pick
Only the sharpest of sharps are going to look at this game and be able to lucidly and objectively give any credence to the visiting Falcons who will soar (well, maybe soar is the wrong verb, how about straggle?) into M&T Bank Stadium off a resoundingly poor performance. But this is the National Football Lottery and things change fast. After perusing the NFL odds I see that the Ravens are touchdown favorites with 5Dimes dealing 7 ½ in NFL odds as of this writing.

At the risk of trying to sound too sharp and going all contrarian simply to distinguish myself from the beer chugging masses who bet every favorite like they’ve read tomorrow’s newspapers I will say to you that the Falcons similarly destroyed the hapless Bucs 56-14 in Week 3 so don’t be so quick to write them off. Atlanta faced a good Chicago team that was on their game last week while the Ravens played a bunch of cubicle warriors masquerading as NFL players. Let’s watch the Great Unwashed Masses overreact to this and take advantage of a good number in our free picks.

NFL Picks: Atlanta +7 ½ at 5Dimes.com.

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