With more options for NFL picks, we can look at both the side and totals of these two contests and make our determination on what we prefer, or at least what I prefer
Anyways, here is my breakdown of key elements against the NFL odds.
Bettors Backing Eagles and I Will To
I have read countless articles and listened to podcasts from various experts go on about how much improved Atlanta is this season and they could very well win the NFC South. Seeing this division almost always has a new champion each year and the fact Carolina was 7-8-1 to be crowned champions in 2014, not a stretch to imagine supposed new champ could arise.
However, I still look at their offensive and defensive lines and do not see great improvement by the Falcons and while Dan Quinn brings new energy to the team as coach, historically, first-year coaches do not deliver great results.
Philadelphia mauled the opposition in first three NFLX games, leaving one to wonder are the Eagles a mirage or being the aggressor like Sean Payton and New Orleans was in 2009 when they did the same thing in Super Bowl season. Philly has talent and if Sam Bradford can play injury-free, the Eagles will score and now have DeMarcus Murray. Philly is a strong 9-4-1 ATS against Atlanta and as this article was posted, 80 percent had their money on the Eagles, which I agree with as an football handicapper.
First Contest Monday Night Total
Heritage released the total on the Eagles and Falcons at 53 and it flew all the way to 55.5, before settling back Sunday morning at 54.5. Clearly, the general consensus is both teams will move the ball up and down the field and big plays will be a part of this NFC showdown.
On one hand you can understand that with four new starters on offense, Atlanta will have some issues, despite the talent on the perimeter which could limit their output. However, on defense, the same is also true with six new defensive starters for the Dirty Birds and hard to imagine there will not be some problems with Philadelphia's potential explosiveness.
The Eagles rebuilt there secondary, which gave up 30 touchdown passes and a league-high 72 pass plays of 20 yards or more last season, will be tested right out of the gate by the Falcons and their two dangerous wideouts, Julio Jones and Roddy White.
NFL Picks: Eagles & Falcons UNDER 54.5 at BetOnline
Vikings Better Team in Nightcap, But You Don't Know
Minnesota went from a 3.5-point underdog to -2.5 point favorites, as many football bettors are convinced San Francisco could be among the worst teams in football and the Vikings are a team on the rise.
If Minnesota is going to win and cover, they will have throw, because the 49ers main strength on defense is stopping the run and they will no doubt be focusing on Adrian Peterson. That suggests QB Teddy Bridgewater will have to come through in a big way.
San Francisco will rely on veteran players like Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith and tight end Vernon Davis to help out Colin Kaepernick. Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush will try and fill the void with Frank Gore's departure. The defense is essentially starting over, after being plagued by unlikely retirements and legal issues and the best they can hope for is LB NaVorro Bowman is close to the same player before his knee injury to lead the defense.
Though nearly 60 percent are on Minnesota, I will take a flyer on the Niners to step up with strong showing.
Best Bet on Vikes and Niners
Everything points to conservative game plans from both head coaches, looking to keep their quarterbacks out of harm's way by running the ball and moving the chains. The total opened at 41 and despite better than 80 percent of wagers placed on the OVER, the number has only budged to 41.5.
NFL Picks: Vikings & 49ers UNDER 41.5 at The Greek