The Broncos and the Falcons both got off to rough starts this season with Denver losing its first three games and Atlanta falling in its first five, but both teams are riding a little momentum entering Sunday’s game coming off wins in two of their last three games. As both teams try to keep the momentum alive on Sunday, the Falcons enter the game as a four-point favorite with the game total set at 50 points on SportsBetting.com.
Date: Sunday, Nov. 8 – 1:00 PM ET
Odds: Falcons -4
After an 0-3 start, the Broncos now have three wins in their last four games and are suddenly in the wild card conversation as they near the midpoint in the season. Coming off a comeback victory in what was essentially a must-win game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Denver is looking to keep that momentum going against Atlanta this week.
Quarterback Drew Lock shined on Sunday in perhaps the best game of his season so far, leading a furious comeback that included three fourth-quarter touchdown passes. Lock finished the day 26-for-41 passing for 248 yards and three touchdowns with just one interception. Lock’s emergence, coupled with consistency from running backs Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon, has the Denver offense looking the most potent it’s been all season.
The offense was the story of the game in last week’s win, but the Denver defense has been the strength of this team so far this season, even despite injuries to key players. Even in Sunday’s win, where the Broncos gave up 30 points and 485 yards of total offense, the defense made plays when it mattered, holding the Chargers to three second-half field goals and forcing two interceptions, one of which came in the end zone. That’s been a theme for the Broncos as their defense ranks sixth in the league in third-down conversion percentage (36.0) and third in red zone touchdown percentage (48).
Denver has been able to rely on that defense all season, but with the offense coming along, as well, this Broncos team could be dangerous going forward.
This has been a season to forget for the Falcons as they enter Sunday’s game with a 2-6 record with three of those losses coming in heartbreaking fashion in the final seconds of the game. Atlanta was able to fend off a late surge from Carolina last week to notch just its second victory of the season.
Despite the poor record, Atlanta has one of the best passing attacks in the NFL, ranking second in the league with 292.4 passing yards per game with quarterback Matt Ryan topping the NFL with 2,462 passing yards and 12 touchdowns. Between Ryan and elite receivers Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones, the Falcon passing attack has been difficult to stop even during the team’s struggles.
As good as the Falcons have been on offense, they’ve had their struggles on the defensive side of the ball, allowing four of their eight opponents to score 30 or more points this season. However, Atlanta seems to have corrected many of the issues on that side of the ball of late, as opponents have averaged just 21.5 points per game over the last four games. That defense was key in Sundays win as the Falcons recorded three sacks and an interception while holding the Panthers to just 2-of-10 on third downs.
If the defense can show up consistently, the Falcons certainly have the offensive firepower to be a dangerous team.
The record might not show it, but the falcons are the better team in this game. The Atlanta defense has been the Achilles heel for the team all season, but it looks like those problems are largely behind the Falcons as they’ve posted four solid defensive performances in a row.
Expect the high-powered Atlanta offense is going to score its share of points on Sunday with that much-improved Falcon defense doing enough to stifle the Bronco offense that’s also struggled to get going at times this year.
Pick: Falcons -4