Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons: Monday Night Football Betting Odds and Predictions

Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons
Monday, 9/17/12, 8:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Atlanta -4
Current Betting Line:  Atlanta -3
Opening Total:  49
Current Total:  52.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Falcons Panthers NFL Game Preview
The Atlanta Falcons need to use RB Michael Turner to slow down Denver’s pass rush on ESPN’s Monday Night Football

Denver came away with a 31-19 home win over the Pittsburgh Steelers as 2.5-point favorites in its season opener, as quarterback Peyton Manning showed the world that he’s ready to compete for a Super Bowl after a 20-month layoff.  “It’s just one game,” commented Manning afterwards.  “I try to keep it in perspective.”  The franchise has been tremendous in the first month of the regular season since 1996, posting a 41-18 record, which is tops among all NFL teams.  Denver is 7-6 ATS as a road underdog the last two-plus seasons, something to consider when making your pro football picks.

The Broncos are appearing on ESPN’s Monday Night Football for the 21st consecutive year, while they’ve gone 27-35-1 all-time when playing in the primetime event.  It’s important to note that the squad is 7-25 in those contests when playing away from the Mile High City.  Denver’s schedule is one of the more difficult ones in the league, as it ranked second before the season started behind only the New York Giants.  Their opponents compiled a 139-117 record last season.

Atlanta also earned a season-opening victory, coming away with a 40-24 win over the Kansas City Chiefs as one-point road favorites.  The Falcons offense is certainly explosive, but they need to get back to running the football with Michael Turner, as he finished with just 32 yards on 11 carries in the opener.  “We want to be able to run the ball effectively,” stated Falcons head coach Mike Smith.  The offensive line needs to also prepare for one of the league’s best pass rushes.  Atlanta is 16-8 ATS as a favorite the last two-plus seasons.

The Falcons have won 26 of their 30 regular-season home games with Matt Ryan under center, as he looks to build off a 299-yard performance against the Chiefs.  One of his main targets is second-year wide receiver Julio Jones, who made six catches for 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 1.  Atlanta will try to get Turner at least 21 carries, as his teams have posted a remarkable 27-2 record when doing so.

Sports bettors will likely back the Falcons due to their 5-1 ATS mark in Week 2, while the Broncos are 1-4 ATS on Mondays.

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