Football Betting: Atlanta Falcons at Cleveland Browns

Atlanta Falcons at Cleveland Browns
Sunday, 10/10/10, 1:00 PM EDT, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread: Atlanta -3
Current Betting Line: Atlanta -3
Opening Total: 41.5
Current Total: 41
Current Moneyline: Atlanta -160/Cleveland +140

Football betting odds from above taken from bookmaker sportsbook.

The Falcons head into Cleveland as 3 point road favorites

Atlanta picked up a surprising 16-14 home victory over the 49ers last week and moved its record to 3-1 on the season.  The Falcons rank sixth in the NFL in total offense (389.3 yards) and ninth in scoring (23.3 points).  “We’ve got a lot of things that we’ve got to correct, but we’re 3-1 through the first quarter of the season,” Falcons coach Mike Smith stated.  The team is 2-10 all-time in the regular season against the Browns, including a 1-5 mark on the road and 0-1 at Cleveland Browns Stadium.  The past two Falcons’ victories have been decided by a total of five points and today’s opponent is no stranger to close outcomes.  All four of Cleveland’s games have been decided by seven points or less and their margin of victory or defeat this season is 3.75.  Since 2008, Atlanta is tied for third in the NFL with a 7-2 record in games decided by three points or less.

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The Falcons are going to play their 10th game against an AFC opponent under head coach Mike Smith, as the team is currently 6-3 SU in those contests.  Atlanta has a solid 6-3 ATS mark against non-conference opponents and the total is 1-8 O/U in those games.  The team will be playing its fourth game against a 3-4 defense, rushing for 221 yards against Arizona, but just 98 yards versus the 49ers stop unit last week.  The Browns’ 3-4, which is run by defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, will present different issues.  “I think the front seven is the strength of their defense,” Smith stated.  “It’s a very experienced group.”  Quarterback Matt Ryan is still the leader of the offense, completing 93 of 149 passes for 978 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions.

Cleveland remains confident heading into this week’s contest and the team hasn’t lost to the Falcons at home since 1971.  Backup quarterback Seneca Wallace led the team to a 23-20 win over defending AFC North champion Cincinnati last Sunday after losing their first three games by a combined total of 12 points.  “This does nothing but guarantee that we are not going 0-16,” said linebacker Scott Fujita.  “It feels great to get the first win.”  The team is 18-16 ATS over the last three seasons and the total is 15-20 Over/Under in those contests.  It’s important to note that the Browns are on a 7-1 ATS run in October.

The Browns are led by the running of Peyton Hillis, who is looking to make it five straight games with a touchdown, while taking on a defense that ranks 11th in the NFL against the run.  “He’s a big, strong back and we’re going to have to put our pads on,” said Smith.  “I told the guys today it’s going to be a two-chinstrap game.”  Cleveland head coach Eric Mangini is hoping to start quarterback Jake Delhomme this week due to his 90.1 passer rating in 12 games against the Falcons.  That may be a dangerous proposition due to his recent struggles in turning the ball over and facing a defense that is tied for fifth in takeaways (10).  The Falcons have turned those 10 takeaways into 29 points.

Bettors will be interested in knowing that the Falcons are 17-8 ATS in their last 25 games on grass, while the Browns are 7-1 ATS as an underdog.  We do have an opinion on this game and it is one of the 5 NFL betting picks we released for the Sunday card.  Also in those 5 plays is our 20 unit AFC Game of the Year, dont miss our week 5 picks as we are on a 76% run with our NFL picks for members.

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