NFL Picks Against the Spread: Atlanta Falcons vs. Indianapolis Colts

Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, 11/6/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Atlanta -8
Current Betting Line:  Atlanta -7
Opening Total:  45
Current Total:  44.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Falcons Panthers NFL Game Preview
Atlanta Falcons RB Michael Turner is enjoying a solid 2011 NFL campaign

Atlanta is 4-3 on the season and some in the locker room are not happy about the situation despite coming off a bye week on a two-game winning streak.  “If you told me before the season we’d be 4-3 going into the bye week, I would say that’s not good enough,” commented Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters.  At least his side of the ball has gotten better after a rough start, allowing just 315.5 yards per game over the last two contests.  Atlanta is 8-3 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points, while the ‘over’ is 20-19 in the last two-plus seasons.

The Falcons have a vibrant offensive attack that is led by running back Michael Turner, gaining 621 yards, including consecutive games of going over the century mark against Carolina and Detroit.  Atlanta also likes the improvement seen in the passing game led by Matt Ryan, as he grows more comfortable with rookie Julio Jones, who has caught 25 passes for 358 yards in five games.  The wide receiver out of Alabama has returned to the practice field after missing two games with a hamstring injury.

Indianapolis is 0-8 on the season and hopes to final grab a victory at Lucas Oil Stadium a venue that has seen the franchise drop three close contests already.  The Colts return off a three-game road trip and were last seen on this field dropping a 28-24 decision to the Kansas City Chiefs as one-point home favorites.  “We certainly know what we’re capable of doing,” commented quarterback Curtis Painter.  “We’ve just got to get sharper and not be inconsistent.”  Indianapolis is 1-3 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season, while the ‘over’ has cashed in all three home games this season.

The Colts have been surprisingly strong in stopping opponents’ rushing attacks, limiting the Tennessee Titans to just 3.1 yards per carry in Week 8.  Indianapolis has also been better with its own running game, averaging over 4.0 yards per carry in six of eight games this season.  It’s still important to note that the offense ranks 30th in total yards and scoring.  Painter has struggled under center and has thrown just a single scoring pass versus four interceptions in the last three contests.

Bettors will likely back the Falcons due to their 8-3 ATS mark in November, while the Colts are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games.

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