NFL Predictions: Tennessee Titans vs. Atlanta Falcons

Tennessee Titans vs. Atlanta Falcons
Saturday, 8/23/14, 7:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: Atlanta -3
Current Betting Line: Atlanta -3.5
Opening Total: 44
Current Total: 44
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

The Atlanta Falcons intend on playing starters through the first half of play Saturday night
The Atlanta Falcons intend on playing starters through the first half of play Saturday night

Tennessee has split its first two preseason games, as it attempts to bounce back from a 31-24 defeat to the New Orleans Saints as three-point road underdogs last week, while going OVER the betting total of 43.  Titans quarterback Jake Locker and most of the starting offense played into the second quarter, as he completed 8 of 11 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.  Wide receiver Justin Hunter was the main target throughout the game, which can’t be ignored when making your NFL predictions, as he totaled 111 yards on four catches and two touchdowns.

The Titans have split their eight previous exhibition meetings with the Falcons, which includes a 23-16 home victory last year.  First-year head coach Ken Whisenhunt has compiled a 10-17 record during preseason play over the course of his career, which is important to consider when looking over the pro football odds in Week 3.  He comes to Nashville with an extensive offensive background and a reputation as a clever play caller.

Atlanta is 1-1 SUATS in its first two games of the preseason, while going UNDER the betting total in both opportunities.  Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has been emphasizing with the offense that the group must come away with more touchdowns in the red zone this season.  He has plenty of offensive weapons to make this happen on the perimeter, but someone will need to fill in for future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez, who retired to become a television analyst.  The franchise is hoping that sixth overall pick Jake Matthews is ready to assume the role of starting left tackle due to a recent season-ending injury to Sam Baker.

Falcons head coach Mike Smith has indicated that he intends to play starters through the first half Saturday night at the Georgia Dome, but it may ultimately come down to snap counts for certain players.  Ryan has completed 71.4 percent of his passes during exhibition play, while wide receiver Julio Jones caught two passes for 20 yards in his first game action since suffering a foot injury in 2013 last time out.

Sports bettors will likely back the Falcons due to Whisenhunt being 9-17-1 ATS in preseason play.

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