NFL Week 8 Picks: Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, 10/28/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Philadelphia -2.5
Current Betting Line:  Philadelphia -3
Opening Total:  46.5
Current Total:  43.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

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The Philadelphia Eagles are 13-0 SU after the bye week under head coach Andy Reid

Atlanta looks to remain perfect on the season coming out of its bye week, but the franchise hasn’t won in the City of Brotherly Love since 1988, while head coach Mike Smith is 1-3 in this series overall.  Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,612 yards and 13 touchdowns over his past five road games, which has translated into a 106 passer rating.  It’s important to note that he’s thrown at least one interception in the last four games.  Atlanta is 3-0 ATS on the road on the year, with the UNDER going 2-1 in those contests.

The Falcons have really struggled in stopping the run game this year, ranking 28th in the NFL in that particular category.  Atlanta will need to focus on creating turnovers, ranking third in the league with 17 takeaways, while posting a dominating 31-2 record under Smith’s direction when winning that battle.  Wide receiver Roddy White should be the focal point of the passing attack on Sunday, as he’s compiled 26 receptions for 323 yards and four touchdowns in four career games against the Eagles.

Philadelphia also enjoyed a week of rest heading into this high-profile NFC contest, but the team has split its first six games of the 2012 regular season.  The Eagles are 13-0 in games immediately following a bye week, which is the longest such streak since this situation came into play in 1990.  Establishing the running game is key for this team, especially with LeSean McCoy gaining just 75 total yards on 30 carries in his last two games.  Philadelphia is 6-10 ATS as a home favorite the last two-plus seasons.

The Eagles are hoping that quarterback Michael Vick can take better care of the football down the stretch, as he faces his former team for the second consecutive year.  He completed 19-of-29 passes for two touchdowns and an interception in last year’s 35-31 loss as 2.5-point road favorites.  On the defensive end, the team has failed to record a sack in its previous three games.

Sports bettors will likely back the Eagles due to their 4-0 ATS mark in Week 8, while the Falcons are 1-5 ATS in their last six games in Philadelphia.

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