The Atlanta Falcons are one of the surprise 2-0 teams in the NFL and they visit 1-1 Detroit on Sunday with the Lions likely down their top running back in David Montgomery. They are still short favorites on the NFL odds.
Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions Odds, Analysis and Prediction | 2023 NFL Expert Analysis by MyBookie Sportsbook
NFL Regular Season: September 7, 2023 – January 7, 2024
Week 3 NFL: Thursday, September 21 to Monday, September 25, 2023
How to Bet Falcons at Lions NFL Odds & TV Info
When: Sunday, 1 PM ET
Where: Ford Field
Stream Option: https://tv.youtube.com/learn/nflsundayticket/
Opening NFL Lines: Lions -3 (45)
They last met in the regular season in Week 16 of the 2021 season and the Falcons won 20-16 at home. Matt Ryan threw a tie-breaking, 12-yard touchdown pass to Hayden Hurst early in the fourth quarter for Atlanta. Both those guys are long gone. Foye Oluokun‘s interception of Lions fill-in quarterback Tim Boyle’s pass at the Atlanta 1 with 33 seconds remaining preserved the win. Boyle’s pass was intended for Kalif Raymond. Usual Lions starting QB Jared Goff was out on the COVID list but is fine now.
Why Bet on Atlanta?
The Falcons have run their way to a 2-0 start behind a great ground game paced by Bijan Robinson, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite. In Sunday’s 25-24 win over Green Bay, Robinson rushed 19 times for 124 yards and caught four of five targets for 48 yards. Robinson led the team in rushing attempts and rushing yards. Tyler Allgeier finished with 16 carries for 48 yards, while Desmond Ridder added 10 rushes for 39 yards.
Robinson already owns 255 yards from scrimmage this season — he had 83 in Week 1 and 172 in Week 2 — which makes him the second rookie overall in franchise history to break 200 that quickly, again joining Andrews (313 in 2979). He has caught the most receptions by an Atlanta rookie running back in his first two career games with 10, passing Sonny Campbell’s six in 1970.
Ridder completed 19 of 32 passes for 237 yards, a touchdown and an interception while rushing for a TD on his 10 carries. He threw an interception on his second pass of the game and had two more throws go through the hands of defenders. The Falcons’ offense was still run-heavy (45 rushes to 32 passes). They overcame a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit as Younghoe Koo kicked the game-winning 25-yard field goal with 57 seconds remaining in regulation.
Atlanta has started slow in its first two games. The Falcons had four punts in the first five possessions in the opener and then opened with an interception Sunday. In Ridder’s last three starts, Atlanta has gone three-and-out — or worse — on opening drives. That’s on the QB’s mind.
“Obviously you try to get in the flow of the game and obviously snap one, you want to be in the flow,” Ridder said. “Yeah, I would say sometimes it takes a little bit longer to get going. That’s one thing, this offseason, talking this offseason, that we worked on is how can we be able to get out there from play one, be in that rhythm, be in that flow. That’s one thing I will obviously continue to work on.”
On the flip side, the Falcons are outscoring their opponents so far this season, 27-0, in the fourth quarter. Atlanta scored 14 in the Week 1 win over the Carolina Panthers and then 13 against the Packers.
Ridder has had trouble getting Drake London and Kyle Pitts the ball consistently, but Robinson has controlled the pace with 39 touches through two games, and his 255 scrimmage yards are tied for fourth in the NFL. WR/RB Cordarrelle Patterson was inactive Sunday with a thigh injury despite practicing in full all week and not being listed as questionable on the injury report. Good chance he plays this week.
The Falcons last went 2-0 to start a season in 2017. Just like this year, they had to beat the Packers in Atlanta to get there. In order to go 3-0, the Falcons now have to defeat the Detroit Lions on the road, which was also required in 2017.
Atlanta Falcons Injuries List
Jeff Okudah: Questionable | Troy Andersen: Questionable | Eddie Goldman: Out | Penny Hart: Injured Reserve | Matt Hennessy: Injured Reserve | Adetokunbo Ogundeji: Injured Reserve | Ikenna Enechukwu: Injured Reserve | Feleipe Franks: Injured Reserve | Ethan Greenidge: Injured Reserve | Avery Williams: Injured Reserve
Bet Falcons to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
Why Bet on Detroit?
The Lions were 21-20 upset winners in Kansas City in Week 1 but then lost 37-31 in their home opener in Week 2 to Seattle. Geno Smith threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett on the opening drive of overtime for the win. Detroit had rallied from 10 down in the fourth and extended the game with Riley Patterson’s 38-yard field goal as regulation expired after coach Dan Campbell was uncharacteristically conservative with his approach and settled for the tie instead of going for the win.
“I did not want to give the ball back,” Campbell said. “That was No. 1.”
QB Jared Goff completed 28 of 35 passes for 323 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Goff started by finding Josh Reynolds for a 22-yard touchdown in the first quarter, then connected with Kalif Raymond for a 36-yard score off a flea flicker prior to halftime. He had an interception returned for a score in the fourth quarter, but Goff responded by subsequently hitting Reynolds for a four-yard TD on his next drive. Three Lions topped 60 receiving yards and four made at least five catches, including top wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown, who recorded six grabs for 102 yards despite leaving with cramps.
David Montgomery had 16 carries for 67 yards and a TD but a costly fumble that led to a Seattle second-half TD and he left with a thigh injury that is expected to keep him out Week 2. Montgomery was injured after making a catch while lined up as a receiver. After not being able to put weight on his leg, he was on the trainers for several minutes before being carted to the locker room.
If he’s unable to go in Week 3, rookie Jahmyr Gibbs would see a heavier workload and veteran running back Craig Reynolds would get some touches. Against the Seahawks, Gibbs had 32 snaps, seven carries for 17 yards and seven receptions for 39 yards. Overall as a receiver, he had two targets vs. the Chiefs in Week 1 and nine vs. Seattle.
Detroit placed two starting defenders on injured reserve this week in pass-rusher Justin Houston and defensive back CJ Gardner-Johnson.
One of the Lions’ biggest free agent additions of the offseason, Gardner-Johnson quickly took over as the vocal and emotional leader of the Lions defense. He played every snap and had five tackles and two pass breakups in a season-opening win over the Kansas City Chiefs and then led the team with eight tackles vs. Seattle. However, Gardner-Johnson may miss the season with a torn pec. Tracy Walker should be expected to take on an expanded role in Gardner-Johnson’s absence.
Houston fractured his ankle and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. He was injured covering a kick in the third quarter, when his leg bent back awkwardly after taking a big block. Houston, a sixth-round pick out of Jackson State in 2022, had eight sacks in seven games as a rookie, when he started the season on the practice squad and finished it as one of the Lions’ best pass rushers. He played primarily in pass rush packages the first two weeks of this season, behind Charles Harris at outside linebacker. Detroit’s pass rush has been non-existent this year with just one sack.
Week 1 marked the first time since 2020 that all five projected offensive starters were in the lineup together. Taylor Decker sustained an ankle injury in the game but remained in and played all 70 snaps. However, he missed the Seattle game. And in that game, Halapoulivaati Vaitai went out in the second half. His status for Week 3 is in question.
Detroit Lions Injuries List
C.J. Gardner-Johnson: Injured Reserve | James Houston: Injured Reserve | Emmanuel Moseley: Questionable | Taylor Decker: Questionable | Halapoulivaati Vaitai: Questionable | David Montgomery: Questionable | Antoine Green: Questionable | Amon-Ra St. Brown: Questionable | Khalil Dorsey: Injured Reserve | Josh Paschal: Injured Reserve | Julian Okwara: Injured Reserve | Nate Sudfeld: Injured Reserve | Hendon Hooker: Out | Justin Jackson: Out | Tom Kennedy: Questionable | Shane Zylstra: Injured Reserve
Bet Lions to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
Lions 27, Falcons 24
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