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Monday Night Prediction, Week 7: Giants at Falcons

The New York Giants are balancing on the edge of irrelevance in the NFC East standings but they get a chance to make up for last week’s primetime loss with this Monday nighter in Atlanta. The Falcons ended a three-game losing streak with their home win over the Bucs in Week 7 but there is still a lot of work to do if the dirty birds want a chance at playoff redemption.

 

NY GIANTS (1-5) at ATLANTA FALCONS (2-4)

Week 7 Monday Night Football Odds: Falcons -3.5 and O/U 52.5

The Atlanta Falcons are 5-1 O/U this season, riding a streak of 5-straight overs since their opening week loss at Philadelphia. Atlanta’s D has given up 24-plus points five times during this epic stretch of overs and the D came into the week with brutal rankings in first downs allowed (31st), third down percentage (32nd) and defensive drive success rate (32nd). The Falcons are allowing an average of 5.4 points plus first downs per drive, which is their worst since league realignment. Books can hardly post a high enough line on games with a defense that’s this porous and in the past five years, 22 such games have resulted in 15 overs, 5 unders and a couple pushes.

 

Odds on this game opened at 54 and surprisingly, the number had been dulled off to 53 by kickoff on Sunday’s games. With the flurry of unders that occurred yesterday, the line is down to 52.5 as of press time but unlike games in Philadelphia or Washington, wind and weather concerns are not an issue here. It’s more a case of the visitor’s offensive impotence bringing this total to the gutter.

 

GIANT PROBLEM

The G-Men are 1-5 straight up and they don’t exactly inspire confidence amongst “Over” bettors. New York has scored south of 20 points in four of six starts this season and dating back to this time last year, they have only broke 20 in four of 16 games. Their average in that span is 16.1 points per game and they’ve allowed 26.1 for a net of 42.2.

 

New York’s projected team total in this game is 24.5, which seems optimistic for a group that’s staying on the low side of 20 at a 75-percent rate, but Eli Manning has a new weapon this year causing major headaches for opposing run D’s.

 

Rookie RB Saquon Barkley is averaging 6.5 yards per touch and he leads all running backs in receptions (40) and receiving yards (373). Barkley had 130 rush yards against Philadelphia and 99 more through the air, making multiple would-be tacklers miss on every second carry. Barkley might end up being a victim of game flow this year when the Giants fall behind, but his ability to make plays after the catch keeps him as a constant threat. The Giants aren’t much of a spectacle for primetime games the past couple years but the record for road teams off a Thursday game where their lead running back rushed for more than 105 yards is 18-7-1 O/U.

 

PRIMETIME PREDICTION

The Falcons have a bye up next and home teams this year ahead of their break are outscoring opponents 36-20, going 6-0 O/U. Teams like New York that lost an “Over” in their previous week’s Thursday game are 25-17-3 O/U and 13-4-1 O/U when the total is 44 points or more.

 

Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley (ankle) and Mohamed Sanu (hip) are all getting a clean bill of health from Falcons trainers and we have to expect another big game out of Matt Ryan. Matty Ice is averaging 341 passing yards with 2.8 passing TDs in his past five outings and the Giants are ready to be shredded. Playcalling from O-Co Mike Shula has been frustrating for all parties but against the worst D in the NFL, it’s time for Shula to take the training wheels off.

Week 7 MNF Prediction: Take the Giants and Falcons OVER

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