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Atlanta Falcons (-4) vs. Minnesota Vikings (+4) – Preview for Week 4, September 28th, 2014

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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons 
SIDE :4

22.2

Vs.

Date: 2014-09-28
Time: 15:25:00

Generated from 11 Previous Games

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
O/U :47.5

24 = 46.2

 

Pick: Atlanta Falcons -4

 

Let’s look at the facts.

Comparative Offense Handicapped Week By Week

After facing their opponents in week 1, there is a small offensive advantage that lies with the Atlanta Falcons. While both teams toppled the 30 points mark, Minnesota had one of the easiest marks in the league to score against in the Rams; while, the Falcons had a little bit of a tougher defense in the Saints.
Small scoring advantage with the Falcons.

In week 2, Minnesota scored a measly 7 points vs the New England’s #4 in league defense, while Atlanta scored a measly 10 points vs the Cincinnati Bengals. Again, this is difficult to handicap because both the NEP and CIN are top 5 defenses in the league. Perhaps we could assess a tiny edge with Atlanta as they scored a few more points vs the #1 defense in the league.
Small scoring advantage with the Falcons.

In week 3, Minnesota only managed to score 9 points vs the New Orleans Saints while Atlanta took a walloping 56 points off the Buccs. While the Buccs possess the 3rd worst defense in the league, the Saints are about the 10th worst in league, so for the Vikings to fail to reach double digits is not a small detail.
Clear edge with the Falcons.

It’s this tally in week 3 that is the most significance in terms of offensive capability:

  • It involves offensive systems that have had 3 weeks to develop.
  • It involves all of their 1st string injuries.
  • It involves overall competences and team fluidity.
  • It involves a mark that indicates whether these teams are having  difficulty settling into their 2014 roles.

It can be said, after week three, that offensively speaking, Minnesota is missing it’s mark while Atlanta are finding it.

 

Comparative Defense Handicapped Week By Week

In week 1, the Vikings gave up only 2 field goals to the Rams. Giving up so few points vs any team in the league is a clear mark of a competent defense. That said, St. Louis is definitely in the bottom tier in terms of scoring. By comparison, in week 1, the Falcons gave up 34 points vs the Saints. Since the Saints are top 10 scorers, it explains to some degree the high scoring; however, it’s clear that in week 1 Minnesota’s defense did a little better than would be expected while the Falcon’s did perhaps a little worse.
Edge with Minnesota’s defense.

In week 2, we see the Vikings give up 30 points vs the Patriots. This is the kind of collapse that we could expect to see vs a top 5 scoring team, but the Patriots are perfectly mid-fare. Vikings had to bench LB Brandon Watts that game, as well, while they saw play-time, much of their defense were injured and were game-time decisions including DT Shariff Floyd and CB Xavier Rhodes, amongst others. In week 2, the Falcons allowed 24 points in a 24-10 shalacking vs the Cincinnati Bengals. Bengals being 5th in scoring and first in defense exonerates this as some kind of trend. The Falcons performed as expected vs arguably the #1 team in the league.
Clear edge with Atlanta’s defense.

In week three, the Vikings give up 20 points to the Saints. Considering that the Saints are 6th in scoring, this should be considered a victory for the Viking defense. Based on the Vikings’ progression through the weeks, it could be said that Minnesota’s defense could be eligible to stymie the Atlanta scoring machine today.  In week 3, Atlanta kept the Buccs to 14 points; however, considering that the Buccs are 3rd last in scoring, that should be expected. Considering Atlanta’s pedigree, this could even be analyzed as defensive “slippage”. It could be argued that Atlanta, firing on all cylinders, should have kept the Buccs to single digit scoring.
Edge with Minnesota’s defense.

 

At the end of the day, the line seems to be set just about perfectly. The public action is 80% with the Falcons, but they could be in for a surprise as Minnesota promises to keep this game close.

 

Where we pick up our confidence with the Atlanta Falcons is largely due to the Raymond Report.

 

ATS Raymond Report

The Calculator shows us a very lob-sided picture where the Falcons are the clear favourite.

TEAM: ATLANTA FALCONS
 ATLANTA FALCONS Offensive Stats Defensive Stats
All Games Avg 34.33 24
Home Games Avg 46.5 24
Road Games Avg 10 24
Last 3 Games Avg 34.33 24
Last 5 Games Avg N/A N/A
Last 10 Games Avg N/A N/A
vs. Division Games Avg 46.5 24
vs. Conference Games Avg 46.5 24
vs. Non Conference Games Avg 10 24
vs. Top Ranked Games Avg 10 24
vs. Middle Ranked Games Avg 37 34
vs. Bottom Ranked Games Avg 56 14
After a Win Games Avg 10 24
After a Lost Games Avg 56 14
After a SU Road Win Games Avg N/A N/A
After a SU Road Lost Games Avg 56 14
After a SU Home Win Games Avg 10 24
After a SU Home Lost Games Avg N/A N/A
After an Over Games Avg 10 24
After an Under Games Avg 56 14
After a Push Games Avg N/A N/A

10 point advantage with the Falcons.

33.07 22.13

 

TEAM: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
 MINNESOTA VIKINGS Offensive Stats Defensive Stats
All Games Avg 16.67 18.67
Home Games Avg 7 30
Road Games Avg 21.5 13
Last 3 Games Avg 16.67 18.67
Last 5 Games Avg N/A N/A
Last 10 Games Avg N/A N/A
vs. Division Games Avg N/A N/A
vs. Conference Games Avg 21.5 13
vs. Non Conference Games Avg 7 30
vs. Top Ranked Games Avg 7 30
vs. Middle Ranked Games Avg 9 20
vs. Bottom Ranked Games Avg 34 6
After a Win Games Avg 7 30
After a Lost Games Avg 9 20
After a SU Road Win Games Avg 7 30
After a SU Road Lost Games Avg N/A N/A
After a SU Home Win Games Avg N/A N/A
After a SU Home Lost Games Avg 9 20
After an Over Games Avg N/A N/A
After an Under Games Avg 8 25
After a Push Games Avg N/A N/A

9 point disadvantage with the Vikings.

12.88 21.74

 

At the end of the day, the line is reasonable and Atlanta should cover, but it won’t be a blowout.

Vikings will be looking to sharpen their claws against the league’s top scorer and considering the Falcons’ lower-tier defense, although the win isn’t expected, they will have every opportunity to at least make a statement.

 

 

 

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