New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


Patrick Werkmeister

Although Monday’s betting performance yielded an 0-3 result, these Thursday night picks should bounce back. In this interconference matchup, rookie Mac Jones and the New England Patriots travel to Georgia to face off against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. Last week, the Patriots thumped the Cleveland Browns whereas the Falcons were steamrolled by the Cowboys. Following their win over a formidable opponent, New England’s stock has risen all the way to near the top of the conference. However, in a weird short week matchup with a team like the Falcons anything can happen. With this in mind, here is what I like for this Thursday NFL action.

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Falcons (+6.5)
The opening line for this game had New England as a slim three and a half-point road favorite, but they are currently favored by six and a half-points following their domination of the Browns. While the Pats are 4-1 ATS in their previous five games against NFC South opponents, Atlanta is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against an AFC opponent. Additionally, in New England’s last four games as a road favorite by more than a touchdown, they have only covered the spread once. Although the Patriots have exhibited good overall team play during their four-game winning streak, with a big game vs the 1st place Titans next week, this looks like the perfect storm for Atlanta. However, the birds will have a game-time decision to make regarding their banged up starting running back Cordarrelle Patterson. With QB Matt Ryan alternating between strong and poor performances, he is due for a big game after last week’s outing. In Week 10, they were obliterated and Ryan was later taken out of the game because of the 43-3 score.. However, they should be able to keep up with a Patriots squad that is rather underwhelming when you look at them on paper. With a record of 4-5, Atlanta has a great matchup to keep this one within reach. Take them plus the points to keep this competitive at home.

Mac Jones Over 252.5 Passing Yards
After throwing for three touchdowns in their Week 10 victory, Mac Jones should be airing it out all game vs this shoddy Atlanta pass defense. Although he was only able to throw for 198 yards last week, by halftime the game was well out of reach for the Browns and the Patriots just ran the clock out. He has made massive contributions to the teams’ success and is therefore the frontrunner for offensive rookie of the year. Last week, the Falcons defense allowed more than 300 passing yards in their loss and it was their poor pass defense that hurt their chances the most. Their defense will have their hands full in this one having to deal with the two headed monster of Ryan and Patterson. Therefore, I expect Matty ice to produce while the Pats focus on stopping the run first. Take the over for Matt Ryan’s passing prop. 

Jakobi Meyers Any time TD (+150)
With QB Mac Jones rapidly improving on his ability to read defenses, Jakobi Meyers has had quite a fruitful season so far. Although he only has one touchdown coming into this one, he is the leading receiver for the Patriots in all major categories, except touchdowns. In addition, this season he has already passed his total reception mark from last year and is obviously a much bigger part of the offense than he once was. The Falcons currently sit in the bottom third in pass defense in the NFL, so this puts him in a great spot to at least be productive. He has shown a consistent ability to get open and is always hungry for more targets where he already has 75 targets on the year. They’re not an especially stout unit, so expect Meyers to get his normal numbers and have success. Take him to score in what should be a relatively high-scoring contest.

Same Game Parlay
Jakobi Meyers Anytime TD Scorer, Mike Davis Anytime TD Scorer, Mac Jones Over 252.5 Pass Yds, Mac Jones Over 4.5 Rush Yds, Jakobi Meyers Over 55.5 Rec Yds, Nelson Agholor Over 33.5 Rec Yds, Olamide Zaccheaus Over 32.5 Rec Yds, NE Patriots to win by 1-13 Pts and Under 56.5 Total Points.

SGP Odds +44559

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