Two of 2020’s biggest disappointments square off in Georgia as two first time HC’s look to get their career’s off to a winning start.
Atlanta lost fan favourite and arguably face of the franchise, Julio Jones this off-season. The future HOF’er requested a trade and was obliged. Calvin Ridley will be charged with taking the mantle of WR1 in this Atlanta Offense, with 2021 first-round pick, Kyle Pitts expected to take on the secondary pass-catcher role. This new role for Ridley in Atlanta should mean more receptions & yards, making his U/O 86.5 receiving yards an interesting play. Ridley went over that number in 9 games last season, but with Arthur Smith coming in as HC and looking at how his Offense favoured running the ball in Tennessee it’s enough for me to look elsewhere for my best bet.
The Eagles had a season to forget in 2020, and it cost Super Bowl-winning coach, Doug Pederson and QB Carson Wentz their jobs. Coach Pederson was replaced by Nick Siriani this offseason, and the former Colts OC will be charged with getting the most out of Sophomore passer Jalen Hurts, as the former Alabama man replaces the aforementioned Wentz as the Eagles signal-caller. Philly struggled on Offense last year with a WR core that had no business plying their trade in the NFL but, this was addressed in the first round of the NFL Draft, as the Eagles traded up to select Heisman Trophy winner, DeVonta Smith. Smith finished his collegiate career with a phenomenal year in which he posted 23 TDs, and will walk straight into this Philadelphia Offense as the WR1, and, for that reason, we like his U/O 3.5 receptions line. Hurts already has some familiarity with Smith from their time with the Crimson Tide and with Philly’s lack of playmakers, I expect a healthy target share for the rookie. The opportunity should be there for Smith to haul in the 4 passes needed to make this a winner.
Spread: Eagles +3.5
Total Match Points line: O/U 48.5
Game Prediction: Eagles 26 – 24 Falcons
Best Bet: DeVonta Smith over 3.5 receptions @ EVENS with SkyBet. [0.5]