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NFC South Taking on NFC East

The Atlanta Falcons didn’t enter the season as online NFL betting favorites to win the NFC South. That quasi-meaningless title belonged to the Carolina Panthers, last year’s NFC South Champions and the reigning NFC Champions. However, given the fact that the Panthers’ 2016 season has been a fluke so far, the time was perfect for another team to creep in and establish themselves as the frontrunners to win the NFC South. That team was none other than the Atlanta Falcons.

Heading into Week 10 the Falcons find themselves sitting on a 6-3 record, as well as leaders of the division. Atlanta’s early success can largely be attributed to two factors; Matt Ryan’s talents as a quarterback and Julio Jones tremendous capabilities as a receiver. Behind a devastating aerial assault led by those two, the Falcons currently have the 2nd best passing offense in the NFL, as well as the 2nd best total offense in the league. In Week 10 the Falcons will have to fly to Philadelphia to face off against the Eagles. What kind of lines are most football betting sites giving the Ryan-led Falcons this Sunday?

NFL Odds – Week 10 – Sunday, November 13th 

Atlanta Falcons +1 ½ (-115) 50 ½ (-110)
Philadelphia Eagles -1 ½ (-105) 50 ½ (-110)

Surprisingly enough, the online NFL betting favorites have decided to side with the rookie quarterback on this one. The surprise is further amplified when considering that the Eagles currently have a record of 4-4, and are sitting in last place within the NFC East. What could motivate the bookies to turn their back on the Falcons’ predatory passing game?

Simply put, the Eagles’ unrelenting defense. Earlier in the season, the answer to that question might have been Carson Wentz; one of three rookies who were at the forefront of the ROY discussion. But now that we’ve seen the rookie play 8 games, online NFL betting fans are much more excited about Dak Prescott than the Eagles own rookie quarterback. That’s because Prescott has maintained a high level of play. Currently the Cowboys’ quarterback has thrown for over 2,000 yards, 12 touchdowns, and has a passer rating of 104.2. Wentz on the other hand, only has 9 touchdowns to 5 interceptions, only has 1,890 yards, and has a mediocre passer rating of 87.7. With that in mind, it’s obvious the bookies aren’t favoring the Eagles because they have a better quarterback because that is simply not true. So what is it about Philadelphia’s defense that has motivated the bookies to favor the 4-4 team?

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the Eagles have the 6th best pass defense in the NFL, or that they have the 6th best total defense in the league, or even the fact that they are giving up the 6th least amount of points across the nation. Either way, the fact remains; the Eagles defense is not a group to be trifled with.