• 2018 NFL Playoffs: Eagles vs Falcons Analyst Pick

    Written by Rohit Ghosh
    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    2018 NFL Playoffs: Eagles vs Falcons - Divisional Round Analyst Pick

    Back-to-back weekends with NFL action on a Saturday? We'll take it. We came through last Saturday letting you know Atlanta covering on the road in L.A. against the Rams was a lock. What's next for Atlanta?

    Let's take a closer look at this weekend's Falcons' matchup -- again on the road, this time against the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Our NFL Expert made two picks for Wildcard Weekend and got both right: Panthers +7 and Falcons +6.5...scroll to the bottom for his Analyst Pick for the Divisional Round...

    Vegas Odds

    With no Carson Wentz at QB for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Atlanta Falcons opened as 3-point favorites. The spread hasn't moved from there. The total opened at 44 before dropping quite a bit following some public action.

    Betting Line: Atlanta Falcons -3
    Total: 41.5

    At the time of publication, 55 percent of the public was laying the points and taking the Falcons.

    54 percent of the action on the total has been on the UNDER.

    AccuScore Betting Trends: Wild Card Weekend
    • Against the Spread: 3-1, 75% +190 (Season: +790 profit)
    • Over/Under Picks: 3-1, 75% +190 (Season: +1800 profit)
    ...All of AccuScore's NFL 2018 Playoffs Picks: NFL Playoffs Picks (includes free full forecasts for Eagles vs Falcons)

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    Betting Trends
    • Atlanta is 2-5 against the spread [ATS] in its last seven games in the divisional round.
    • Philadelphia is 5-1 straight up [SU] in its last six games in the divisional round.
    • Philadelphia is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games at home.
    • Atlanta is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games.
    • Philadelphia is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games.
    • The OVER is 4-0 in Atlanta's last four divisional playoffs games.
    • The OVER is 4-0 in Philadelphia's last four games after scoring less than 15 points in its previous game.

    What to Watch For

    Force 'Em to Throw It: The Falcons' defense was solid last weekend against a potent Rams' offense. The Rams' offense thrives when it's able to mix-and-match with its pass-and-run game, but the Falcons forced them to beat them through the air. Rams QB Jared Goff threw the ball 45 times, becoming predictable and allowing the athletic Falcons linebackers to make an impact on the game. If Nick Foles throws the ball 45 times for Philly, an Atlanta win is guaranteed.

    Foles is projected to finish with 226 passing yards on 23 completions and 1 TD.

    Falcons' Offense: Atlanta QB Matt Ryan was efficient last week against the Rams, finishing with 200-plus yards completing 21-of-30 throws. The Falcons also ran the ball for over 100 yards. Above all, though, WR Julio Jones looked like himself after struggling with injuries in the final weeks of the regular season, catching nine passes for 94 yards against the Rams.

    Ryan is projected to finish with 262 passing yards and 2 TDs. He averages more than three times as many TDs as INTs. Jones is projected to finish with 91 yards on 8 receptions; he averages 0.5 TDs per sim, meaning he finds the end-zone in every other simulated matchup.

    Analyst's Pick
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    More>> NFL Playoffs Analyst Pick: Viking vs Saints

  • NFC South: 2017 NFL Previews

    Written by AccuScore Staff
    Follow @AccuScore on Twitter

    NFC South: 2017 NFL Division Previews

    AccuScore continues its NFL division previews ahead of the 2017 regular season, with every team in each division getting a detailed preview and projections, along with fantasy tips. After previewing the NFC North and the NFC East on Monday and Tuesday, it’s time for the NFC South on Wednesday:

    2017 NFC South Projections and Preview

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    Other Previews:
    NFC North Division Preview
    NFC East Division Preview

    Tampa Bay: New Ruler in the South

    Tampa Bay has improved from 2-14 in 2014 to 9-7 in 2016, but the Buccaneers haven’t reached the playoffs since 2007 haven’t experienced a playoff win since January of 2003, when they beat Oakland Raiders to win the Super Bowl. Yes, it’s been a while. Quarterback Jameis Winston continues to improve and is at the heart of AccuScore’s confidence in Tampa Bay ending the playoff drought.

    Accuscore simulations predict Tampa Bay to win an extremely tight NFC South despite only being projected to win 9 games. It’s neck-and-neck down south, though, as all three division rivals finished with 8 wins and about a one in three chance at a playoff berth and a one in five chance of winning the division. Tampa Bay may be AccuScore’ favorite, but after simulating all 256 games of the 2016 NFL season 10,000 times each, AccuScore gives the Bucs a 37% chance to win the division and a 52% probability of making the playoffs.

    Roster Moves

    In free agency, the Bucs focused on defense. Chris Baker from Washington will form one of the best defensive tackle duos with Gerald McCoy. That combo should do wonders to stop the run. One of the big name signing was WR DeSean Jackson, also from Washington. However, he seems to be an overrated player in simulations and the main load to catch balls will still be on Mike Evans.

    Fantasy Analysis: Tampa Bay Bucs

    In Fantasy predictions, Mike Evans is top 20 receiver and Cam Brate is a top 5 TE. Even though Jameis Winston is the single most important player for Tampa, he is not top10 QB in fantasy projections. Actually he is listed 15th when all fantasy points generated during the season are summed up. If Doug Martin bounces back from the last season mediocre numbers to the 2015 season records, he should be top 10 running back for fantasy leagues.

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    New Orleans Saints: Adrian Peterson + Drew Brees = ?

    A few years ago, Peterson and Brees would be the story of the offseason. Now, when Peterson is coming out of terrible season in Minnesota with his career clearly winding down, it is just interesting to see how much these two veterans can produce together. Will there be more than 7 wins for Saints to improve last season results?

    Yes, if you believe Accuscore’s season simulations. The most probable amount of wins for Saints is 8, but that’s hardly a guarantee of the postseason or winning the division in a NFC South. Scheduling wise, the most probable wins arrive from the visiting Bears (week 8) and Jets (week 15). The Saints have over 70% probability to win in both of those games. On the flip side, the Saints are clear underdogs when the Patriots visit them in week 2 and also when they go to Lambeau field in week 7. A win against New England or in Green Bay could be the difference between winning the division and missing out on the playoffs altogether.

    Based on Accuscore’s projections, the Saints probability to win their division is 22% and the figure is 35% to reach the playoffs. Again, a freak victory over New England or Green Bay could quickly change the Saints’ season and double those postseason prospects.

    Roster Moves

    As mentioned, the biggest addition during the offseason was running back Adrian Peterson. Also, the linebacker corps was improved with A.J. Kein, Alex Okafor and Manti Te’o. In addition, the Saints traded their top wideout, Brandin Cooks, but Drew Brees has a way of finding receivers and completions.

    Fantasy Analysis: New Orleans Saints

    Drew Brees collected huge amount of fantasy points for his owners in last season. He led passing yards and was only QB to reach over 5000 yards passing. This time, Accuscore fantasy prediction predicts him to be again top 3 QB. He would feed WR Michael Thomas, who is predicted to be among top six wide receivers in fantasy points. Fantasy predictions narrowly rank Mark Ingram over Adrian Peterson at the RB position - both would be in top 25 players in their position.

    Will Carolina bounce back?

    Last season was a big disappointment for the Carolina Panthers. As many experts predicted them to win Super Bowl against the Broncos in January 2016, though Accuscore’s supercomputer picked the right side of that big game. Last season, Cam Newton and the Panthers essentially fell down the stairs and only won six games.

    This time Accuscore predicts them to win 8 games in a very tight NFC South, so Newton and company should be back hunting for a postseason berth. Though Carolina is projected to finish last in the division, the difference between the Panthers, Saints and Falcons is miniscule. Assisting the Panthers is the easiest ranked schedule in the NFC South.

    Roster Moves

    During free agency, Carolina and Minnesota swapped tackles when Matt Kalil joined Carolina and Mike Remmers went to Minnesota. The Panthers also signed CB Captain Munnerlyn and WR Charles Johnson from Minnesota. Maybe the biggest name on the list of added players was a 15 year veteran Julius Peppers, who returned back to Carolina after a few seasons in the NFC North.

    Fantasy Analysis: Carolina Panthers

    Accuscore’s fantasy predictions highlight some interesting individual players. Many expect Cam Newton to bounce back and be top performer among all QBs. Our predictions rank him 18th in fantasy points this season. A bit lower will be RB Jonathan Stewart and there won’t be any top 30 receiver when calculating season long fantasy points. The shiny points of Panthers fantasy predictions are TE Greg Olsen who is ranked sixth among tight ends, and their defense lead by healthy Luke Kuechly is ranked 7th among all NFL defenses. As Accuscore predicts also individual defensive player fantasy output, Kuechly is top 5 linebacker based in those simulations.

    Atlanta Falcons: Superbowl Hangover

    The last season was perfect for the Falcons until halftime of the Super Bowl. Their high octane offense produced enough points in 13 games (including playoffs), but the Patriots shot them down at the latest moment to win Super Bowl in overtime. So where to from here?

    Accuscore simulated all games of this season and it looks like the flight of Falcons continues on lower level than year ago. Instead of 11 regular season wins, they project to only win 8 games after losing offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to a head coaching gig with the San Francisco 49ers. The Falcons are hardly dead in the water, considering they’re less than one win behind the competition in the division.

    Key season shifting games include an NFC Conference Championship re-match against the Packers in week 2, a Super Bowl re-match against Patriots in Week 7, and a trip to Seattle in Week 11. Wins in any of those games could push Atlanta back into the post season and then, anything can happen.

    Roster Moves

    Atlanta’s offense took a biggest hit on a sideline. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was a key engineer for the high performance offense during last season. Even though there are not too many changes on offensive side of the ball, it would be difficult to see another record breaking year for Atlanta’s offense.

    Defensive lineman Dontari Poe was the biggest addition to the Falcons’ roster during free agency, but it would be interesting to see if he can fill the massive holes left by Paul Worrilow (LB), Sean Weatherspoon (LB), Jonathan Babineaux (DT) and Dwight Freeney (DE). The offense may have to be even better than a season ago, so Matt Ryan has his work cut out for him.

    Fantasy Analysis: Atlanta Falcons

    For fantasy players, it would be easy to pick up WR Julio Jones who averaged over 100 yards per game during the last season. He was only player to achieve this. QB Matt Ryan averaged over 300 passing yards per game and was second on that list after Drew Brees. Still, Accuscore’s fantasy predictions list 8 QBs that would gather more fantasy points by the end of the season. He would be good choice after few first rounds, but it doesn’t make sense to spend your first round pick on Ryan.

    Running back Devonta Freeman broke 1000 yards mark during last season. He would be good pick to your fantasy team, as Accuscore’s fantasy player predictions list him fourth among all running backs. With Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliot out for the first six games due the suspension, Freeman could be a top 3 fantasy running back.

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  • NFL MNF: Falcons at Buccaneers - Analyst Preview & Picks

    Written by Rohit Ghosh
    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

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    NFL Monday Night Picks: Falcons vs Bucs

    Week 15 in the NFL wraps up Monday night in Tampa Bay as the Buccaneers host the Atlanta Falcons in a matchup that's projecting to be fairly high-scoring, with only one other game on the week's slate having a higher total listed in Vegas (Patriots-Steelers with a total set at 54.5).

    Vegas Odds

    The Falcons opened up at 4-point favorites before some heavy public action pushed it up to -6.5 in most books; the total creeped up from 47.5 to 49.

    Betting Line: Atlanta Falcons -6.5
    Total: 49

    At the time of publication, 65 percent of the public were laying the points and taking the Falcons.

    63-plus percent of the action on the total has been on the OVER.

    Betting Trends

    - The Falcons are 4-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last five games.
    The Falcons are 6-2 straight up (SU) in their last eight road games.
    -The total has gone OVER in six of the Falcons' last nine games vs the Bucs.

    What to Watch For

    NFC South: The fate of the NFC South is yet to be decided with three teams still having a chance at the playoffs. The Falcons, heading into the matchup having won four of their last five, will treat this as a must-win. Tevin Coleman suffered a concussion last week and he's the only big-name player that'll be potentially out Monday night. QB Matt Ryan finished with 221 yards, 1 TD and 3 INTs in last week's 20-17 win over New Orleans.

    Ryan is projected to finish this week's matchup with 284 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT.

    Struggling Buccaneers: Tampa Bay has dropped three straight heading into this matchup. They've been a major disappointment this year after a nine-win season last year. In Jameis Winston's 42 career games, he has turned the ball over 53 times – second-most in the league since his 2015 rookie season.

    Winston is projected to finish with 267 passing yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT.

    Analyst's Pick
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  • NFL Thursday: Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans Saints - Free Analyst Pick

    Written by Rohit Ghosh
    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    Falcons vs Saints - NFL Thursday Odds & Analyst Pick

    Week 14 in the NFL kicks off Thursday night in Atlanta as the Falcons host the New Orleans Saints on a weekend where the Saints will look to sneak into second place in the NFC -- with either the Eagles or Vikings loss. Atlanta, on the other hand, needs to win to stay in the wild card race.

    Vegas Odds
    There has been a lot of movement on the spread since New Orleans opened as 4-point favorites. Some books even had the spread switch completely to the other side, moving five points to make the Falcons a 1-point favorite. At the time of publication, though, most books across Vegas had this matchup as a pick 'em.

    The total opened at 54.5 before dropping a couple points.

    Betting Line: Pick 'Em or New Orleans Saints -1
    Total: 52

    At the time of publication, close to 57 percent of the public were taking New Orleans on the road.

    56 percent of the action on the total has been on the OVER.

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    Betting Trends
    - The total has gone OVER in 10 of New Orleans' last 15 games.
    - The total has gone OVER in 17 of Atlanta's last 25 games

    What to Watch For

    Public Action: According to a recent report, publicly backed teams are just 4-8-1 in Thursday night games this season. With the Saints getting the majority of the public action, there's some solace in knowing the simulation data is supporting the home side -- and going against Vegas.

    Backs Running Wild: New Orleans RB Albin Kamara had nine carries for 60 yards and two TDs and caught five of six targets for 66 yards in last week's 31-21 win over the Carolina Panthers. His production has been ridiculous, especially when you consider he never really gets close to 20 touches. It's practically a guarantee of late that he'll find the end zone.

    Matty Ice: Falcons QB Matt Ryan completed 16 of 29 passes for 173 yards during last week's14-9 loss to the Vikings. Ryan was pretty, pretty bad last week, recording his lowest total yardage for the season. Ryan is projected to finish Thursday night's game with 289 yards, 2 TDs and a win.

    FREE Analyst's Pick

    Analyst Pick: Atlanta covering/winning.

    AccuScore has all expert picks for NFL Thursday, Sunday and Monday all live: All of AccuScore's NFL Picks

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