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Thursday Night Football Best Bets and Player Props: Patriots vs. Falcons

The Falcons host the Patriots on Thursday to kick off Week 11. Get the latest betting insight.

Week 11 of the 2021 NFL season kicks off Thursday Night when Matt Ryan and the Falcons host Mac Jones and the Patriots.

The Falcons head into Thursday Night potentially without their two best offensive players. Star wideout Calvin Ridley has stepped away from football to deal with personal issues. Versatile running back / wideout Cordarrelle Patterson could miss the game after suffering an ankle injury last week against the Cowboys.

Oct 31, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws against the Carolina Panthers in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Falcons, losers of two of their last three games, were blown out by Dallas last week, 43-3, as 8-point road underdogs. Atlanta, who is 4-5 Against The Spread (ATS) overall, have burned bettors at home, posting a 0-3 Straight-Up (SU) and ATS mark.

Check Week 11 Lines at SI Sportsbook

The Patriots, led by Jones, are red-hot, posting four consecutive SU and ATS wins, while defeating opponents by an average of 25.0 points. New England is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS on the road this season, and has scored 24-plus points in six straight games.

  • Spread: New England Patriots -6.5 (-115) | Atlanta Falcons +6.5 (-105)
  • Moneyline: New England (-300) | Atlanta (+240)
  • Total: 47– Over (-110) | Under 47 (-110)
  • Public (Spread) Betting Percentages: NE 66% | ATL 34%
  • Game Info: Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021 | 8:20 pm ET | NFL Network

The line has dipped a half point since its opening in favor of New England (6-4, SU; 6-4 ATS) as a 7-point road favorite over Atlanta at SI Sportsbook. The total opened at 46.5 and is now 47. The Falcons (4-5 SU; 4-5 ATS) have averaged the eighth-fewest points per game this season (19.8), and face Patriots defense which will likely pressure Matt Ryan heavily. New England has surrendered the second-fewest points (17.7) per game to opposing offenses and is also fourth in the league in takeaways (17).

Atlanta has struggled at Mercedes Benz Stadium, failing to earn a win in three contests which has resulted in a 0-3 ATS while being outscored, 85-49. The Falcons have been a complete disappointment for bettors in the comforts of the dome, posting a 2-9 SU and 3-8 ATS mark over their last 11 home contests. On the flip side, the Patriots are undefeated away from Gillette Stadium this season. New England’s solid offensive output has resulted in a 5-1 mark to the over in its last six games.

Falcons Player Prop Info

In Week 11, the Falcons are expected to be extremely short-handed on the offensive side of the ball missing Ridley and most likely Patterson. Ryan, who has more interceptions (4) than touchdown passes (3) in his last three games, could struggle against the Patriots' ball-hawking defense. The veteran signal caller has clearly missed a top receiver in Ridley, failing to top 146 passing yards in two of the last three games.

The top receiving weapon in the Atlanta aerial game is clearly rookie tight end Kyle Pitts. The former Florida standout leads the club in targets (64), receptions (40) and receiving yards (606). Pitts, according to oddsmakers, projects to have the most receptions as well as the most receiving yards of any player on Thursday night.

Pitts has six-plus targets in eight of nine games, and will find increased volume in the passing game with the absence of Ridley and Patterson (who leads the club with seven total touchdowns). Against a stout Patriots defense, Pitts could struggle to surpass his 65.5 receiving yards projection—a total he has exceeded only three times in nine games. On the outside, the Falcons will employ Olamide Zaccheaus and Russell Gage, which is far from alluring for fantasy managers and proposition bettors.

Patriots Player Prop Info

On the other side of the ball, the Patriots possess solid offensive production from Jones, as well as a dominant rushing attack led by Damien Harris.Harris is questionable for Thursday as he works to be cleared from the concussion protocol. Rookie Rhamondre Stevenson was superb in Harris' place, rushing for 100 yards and two touchdowns in the club’s 45-7 win over Cleveland last week.

Jones has been stellar, tossing six touchdown passes and just one interception over the Patriots' four-game winning streak. Atlanta has allowed multiple passing touchdowns to Dak Prescott (2), Trevor Siemian (2), Tua Tagovailoa (4), Taylor Heinicke (3), Tom Brady (5) and Jalen Hurts (2). Jones is a solid investment to surpass his passing touchdown betting market of 1.5 on Thursday against an Atlanta secondary that struggles to defend the pass ranking 17th in passing yards per game (246.2).

SI Recommends

Oddsmakers are projecting Kendrick Bourne will only have a moderate impact against the Falcons, as SI Sportsbook has his receiving yards betting market set at 32.5. My projections have the wideout, who has gone over this posted number in seven of 10 games this season—including five straight—surpassing his betting proposition number in Week 11. On the season, Bourne has developed into a down-the-field threat resulting in at least one reception of 14-plus yards in nine of ten games. Backing Bourne over 32.5 receiving yards Thursday night is a solid investment.

In addition, bettors should target tight end Hunter Henry. The veteran has found the end zone in six of the last seven games, and is currently being offered at odds of +150 to score an “Anytime Touchdown” against the Falcons. The Atlanta secondary has had issues preventing strong receiving tight ends from scoring as Dallas Goedert, Rob Gronkowksi (2) and Mike Gesicski have each found paydirt against the Falcons.

Oct 24, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws a ball on the sidelines during a game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots are just 4-3 ATS as a favorite this season. However, this team is rounding into form on both sides of the ball, and its four-game winning streak 4-0 SU mark on the road can not be overlooked. Atlanta currently ranks 29th in rushing yards (82.9 yards per game), and facing a Bill Belichick-coached defense without the threat of moving the ball on the ground will likely send the Falcons to their 10th loss in its last 12 home games at Mercedes Benz Stadium. The Patriots will have the best player on the field in Jones, piloting an efficient offense producing 356.2 yards per game.

The former Alabama star will face a Falcons defense that has surrendered the second-most points per game this season (29.2). This lands us to conclude New England will have a tremendous advantage both on the field and on the sidelines.

Time to lay the wood.

BET: New England -6.5 (-115)


Mac Jones, QB, Patriots: Over 1.5 Touchdown Passes
Hunter Henry, TE, Patriots: Anytime Touchdown +150
Kendrick Bourne, WR, Patriots: Over 32.5 Receiving Yards


  • New England is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS on the road this season
  • Atlanta is 2-9 SU and 3-8 ATS mark over their last 11 home games
  • The Patriots are 4-0 SU and ATS during its current four-game winning streak by an average of 25.0 points per win
  • The Falcons are 0-3 SU and ATS at Mercedes Benz Stadium this season



2021 SI Betting Monday Night Football: 6-4 ATS / Props 10-9 +4.85 units

2021 SI Betting NFL Football Overall YTD: 27-20 ATS & Props +8.25 Units

2020 SI Betting NFL Football: 72-58-1 ATS (55%)

Check the Latest Lines at SI Sportsbook

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