Nostrathomas Predicts: A Bad Week for the Falcons to Break a Bad Streak

Tom Pollin

Do you fans know that the Atlanta Falcons are 1-12 in their last 13 games against AFC opponents? Of course you do. Falcons fans haven’t been able to get away from experts throwing that record around all week. Did you know that the Falcons are five-point underdogs this week? Probably not. You’re just worried about whether the team can climb out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves and rise back to being playoff contenders.

The problem is, when you look at the trends and 2019 statistical breakdown, the Falcons are more likely to lose and drop to 1-4 for the second season in a row. Nostrathomas is also not picking them to cover that point spread this week.

When you’re picking against the point spread you can’t let your heart get in the way of your head. There aren’t enough things that the Falcons have done well this season to justify picking them to upset the Houston Texans this week.

If they want to, the Falcons should be able to successfully run the ball. Houston is twenty-fifth in rushing yards per attempt allowed on defense this season. Trouble is, even when the Falcons do try to run, they’re doing it with the wrong back.

Devonta Freeman has carried 47 times for 157 yards in four games, a 3.3 yards per attempt average. Ito Smith has carried the ball 13 times for 74 yards for an average of 5.7 yards per carry. He also has the Falcons only rushing touchdown of the season. Freeman may be getting paid to be the full-time running back but it’s obvious that Smith needs more touches.

The Falcons should also be able to bring consistent heat against Deshaun Watson, who’s been sacked 18 times this season, third most in the league. However, the defense should have been able to bring the heat against Marcus Mariota last week. When last seen, Mariota’s uniform was clean when he walked off the field after beating the Falcons 24-10.

A common thread in discussions this week has been, how do the Falcons revive their high-scoring offense? Nostrathomas has yet to see the correct answer. The defense needs to create more than the four turnovers that they’ve generated so far in 2019. More turnovers, more short fields for Matt Ryan to work with.

If you’re a betting person, you want this game in your sights. Pick the Houston Texans to win and cover the five-point spread. Need more convincing? Nostrathomas is 2-0 against the spread when picking Falcons games this season.

Houston Texans 25 Atlanta Falcons 16

If you want a couple more Nostrathomas picks so you can put together a nice three-game parlay this week, try these out.

Chicago Bears vs Oakland Raiders (1 PM ET; Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London)

The Bears are five-point favorites but that’s not where you should put your money in this game. What should catch your attention in this game is that the total is 40.5 points. That number has stayed solid all week despite 93 percent of public money coming in on the under.

Normally Nostrathomas would tell you that if a total, or point spread, refuses to move despite getting hammered by the public it means the professional betters (sharps) are coming in with heavy money on the other side of that line.

Still, the Bears are starting backup quarterback Chase Daniel this week, which means Matt Nagy’s offense will run efficiently, but probably won’t rack up a lot of points. This is also a grudge game for defensive wrecking ball Khalil Mack. He wants to show Gruden the Elder that he made a mistake in shipping Mack out of town.

Havoc will be wreaked. Not many points will be scored, especially by Oakland. Bet UNDER the 40.5-point total.

New England Patriots -16 at Washington Redskins (1 PM ET; FedEx Field, Landover, MD)

Yes, double-digit spreads give Nostrathomas heartburn. Still, there is not a single thing in the 26 statistics that Nostrathomas uses to analyze games that Washington does better than the Patriots. New England’s defense has been exceptionally stingy with allowing points this season. Gruden the younger will be starting Colt McCoy at quarterback after hanging rookie Dwayne Haskins out to dry in Week 4.

Finally, somebody has leaked two videos of Gruden the younger, one of him in a white t-shirt, sitting on the ground and talking to a woman and another that shows him smoking while someone unseen chants his name. From reports, what Gruden is smoking can’t be identified.

No one knows where the videos came from. Plenty have speculated but Nostrathomas won’t. What he will tell you is, take your favorite dumpster fire GIF, slap the logo for Dan Snyder’s team on the front of it and release it for all to enjoy.

Lay the 16 points and take the Patriots to win and cover.