The Atlanta Falcons made the Super Bowl two years ago and the playoffs again in 2018. With quarterback Matt Ryan and most of the other top pieces returning, there isn’t much to figure out in the preseason. The opposite is true for the New York Jets, who are in the midst of a rebuild and will be taking a close look at three different quarterbacks in the exhibition slate.
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The Falcons and Jets will face off to open up the preseason in a game that is unlikely to resemble a regular season affair. New York has the inferior talent at the top of its roster but that won’t matter too much in this one. The Jets are entering as the favorites in NFL gambling
This NFL football game will be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey at 7 p.m ET on Friday, August 10th, 2018. The contest will be nationally televised on NFL Network.
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The Jets are currently being listed as 3.5-point favorites. They have been backed by the majority of the bettors as more than 81 percent of the action is on New York to cover. The Jets are listed as the -180 favorites on the moneyline while the Falcons are the +155 underdogs.
The scoring total is listed at 34.5 points, as the preseason games generally have less scoring than regular season contests. The “over” is the more popular play in NFL wagering.
Player To Watch
Sam Darnold -- The Jets rookie quarterback is fighting for a starting spot and this Friday’s preseason showdown against Atlanta will be a huge opportunity to prove himself. Darnold was the third overall pick in this year’s draft after an impressive career at USC. He’s the current No. 3 quarterback on the Jets’ depth chart, behind Josh McCown and Terry Bridgewater.
Darnold threw for 7,229 yards in his two seasons as the Trojans starter, finishing with 57 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Picks were an issue early on last season so the Jets will be focusing on his accuracy and ability to avoid turnovers. Darnold seems unlikely to beat out McCown for the starting job unless he looks fantastic in preseason action.
This is his first shot to impress in the exhibition slate. It’s a good opportunity as well for Bridgewater, who was a promising quarterback until a knee injury derailed the past two seasons of his career.
Zero. Don’t be surprised if that’s the number of snaps played by some of the Falcons stars. Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones are established NFL stars who don’t need much work in the preseason. Maybe they play a series, but it’s possible they don’t see the field in this matchup to avoid a chance at injury.
Keep a close eye on any playing time announcements coming from the Atlanta side. If these two guys don’t play, the Falcons will be a deserving underdog as they will be relying on backups to win the game.
Free NFL ATS Picks
Darnold will likely have his issues as a rookie like every first-year player, but he does have talent. As long as he can sustain a couple of drives, it will give the Jets the boost they need to win this contest. The Falcons would be a sizable favorite in a regular season meeting between these teams but the preseason is something different.
Take New York to win this game, but the Falcons are the pick to cover the spread by a whisker. The “over” is the choice in a game that should be competitive and entertaining in NFL odds.
NFL ATS Pick: New York Jets 20, Atlanta Falcons 17
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