Eagles (-3, 5) at Falcons – 7:10 PM EST – ESPN
Philadelphia opened up as a 1 ½-point road favorite when the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino SuperBook (LVH) released lines for Week 1 back in April. After an impressive preseason effort, the Eagles have been boosted up to a three-point favorite at most books, as Chip Kelly’s squad is expected to do big things in the NFC with his explosive offense. However, traveling to the loud Georgia Dome to take on a Falcons’ squad who missed the playoffs last season won’t be an easy task for Philadelphia.
The Eagles topped the 36-point mark in each of their first three preseason victories, as Sam Bradford threw three touchdown passes in the dress rehearsal win at Green Bay. There are plenty of new faces on the Philadelphia offense with Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, andJeremy Maclin out of town, as Bradford and DeMarco Murray look to keep up the offensive prowess under Kelly.
The Falcons begin the Dan Quinn era following back-to-back losing campaigns, including a 6-10 mark in 2014. Quinn comes over from Seattle where he spent the last two seasons as defensive coordinator, helping the Seahawks win consecutive conference championships. The Falcons allowed at least 27 points in eight games last season, while this club put together a dreadful 1-9 record outside of NFC South play.
Atlanta has been automatic in home openers since Matt Ryan took over at quarterback in 2008, posting a perfect 7-0 SU/ATS record, including a 37-34 overtime triumph against New Orleans as a three-point underdog in 2014. The Falcons took a step back at home last season, losing four of their final five games at the Georgia Dome after early victories over the Saints and Buccaneers. Since 2008, the Falcons have struggled in Monday night contests, compiling a 1-6 SU and 4-3 ATS record with three of those covers coming as double-digit underdogs.
Philadelphia is making its first trip to Atlanta since 2011, when the Falcons outlasted the Eagles, 35-31 as 2 ½-point underdogs in Week 2. Kelly didn’t face the Falcons in his first two seasons as head coach of the Eagles, while going 1-2 SU/ATS as a road favorite in 2014 with the lone win coming at Houston. The Eagles have performed well on Monday nights in Kelly’s short tenure, winning in all three tries since 2013, including an opening night victory two seasons ago at Washington.
Vikings (-2 ½, 41 ½) at 49ers – 10:20 PM EST – ESPN
Minnesota ventures out west after wrapping up 2014 by covering eight of its final 10 games. The Vikings fell short of the playoffs for the second straight season at 7-9, but get backAdrian Peterson in the backfield after missing all but one game in 2014 due to disciplinary reasons. Now, the Vikings look to capitalize on a solid 4-1 SU/ATS record in the preseason, heading to battle a rebuilding San Francisco squad.
The 49ers have moved on from Jim Harbaugh as former defensive line coach Jim Tomsulawas promoted in January to head coach. San Francisco hit the skids following three straight trips to the NFC title game from 2011-13 with a subpar 8-8 record in 2014, which was capped off by a 1-4 finish and Harbaugh’s dismissal. The home-field advantage at brand new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara was anything but as the Niners went 4-4 SU and 2-6 ATS, all in the favorite role.
Now, San Francisco will be listed as an underdog at Levi’s Stadium for the first time, while Minnesota is laying points on the road for the first time since 2012. In fact, the Vikings last covered as away ‘chalk’ back in 2010 at Washington, posting an 0-3 SU/ATS record since that ATS win. Minnesota cashed four of its final five games away from TCF Bank Stadium last season as an underdog, but the Vikings lost their last three road games at Chicago, Detroit, and Miami.
These two teams are hooking up for the first time since 2012, as the Vikings knocked off the 49ers at the Metrodome, 24-13 as 6 ½-point underdogs. Minnesota is making its first trip to the Bay Area since 2007 when the Vikings destroyed the Niners, 27-7 as eight-point favorites. The Vikings have lost five straight Monday night games dating back to 2009, while the 49ers are riding a seven-game winning streak in Monday action since 2010.