Thursday, September 18, 2014


Are you ready for some football? A large portion of my undisciplined friends have returned for Thursday Night!

I know I, for one, am excited for Atlanta and Tampa Bay clash! Okay, sorry, so I am just not super pumped for this matchup, but at least it is another division battle, right? That's something, right? maybe? Is there at least a possibility this will be close? Sure, but that possibility existed before the first two games as well.

I was hoping the Packers would make a game of it in the opening Thursday night clash, but that wasn't to be as the Pack ended up losing by 20 points, not even close to covering the spread on the road. The second game featured the Ravens and the Steelers two teams who share no love loss. They had only played two games in the previous six seasons that were decided by more than a touchdown and the previous five contests heading into this one were decided by a field goal or less. The spread was two and a half points, so surely we were in for a dandy of a Thursday nighter, right? Well, ya know, that or the Steelers get beaten 26-6, another loss by 20 in a Thursday night game. Yuck.

These things cannot so much be predicted, and the matchup. or its fantasy relevance, will still be what will really draw people in. Falcons-Buccaneers is not a sexy matchup, to most run of the mill NFL fans. The rivalry is not as fierce as, say, Saints-Falcons, but like I said, it is at least a divisional matchup. So that's something. I would like a Thursday nighter that is actually at least a close game, but is there some special Thursday night mojo for the home teams? It's quite possible.

The home team again comes in to the Thursday night skirmish as the favorite. Well, in 2013, the home team only covered on Thursday night three times. Three! That's out of fifteen, folks. That's not good, especially when you realize the home team won only once when favored all of last season on Thursday night. That's almost enough to start making the road teams someone's lock of the week.

How is that relevant? Well, it isn't, really. Not at all. It's not relevant since the home teams are 2-0 as favorites, at home, on Thursday night, against the spread this year. That's already twice as many as last season! So odds, right now, if you were to bet, not on the actual skill level of the teams or how they matchup, but rather on the recent results, are in favor of the Falcons. Sample size, not quite enough to make them your shoe in of the week, but sort of interesting.

Well, I think the Falcons take this one handily, but not because of the recent odds history, but because of Matty Ice.

Matt Ryan is highly decent in the Georgia Dome. As bad as the Falcons were last year, Ryan was steady at home, flashing a 13-3 TD-INT ratio, as opposed to 13-14, on the road. Ryan's home rating was just over 25 points higher than his road rating in 2013, and in his first game at home this season he threw for 448 yards and three touchdown. Oh, and the Falcons have also won five of the last six against the Bucs in the Georgia Dome. I think it's another solid night for Matty Ice and another less than close Thursday night game. Falcons 24-12

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