Denver Broncos vs Atlanta Falcons Betting Preview

Opening Line: Falcons -3/ Denver +3 O/U 51

Time: Monday September 17, 2012 8:30 PM EST

Last Games: The Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19 and the Falcons beat the Kansas City Chiefs 40-24.

Both Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan had fantastic season openers and Manning looked like the Manning of old in his first start in 20 months. Neither team has an elite defense, but the Broncos have a young and talented unit that has a tall task in stopping Ryan and the huddle offense in Atlanta. The Falcons scored 40 points in their season opener and that was on the road no less.

Many were doubting if Manning could come back, but after his Week 1 performance he silenced many critics. His WR corps is not the one he had in Indy, but in the win over the Steelers WR's Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker played well. Thomas was the big play guy in that game averaging 22 yards per carry.

The Falcons came up with 2 INT in the win over Kansas City, but they still allowed the Chiefs to pass for over 240 yards. On top of that they lost star CB Brent Grimes to a season-ending injury. Their pass rush had 3 sacks and they need to pressure Manning in this game.

Willis McGahee rushed for over 1,000 yards last season and while he did not have a big game facing the Steelers he was facing a stellar run defense. He still averaged 4 yards per carry. McGahee will be facing a Falcons' run defense that struggled last week allowing the Chiefs to gain 142 yards on the ground.

Ryan passed for 299 yards in the win over Kansas City with 3 TD and he was not picked off. He has a couple of stars to throw to in WR Roddy White and WR Julio Jones, who had 108 receiving yards with 2 TD averaging 18 yards per catch against the Chiefs. Champ Bailey leads a Denver pass defense that kept Ben Roethlisberger in check only giving up 98 passing yards in the 2nd half and had a late INT that thwarted the Steelers last chance.

The Denver run defense stuffed the run in their opening game against Pittsburgh, but they were facing a couple back-up RB's since Rashard Mendenhall was on the sidelines recovering from an injury. Still, while Atlanta's Michael Turner has been a solid back in the last few seasons he really struggled to run against Kansas City only gaining 32 yards on a weak 2.9 yards per carry.

The Broncos have covered the spread in 5 of their last 7 games on the road and in their last 6 games overall the posted total has gone Over.

OK, so the Broncos are only 1-0, but the Falcons have failed to cover the spread in their last 5 games when they are up against a team with a winning record.

Pick: This one is a hard one to call and I think both QB's will play well and it will be a close game. However, I have to go with the Falcons to win and cover since they are at home.Take the Falcons -3 @