Falcons vs. Giants NFL Week 3 Preview and Best Bets

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Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP

Barring an unlikely tie, someone will get their first win of the season Sunday in NFL Week 3 when the 0-2 Atlanta Falcons visit the 0-2 New York Giants.

Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks

Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Giants

Sunday, September 26, 2021 – 01:00 PM EDT at MetLife Stadium 

Teams that start an NFL season 0-2 rarely made the playoffs when there were two wild-card teams in each conference. Last year with the additional wild-card team in the NFC and AFC, none of the 0-2 teams made it, either. Those trends are staring the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants in the face when they meet Sunday in New Jersey. It’s the only Week 3 matchup of winless teams. 

The Falcons lead the all-time series 13-12 including one playoff matchup. They last played in 2018 in Atlanta and the Falcons won 23-20. Matt Ryan threw for 379 yards and a score, while Julio Jones caught nine passes for 104 yards. Of course, he’s now with Tennessee. 

Eli Manning threw for 399 yards and a TD in that one. Manning is now retired, of course, but the two-time Super Bowl MVP will be welcomed to the Giants Ring of Honor and will have his No. 10 jersey retired during a special halftime ceremony Sunday. 

The road team is 9-3 ATS on NFL picks in the past twelve meetings. The total has gone under in ten of those twelve. 

Falcons Worst Team in NFC 

Things have not gone well for first-year Falcons coach Arthur Smith as his team has easily the worst points differential in the NFL at minus-49. The team is last in scoring defense in allowing 40.0 points per game. The pass rush is non-existent as that unit’s pressure rate on opposing QBs is just 20.5 percent, 31st in the league.  

Atlanta was bombed at home by Philadelphia 32-6 in Week 1, which looks awful in retrospect, and then routed 48-25 last Sunday at Tampa Bay, which isn’t so bad. The Falcons were only down 28-25 entering the fourth quarter. Matt Ryan threw for 300 yards and two TDs but three picks.  

The team’s biggest injury concern for this game is cornerback AJ Terrell in the concussion protocol. The No. 16 overall pick in the 2020 draft saved two touchdowns vs. the Bucs with acrobatic pass breakups before leaving. Atlanta also may have a new punter Sunday. Cameron Nizialek shanked two vs. Tampa Bay, so the team signed Dustin Colquitt to the practice squad. 

The Falcons are trying to avoid their first 0-3 start since 1996. They actually have dropped seven in a row dating to last season, the second-longest active streak in the NFL behind Jacksonville’ seventeen in a row. Since 2018, Atlanta is 2-11 straight up and 3-10 ATS on NFL picks in September games. 

Giants on Extra Rest off Week 2 

On the BetOnline NFL futures odds, Cincinnati’s Zac Taylor is the +350 favorite to be the first NFL coach fired this year and the Giants’ Joe Judge is second at +450. New York didn’t play well in Week 1, a 27-13 home loss to the Broncos, but did last Thursday in a 30-29 loss at Washington. 

Judge was the former special teams' coordinator in New England, so that’s his specialty. Thus, it was awfully embarrassing against Washington when Dexter Lawrence jumped offside on the WFT’s 48-yard potential winning kick as time expired. Dustin Hopkins missed but then made it from 43 after the penalty on an untimed down. Needless to say, Giants fans had some fun on Twitter with that mistake. Judge also called for a review challenge in Week 1 on a non-reviewable play and lost a timeout

QB Daniel Jones was a bright spot in the Washington loss, throwing for 249 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 95 yards and a score – also not turning the ball over, which is rare for him. With another rushing touchdown this week, Jones would become the fourth quarterback since the 1970 merger with a rushing TD in each of the first three weeks of a season, joining Terry Bradshaw, Kyler Murray, and Charlie Frye. What is Charlie Frye doing in that group? 

If this game comes down to a Giants field goal attempt, they likely win as Graham Cano has made 35 in a row. The NFL record is 44 straight by Adam Vinatieri for the 2015-16 Colts

New York played Week 2 without offensive lineman Shane Lemieux and tight end Evan Engram. Not clear yet on their status for this game. Team captain and center/guard Nick Gates fractured his leg in the Washington loss. Gates had started the previous seventeen games, dating back to last season, at center. He moved to left guard in place of Lemieux in Week 2. 

The Giants are 1-9 ATS on the NFL odds in September home games since the start of 2016 and an NFL-worst 6-18-1 ATS overall at home since 2018.  

However, we like them here on extra rest – except on the moneyline and not right on 3 points. If that spread comes down to -2.5, then take it ATS.

NFL pick: Giants at (-155) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Giants (-155)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.