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Falcons open as home underdogs against Patriots

Oddsmakers are not high on Atlanta at the moment.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

On the heels of the disaster in Dallas, the Falcons are, as expected, underdogs when they take on the Patriots at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Thursday Night Football. The opening line has them at +5.5 against New England at home.

The Falcons were riding high after their road win against the archrival New Orleans Saints, but all of that momentum came to a halt in spectacular fashion with their 43-3 loss against the Dallas Cowboys.

It was a loss of the ugliest sort, with Atlanta never looking remotely in the game — on either side of the football. Matt Ryan had one of his worst games of the season, going 9-21 for 117 yards and two interceptions.

Those sorts of losses can suck the enthusiasm out of a season, but they can certainly also suck Vegas’s confidence from a team that appeared to be on the rise.

The Patriots are on the other side of a lopsided game, having just stomped the Browns to the tune of 45-6 win at home. They’re riding a four-game winning streak into Atlanta behind rookie quarterback Mac Jones.

The all-time series between these two teams is 7-6, in favor of New England, and Atlanta will need to regroup and play some of their best football of the season should they hope to upset the upstart Patriots on Thursday Night Football.