When the New England Patriots travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons on "Sunday Night Football" this week, it will be business as usual for quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick, who have been extremely impressive throughout their careers together in the spotlight. Brady is 34-12 straight up (SU) and 28-16-2 against the spread (ATS) in prime-time games throughout his career, including 19-4 SU and 14-8-1 ATS in his past 23 prime-time games. If you look specifically at Brady's history on SNF, though, he is only 9-8 SU and 8-8-1 ATS since 2001.
One of the more impressive statistics on Brady's résumé is his road success on the big stage: He is 16-6 SU and 15-6-1 ATS on the road in prime time and 6-1 SU and 7-0 ATS in his past seven road games in the spotlight. On the other side, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is 7-2 SU and ATS in his nine career home games in prime time since 2008.
The Patriots and Falcons have met six different times since 1990, with the series even 3-3 SU and ATS, but New England is 2-0 SU and ATS in its past two games in Atlanta. The Falcons are currently listed between a 2- and 2.5-point home favorite over New England on Sunday night. Atlanta has beaten eight straight AFC opponents as a home favorite and is 9-2 SU in Ryan's career as a home favorite against the AFC.
Only eight players in the NFL have more than 30 targets through the first three weeks of the regular season, and two of them will play Sunday night -- Julio Jones (33 targets) and Julian Edelman (34). With Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski and Roddy White all hurt and hobbled since the beginning of the season, these two receivers have benefited a ton by being healthy and having pass-happy QB on their side.
Let's get some analysis of the line from Jay Kornegay of the Las Vegas Hotel and an ATS pick on the game from four wiseguys:
Matchup: New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons
Spread: Opened Falcons minus-1; now Falcons minus-2.5
Total: Opened 49.5; now 50