If the Falcons have perfected one thing over the past eight months, it's blowing a big lead to AFC East teams.
The Falcons have two losses this season and both of those losses came after they blew a halftime lead to a team from the Patriots' division. The Falcons might want to just start playing from behind on purpose from now on, just so they can avoid all the jokes that come with blowing a big lead.
Of course, the biggest lead the Falcons have blown recently came in Super Bowl LI when they lost to the Patriots 34-28 in a game where they once held a 28-3 lead in the third quarter. The Falcons will finally get a chance to avenge that loss this week in a game where oddsmakers have labeled them a 4-point underdog (They were a 3-point underdog in the Super Bowl).
The bad news for the Falcons is that recent history hasn't been kind to the Super Bowl loser when they get a rematch with the team that beat them in the prior seasons's Super Bowl. Since Super Bowl I in January 1967, there have been a total of seven rematches played the following regular season.
Here's a look at all the Super Bowl rematch games in NFL history with the regular season rematch listed first.
1970: Vikings 27-10 over Chiefs (Chiefs 23-7 over Vikings in Super Bowl IV)
1977: Raiders 35-13 over Vikings (Raiders 32-14 over Vikings Super Bowl XI)
1979: Steelers 14-3 over Cowboys (Steelers 35-31 over Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII)
1993: Bills 13-10 over Cowboys (Cowboys 52-17 over Bills in Super Bowl XXVII)
1997: Packers 28-10 over Patriots (Packers 35-21 over Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI)
2014: Seahawks 26-20 over Broncos (Seahawks 43-8 over Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII)
2016: Broncos 21-20 over Panthers (Broncos 24-10 over Panthers in Super Bowl 50)
2017: Falcons at Patriots (Patriots 34-28 over Falcons in Super Bowl LI)
At this point, the Falcons are probably hoping that whatever happens on Sunday, it doesn't involve them blowing another giant lead.
Although there are no other Super Bowl rematches this week, let's check out the rest of the odds.
NFL Week 7 early odds
Chiefs (5-1) at Raiders (2-4), Thursday
Opening line: Chiefs, -3 points
The Raiders are heading into Week 7 on a four-game losing streak and if they want to end that slide, they're going to have to beat a Chiefs team that they can't ever seem to beat. Not only have the Chiefs won five in a row against the Raiders, but they've also won 12 straight overall in the division. Since the beginning of last season, the Chiefs are 7-0 straight up against AFC West teams and 6-1 ATS. The Chiefs also have the NFL's best ATS record (5-1) for the 2017 season. As for the Raiders, they're 2-5 ATS as a home underdog since 2015, which is the third worst mark in the NFL over that span.
Buccaneers (2-3) at Bills (3-2)
Opening line: NO LINE
There's no line for this game yet because oddsmakers aren't 100 percent sure that Jameis Winston is going to play. The Bucs' quarterback (shoulder) was injured in the first half of Tampa's loss to Arizona on Sunday and didn't return to the game. No matter what happens with Winston, the Bills might end up being the smart play. Buffalo is 4-1 ATS this season, which is the second best mark in the NFL. On the other hand, the Bucs are just 1-4 ATS, which is the third-worst mark in the NFL. Also, in a weird scheduling quirk, this game will mark only the second time ever that these two teams have met in Buffalo, where the Buccaneers have never won (0-1).
Panthers (4-2) at Bears (2-4)
Opening line: Panthers, -3.5 points
Although the Bears have struggled over the past year and a half, they've quietly somehow become one of the safest home underdog bets in the NFL. Sure, the Bears are 4-17 overall since the beginning of the 2016 seasons, but they're also 7-1 ATS as a home underdog in that span. Not to mention, the Bears are also 4-2 ATS overall this season, which is tied for the third-best mark in the NFL this year (The Panthers are 3-3 ATS this year). Cam Newton will also be playing in a city where he's never won: The Panthers quarterback has a career record of 0-2 in Chicago.
Opening line: Titans, -6.5 points
After covering the spread in Week 1, the Browns have gone 0-5 ATS since then making them the only team in the NFL that hasn't covered over the past five weeks. Before you even think about betting this game, you'll want to keep an eye on the quarterback situation for both teams. Marcus Mariota has been dealing with a hamstring injury, and although he might play Monday against the Colts, there's always a chance he could strain his hamstring. The Browns are also dealing with a quarterback issue, except it has nothing to do with a player being injured. Coach Hue Jackson is going to have to pick his poison and start either Kevin Hogan or DeShone Kizer this week. Kizer got benched in heading into Week 6, but it wouldn't be a shock to see him get his job back after Hogan threw three interceptions against the Texans. These two teams played in Nashville in 2016 and the Browns covered a 7.5-point spread in a 28-26 loss.
Saints (3-2) at Packers (4-2)
Opening line: Saints, -3.5 points
With Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) , the 4-2 Packers , which is a big reason why they've opened as a 3.5-point home underdog to the Saints. The last time the Packers had to play an extended period without Rodgers came in 2013 when he also injured his collarbone. During Rodgers' seven-game absence that year, the Packers went 2-4-1 straight up and 1-6 ATS. It wasn't pretty. As if the Rodgers injury wasn't bad enough, the Packers now get a Saints team that has won three straight and covered in each of those games. The Saints' last three wins -- over the Lions, Dolphins and Panthers -- have come by an average of 18.3 points per game.
Jaguars (3-3) at Colts (2-3)
Opening line: Jaguars, -3 points
If the Jaguars are going to cover in this game, they're going to have to do something they haven't done since 2012: Win in Indy. The Jaguars are on a four-game losing streak at Lucas Oil Stadium. Although the Jags have had some trouble winning in Indy, they have done a good job of covering against divisional opponents. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, the Jags are 8-5-1 ATS against AFC South teams, which ranks fifth in the NFL over that span. Of course, the big question here is whether or not Andrew Luck will play. Although Luck has returned to practice for the Colts, the team has given no indication of when or where he might make his first start.
Opening line: Rams, -3 points
There have been two games in London so far this season and both of them ended up in a blowout with the Saints beating the Dolphins 20-0 and the Jaguars beating the Ravens 44-7. The thing about London is that you never know how a team is going to react to the gigantic time difference, which in this case, will be eight hours for both teams (This game kicks off at 6:30 a.m. local time in both Phoenix and L.A.). The Rams and Cards have given us one of the most even divisional rivalries in football over the past two seasons with the two teams splitting their past four meetings. The one thing you might want to keep in mind here is that the Cardinals are 1-5 ATS this season, which is tied with the Browns for the worst mark in the NFL.
Jets (3-3) at Dolphins (3-2)
Opening line: Dolphins, -3.5 points
These two teams have already played each other once this season with the Jets winning 20-6 in a Week 3 game where they closed as a 5.5-point underdog. Although the Dolphins offense seems to have gotten slightly worse since then, Miami is still a favorite here, which might actually be good news for the Jets. Since 2015, the Dolphins are just 2-5-1 ATS as a home favorite, which is the second-worst mark in the AFC over that span. Of course, that doesn't mean you should bet on the Jets. In that same span, New York is 3-7-1 ATS as a road underdog. As for this year, the Jets are 4-2 ATS in all games, which is tied for the third best mark in the NFL.
Ravens (3-3) at Vikings (4-2)
Opening line: Vikings, -4.5 points
One of the safest bets in the NFL over the past few years has been taking the Vikings to cover the spread any time they play an AFC team. Since Mike Zimmer took over as Vikings coach in 2014, Minnesota has gone 10-3 ATS against AFC teams, which is the second-best non-conference mark of any team in the NFL over that span (The Ravens are 5-7-1 ATS against the NFC in that same timeframe). One thing we don't know for sure about this game is who the starting quarterback will be for the Vikings. Although it could be Case Keenum or Sam Bradford, it's starting to look more and more like it will be Keenum. Fox Sports reported on Sunday that Bradford's knee is "much worse than people know."
Cowboys (2-3) at 49ers (0-6)
Opening line: Cowboys, -4.5 points
The 49ers might be 0-6, but they've been surprisingly good at covering the spread this year. Through six weeks, the 49ers are 4-2 ATS, which is tied for the third-best mark in the NFL this season. Of course, that has a lot to do with the fact that every game that San Francisco plays in ends up being a nail-biter. The 49ers have lost five games in a row by three or fewer points, which is an NFL record. These two teams actually played last year in San Francisco with the Cowboys winning 24-17 in a game where they were a one-point favorite. One thing you'll want to keep an eye on is the availability of Ezekiel Elliott. Although Elliott is currently suspended, that could change if the Fifth Circuit agrees to re-hear his case.
Seahawks (3-2) at Giants (1-5)
Opening line: Seahawks, -7.5 points
After picking up their first win of the season on Sunday, the Giants will go into Week 7 as a 7.5-point underdog, which is somewhat surprising, and that's mainly because the Giants are almost never a huge underdog at home. Over the past 10 years, the Giants have only been an underdog of five or more points at home a total of five times. In those five games, the Giants are 4-1 ATS (but 0-5 straight-up). The last time the Giants were a home underdog of a touchdown or more came in 2015 when they were a 7.5-point underdog in a game they would lose to the Patriots 27-26. Last season, the Giants went 2-0 straight-up and ATS in games where they were a home underdog. The Seahawks have struggled to cover in road games recently, going just 4-8 ATS since the beginning of last season, a mark that ranks 28th overall in the NFL over that span.
Bengals (2-3) at Steelers (4-2)
Opening line: Steelers, -6 points
The Steelers have turned this rivalry into one of the most lopsided divisional rivalries in the NFL. Not only have the Steelers won six of their past seven regular season meetings with the Bengals, but they've also gone 6-1 ATS in those seven games. The one thing about the Steelers though, is that they haven't done a great job covering large points spreads recently. In their past five games where they were favored by five points or more, the Steelers are just 1-4 ATS. The Bengals are 3-2 ATS this season, a total that includes a Week 3 game where they covered as a 7-point underdog in a 27-24 loss to the Packers.
Broncos (3-2) at Chargers (2-4)
Opening line: Broncos, -2.5 points
After two games on the road, the Chargers are heading home this week, which might not actually be good news, because the Chargers seem to hate playing at home. Although the Chargers are 2-1 straight-up on the road this season, they're a horrible 0-3 at home, which also includes an 0-3 record ATS. If they're going pick up their first win at home, they're going to have to beat a Broncos team that they've gone 2-10 against in their past 12 meetings (4-7-1 ATS). The Chargers are 2-3-1 ATS this year and that one push actually came against the Broncos back in Week 1 when Denver knocked off L.A. 24-21.
Falcons (3-2) at Patriots (4-2)
Opening line: Patriots, -4 points
If you want to make some quick money, just bet against the Falcons when they're playing an AFC team. Since Dan Quinn was hired in 2015, the Falcons have gone 4-11 ATS against AFC teams, which is the thir- worst non-conference mark of any team in the NFL over that span. The Falcons are also an ugly 4-9 ATS after a loss under Quinn, which is also the the third-worst mark in the NFL over that span. Also, the Falcons are 0-5 in their past five meetings with the Patriots and haven't beaten them since 1998. Of course, if you're going to beat the Patriots, doing it at Gillette seems to be much easier than usual: The Pats are 1-2 at home (0-3 ATS) this season.
Opening line: Eagles, -6.5 points
Philadelphia has basically been the Redskins' home away from home recently with Washington winning the last two games it has played at Lincoln Financial Field. Actually, it's not just a Philly thing, because the Redskins have been able to beat the Eagles almost anywhere they play. The Redskins have won five of the past six meetings in this series and have gone 5-1 ATS in that span. However, the one game the Redskins lost in that period came in Week 1 of this year when the Eagles covered as a two-point favorite in a 30-17 win over Washington. Since 2014, the Redskins have been an underdog of six or more points to the Eagles a total of two times, and they've covered both times.
BYES: Lions, Texans