NFL Week 1 Predictions: Falcons at Steelers Odds 2010 NFL Picks: An attractive non-conference NFL odds match-up is on the NFL schedule for week one of the regular NFL picks season as the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Atlanta Falcons at Heinz Field. Las Vegas odds have placed the Steelers as 3-point favorites as the home team. The Falcons have done well as road underdogs against the spread (ATS), with a 5-2 record in 2009. The Steelers, in 2009, on the other hand, were a disappointing 2-5 ATS NFL picks at home. The teams last played in Atlanta in 2006, with the Falcons winning the NFL predictions match-up 41-38 in OT.
The Pittsburgh Steelers start-off the NFL picks season with a huge question mark behind center as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger serves a 4-game suspension to start the NFL predictions season. Head coach Mike Tomlin has named third-year pro Dennis Dixon as his starter on the heels of an injury to Byron Leftwich and his strong play in the NFL odds preseason. Dixon is an exciting but untested talent. He could excel or implode this NFL odds season. Dixon has wide receiver Hines Ward and tight end Heath Miller as safety nets on offense as well as emerging running back Rashard Mendenall and exciting receiver Mike Wallace. The Steelers are determined to run first and look for the pass second but the Falcons had difficulty against the pass in 2009 so offensive coordinator Bruce Airans could be tempted to dial-up more passes. Dixon has athletic and fast so he’ll have his share of bootlegs and roll-outs.
Defensively, the Falcons struggled in 2009 and went-out and obtained cornerback Dunta Robinson to upgrade the pass defense. Robinson will most likely lock-up on Wallace and could take away half the field for Dixon, or look for the pick-6. The Falcons provided opposing quarterbacks little pressure during the 2009 NFL picks season and would like to see players such as defensive ends Jamaal Anderson and John Abraham pick-up the pace. MLB Curtis Lofton will see lots of action against the Steelers and the Falcons safeties will need to be aware of Miller in the red zone.
If Dixon can avoid first-game jitters, the Steelers should have NFL picks success against the Falcons with a basic game plan. Atlanta needs to stop the run, first and foremost, and allow Dixon to make rookie mistakes. Expect the line to narrow on this week 1 NFL picks contest as Dixon was just announced as the starting quarterback on Monday.
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