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Atlanta have revenge on their minds for Foxborough trip

New England have struggled against the handicap

Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn
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Sky Sports Action, 1.30am Sunday night

Every Atlanta fan will have been looking forward to this game ever since the Falcons collapsed to defeat in February's Super Bowl and they should not be expected to fluff their lines.

There has been evidence of a hangover after they threw away a 25-point lead in last season's showpiece, but they look well-treated by this week's handicap.

While it can be argued Atlanta have struggled to live up to their excellent campaign last term when they had the game's strongest offence, the same can be said of the Patriots, who have not made a blistering recovery from losing at home to Kansas City on the opening night.

New England were the punters' pals last year, covering the handicap in 12 of their 16 regular-season encounters, but they have been unable to make much headway in that regard this time.

And they were fortunate not to be taken to overtime by the New York Jets last week, despite being chalked up as 9.5-point favourites, when their opponents had a touchdown controversially disallowed.

The Falcons have some making up to do after they surrendered a 17-point lead at home to Miami last week and fell to a 20-17 loss to the Dolphins.

It could be that Dan Quinn's team had allowed themselves to be distracted by their trip to Foxborough and, if that was the case, expect them to be even more focused.

It's dangerous to rule out the Patriots and they could bounce back, but Atlanta have huge motivation for this clash. 

Atlanta +3.5
2pts 13-15 188Bet

The lowdown
Venue Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Surface Grass
Weather Cloudy, 11C
Vegas handicap Atlanta +3
Vegas points line 56.5

Team news
Linebacker Jordan Tripp is out with concussion but fellow LB Vic Beasley has recovered from a hamstring problem and wide receiver Mohamed Sanu should be available after dealing with a similar issue.
New England
Cornerback Stephon Gilmore is out with concussion and linebacker Harvey Langi is out with a back injury.

Key stat
New England have covered the handicap in just one of their six matches this season

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New England were the punters' pals last year, covering the handicap in 12 of their 16 regular-season encounters
E.W. Terms
Sky bet