Falcons vs. Lions odds, expert picks: Desmond Ridder and Atlanta look to improve to 3-0

Sunday’s NFC battle between the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons features two teams hoping to continue trending positively. The Falcons will put their 2-0 record on the line as they head to Detroit as the matchup’s underdog.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET at Ford Field in Detroit. The matchup will be broadcast on FOX.

The Atlanta Falcons are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since the 2017 season. Give credit to their young nucleus on the offensive side of the ball, highlighted by second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder and rookie running back Bijan Robinson. Together, they’ve paired to help field a fun product in the Dirty South and a competitive one. Count on Atlanta leaning on Robinson even more as he collects more reps. His productivity against a so-far stingy Detroit Lions runs defense could tell the story of Sunday’s outcome.

Like the Falcons, the Lions are transforming the narrative surrounding them. Sure, Hard Knocks brought additional eyes to Dan Campbell’s squad a season ago, but their improved play is the reason for raised expectations and a sense of optimism. Yet, for all the work the Lions have put in to change the narrative surrounding them, starting the season with back-to-back home losses would feel like a step backward. To avoid any negative steps, Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds need to remain sharp. St. Brown is battling turf toe and is questionable.

At the same time, rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs’ time is now to pick up the slack as David Montgomery battles injury. On the other side of the ball, giving up 30-plus points, as Detroit did a week ago at home against Seattle, won’t win you many games in this league. However, solving Atlanta’s run game would increase the Lions’ chances of covering as the home favorite. Despite the Lions pressuring opposing QBs on 38.9% of dropbacks this season, Detroit has only one sack through two games, per TruMedia.

All odds from BetMGM. Looking for NFL tickets? Buy them here.

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(Photo of Desmond Ridder: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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