patriots falcons player props picks
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG DUDEK

The Patriots are suddenly in the thick of the AFC playoff picture after their fourth consecutive victory on Sunday. That run has coincided with the emergence of quarterback Mac Jones, who will look to keep things going against established veteran Matt Ryan. We looked at the available player prop bets in this first meeting between these two teams since Super Bowl LI, an angle that some should provide some added intrigue tonight.

Let’s take a look at this NFL Week 11 Thursday Night Football matchup with our best Patriots vs. Falcons player props picks.

Patriots vs. Falcons Player Props

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Rhamondre Stevenson Anytime Touchdown Scorer

The rise of rookie fourth round running back Rhamondre Stevenson has been quick and furious. The Oklahoma product rushed for 100 yards in last week’s win on 20 carries, two of which went for scores. He has established season highs in touches and total yards in each of the last two games, and with lead back Damien Harris still questionable to play, he could once again see a heavy workload here.

Since a fumble in his first game, Stevenson has proven reliable with 64 touches in five appearances without putting the ball on the ground. It’s well-documented the prioritization Bill Belichick puts on ball protection and the diversity with which his offense operates. Stevenson could continue to feature here, especially in the red zone.

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He has not had a rush of over 18 yards this season, but he still averages more yards per rush (4.3) than Harris, who already has five rushes of at least 20 yards. Stevenson’s yards per carry has also shot up over five yards per carry in each of the last two games.

Belichick has done a tremendous job protecting quarterback Mac Jones by utilizing a run-heavy attack that averages the 10th most rushes per game, a number that spikes to third most when New England is on the road. Meanwhile, the Falcons are ranked No. 21 against the run and have allowed nine scores by running backs over the last seven games, including at least one in each of those contests.

New England has been piling up the scores by its backs, seeing them score 12 times in the last six games, including at least one in every outing.

The most challenging part of this prop bet is the unpredictability regarding which back the Patriots will lean upon. Still, we believe Stevenson will have the inside track here with Harris’ status uncertain and his own ability to protect the football. The rookie should tally his fourth score of the season here.

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Hunter Henry Anytime Touchdown Scorer

This is simply a case of riding the hot hand. Hunter Henry has scored seven touchdowns in his last seven games, including two last week. Only one game in that stretch saw him fail to score.

Henry doesn’t catch a ton of balls, but he makes the ones he does catch count. In fact, all six of his catches in the red zone this season have been touchdowns. Still, his seven scores are tied for the fourth most receiving touchdowns and are the most by any tight end. He faces the league’s second worst scoring defense here, one that is allowing 2.1 passing scores per game, tied for the NFL’s third most.

Atlanta has defended the tight end position around the goal line fairly well this season, allowing just four touchdowns, including just one since Week 2. However, the unit is tied for the sixth most opponent red zone opportunities allowed per game at 3.9, conceding the second most red zone scores per outing at 2.8.

Meanwhile, the Patriots have the fifth most red zone trips and the sixth most red zone touchdowns over the last three games. Facing that No. 31 ranked scoring defense, we would not be the least bit surprised to see Henry find paydirt once again.

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New England Defense Anytime Touchdown Scorer

We see a hefty payday here with a Patriots defensive score cashing upwards of +450 odds, depending upon where you shop. New England has run back two interceptions for touchdowns in the last three weeks alone. The Patriots are tied for the fourth highest defensive scoring rate in the league in 2021 and are getting hot in that category at the right time for us here.

New England is tied for the eighth highest defensive points per game this season (1.4), jumping to second away from home (3.5). Atlanta has allowed four defensive and special teams touchdowns already this season.

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In total, they have had a punt blocked for a touchdown, allowed a 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and two interceptions for scores against them.

Matt Ryan threw both of those pick-sixes and has the second most career interceptions returned for touchdowns amongst active quarterbacks (19), with only Matthew Stafford (25) tallying more. He will be facing a New England defense which features J.C. Jackson, who has already returned a pick for a score this season. Jackson finished the 2020 season with nine interceptions, second in the league, and is tied for second again this year with five already.

 

And, don’t forget, this will be the first time Ryan has faced New England since the epic collapse in Super Bowl LI when New England stormed back from 28-3 down to win. The Patriots defense did not score in that one, but they did force a crucial fumble and the ghosts from that night could follow him here in another primetime matchup.

While that’s speculation, what we do know is this — Atlanta turns the ball over the ninth most per game in the league this season. New England’s defense has generated the fifth most takeaways per game with 1.9, but even that solid rate jumps to 2.5 away from home. Don’t be surprised to see the defense for the Pats take one of those to the house here, providing us a hefty payout.