NFL betting fans were anxious to see how New England would do against a talented and playoff contending Atlanta team last week and the Pats scored a 28-10 NFL gambling payout.
Add that to a win over the defending world champion New Orleans Saints in the preseason opener and it looks as if the Patriots are ready for business in 2010 after an embarrassing home playoff loss to Baltimore last year casted doubts over their future viability as a top contender.
New England will host the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night before concluding the preseason next week at the New York Giants.
Wide receiver Wes Welker returned in impressive fashion last week for the Patriots just seven months removed from tearing up his left knee. Quarterback Tom Brady went to Welker right away with 2 early completions and it looked as if Welker was ready to resume his status as one of pro football’s most dangerous and productive wideouts.
“Getting out there catching balls and getting hit was good,” said Welker. “It’s a step forward. I’m not sure I’m all there yet.”
New England frustrated Atlanta by going 11-17 on third down conversions and looked to be in full regular season form. Brady was near flawless going 10-12 for 85 yards.
“It was a good trip,” said coach Bill Belichick. “We played well as a team.”
The Patriots have been working on an improved running game in preseason as that was a weakness for them last year with the NFL betting odds. They want a more effective ground game to take the heat off Brady and look to be making strides as they had 70 yards rushing on 14 carries with the starters in the lineup at Atlanta.
NFL betting lines handicappers believe that if the Patriots can achieve better balance they will offer better and more frequent payouts on the board.
“Each and every year when you go into training camp and go into preseason, your motto is to be a balanced team,” said running back Kevin Faulk, who got a first down on a 3rd and 7 draw play out of the shotgun against the Falcons.
Welker will see limited action for the rest of the NFL betting preseason as the Pats want him in the lineup for the September 12 opener against Cincinnati.