Atlanta Falcons 2019 Betting Predictions, Odds and Expert Best Bets
Best Bet – Win the NFC South +325
Worst Bet – Win the Super Bowl +3300
After losing the Super Bowl in epic fashion a couple of seasons ago, the Atlanta Falcons have been on a decline. On offense the core of that team is still intact in QB Matt Ryan, WR Julio Jones and RB Devonta Freeman, but they need more than just a mediocre defense if they are going to return to the playoffs. This team was streaky last season with two three-game winning streaks separated by a five-game losing streak. They need to be able to smooth that out and figure out how to win when they are not at their best. I am not very bullish on their prospects this season.
The offense should be just as productive as it was last year, when it was third in yards and fifth in scoring. WR Calvin Ridley is ready to jump ahead of Mo Sanu in the receiving pecking order and should ultimately replace Jones one day at the top too – he is that good (10 TDs last season to lead the club).
The one thing to note is that the projected offensive line is going to have two new starters on the right side and both are rookies, the Falcons’ top two picks from the draft. Until those guys show they are NFL ready that has to be a concern. Also, last year’s leading rusher, Tevin Coleman, is gone. They gave the money to Freeman instead and this year he will be backed up by Kenjon Barner.
Atlanta’s defense needs to do a better job or else all the offense in the world won’t matter. They were last in the NFC in yards allowed last season and the only area where they were half decent was in interceptions thanks to S Damonte Kazee, who led the team with seven. They need to put more pressure on their opponents to get off the field quicker.
The best thing that could happen would be a return to form for DE Vic Beasley. He’s had only 5 sacks in each of the last two years, but a whopping 15.5 the season they went to the Super Bowl. They need the former first-round pick to be a difference maker. DL Takkarist McKinley led the team with 7 sacks a year ago and that was without much help. If he had someone drawing some attention away from him he could be that much more effective. Adrian Clayborn was brought back but he runs very hot and cold and isn’t getting any younger. The defense will decide how far they go this season. Obviously they were hit hard with a lot of injuries in 2018, but their pass-rush needs to get a lot better regardless.
Atlanta Falcons – Total Wins (9)
I think this season is going to look a lot like last season for the Falcons. The offense is going to do what is does while the defense holds them back, it’s just a question of how much. The NFC South is not a power division, and they are probably the second best team in it, but the rest of the schedule against the NFC West and AFC South is not all that easy. They are not going to win a lot of games on the road with a below average defense either. Recommendation:Take the under on 9 wins.
Odds to make the playoffs (+135/Yes)
The Falcons are not the favorite to win the NFC South, that would be New Orleans. Winning it locks you into the playoffs but the Wild Card seems more likely if they are going to make the playoffs at all. It is possible, but not probable, that two teams from this division will get there this season. Their best bet to qualify is to win a couple of games they are not supposed and take the NFC South outright rather than hope for some help. Recommendation: The odds are nice but this is a pass.
Odds to win NFC South (+325)
Linked to the above, the odds are much better here and the chances might be better too of them winning the division rather than qualifying for the playoffs another way. They get to play favored New Orleans twice. When I was calculating the win totals I counted both of those games as losses, but if they split those games things get a lot more interesting. Getting better than 3/1 odds on this one looks like a really good value bet. New Orleans is ahead of them but they have some question marks too. Recommendation: Put down a little on this one.
Odds to win NFC Conference (+1600)
To cash in on this one not only would things have to go right for the Falcons but wrong for about 5 or 6 other NFC teams. Just qualifying for the playoffs seems like a bit of a gamble, and I don’t like their chances right now in potential playoff games against the likes of the Rams or the Bears, two young teams that were in the playoffs last season and should get even better. Remember to cash this one you have to get in and win at least two, maybe three games. I just don’t think this team has it in them. They were not long shots when they had playoff success a couple of years ago. Recommendation: Enticing payoffs, but this is a pass.
Odds to win Super Bowl 54 +3300
Just getting to the Super Bowl would be a surprise for Atlanta this season. They have been there before though and not that long ago, so in some ways I like this bet more than the one above. There are some other would be contenders that cannot say they played in the “Big Game” in recent memory and there is something to be said about that experience. This is still a real long shot but the payoff is there. Recommendation: Pass – Odds are Atlanta would be an underdog if they made the Super Bowl. Less payoff but way less risk so just wait and see if they make it.