NFL Betting: Atlanta Falcons 2018 Season Recap

Photo of the pickswise logo
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon


Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

When the 2018 season began, the Atlanta Falcons had designs of becoming the first team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl in their own stadium. It did not take long for the Falcons to realize that those ideas would not come to fruition. For the most part it was a disastrous, injury-plagued season in Atlanta. Perhaps the only good news is that the Falcons and their fans escaped having to watch the rival New Orleans Saints play for the Lombardi Trophy inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Let’s take a look at how the  Atlanta Falcons 2018 Season went.

What went wrong?

The Falcons can make plenty of legitimate excuses for their 7-9 record that was really even worse than 7-9 suggests. Star running back Devonta Freeman missed basically the entire year, playing in just two games because of a lingering knee injury. Safety Keanu Neal was lost for the season in the opener against Philadelphia when he suffered a torn ACL. Linebacker Deion Jones—yes, yet another Pro Bowler—was placed on injured reserve (designated for return) after sustaining a foot injury in Week 1 against the Eagles. Jones did not come back until early December, at which point Atlanta was already out of the realistic playoff picture at 4-7.

Without Freeman, the Tevin Coleman-led rushing attack finished 27th in the league at 98.3 yards per game. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian’s second—and final—season with the Falcons did not go much better than the first one, as his offense consistently failed to deliver in pressure-packed situations such as short-yardage, third downs, red zone, and late-game situations. In its first three losses to Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Cincinnati, it was outscored in regulation by a combined seven points (including a 43-37 overtime loss to the Saints and a 37-36 setback against the Bengals).

Falcons Against the Spread

Unfortunately for anyone who backed the Falcons early in the season, competitive losses did not pay any dividends. After all, expectations were high for this team heading into the 2018 campaign and it was favored against both New Orleans and Cincinnati while getting only one point in its opener despite facing Philadelphia on the road. Thus the Falcons were 1-3 ATS through four contests and things never got much better on the betting front, as they finished 5-11 ATS. Only in the final three games—all of which were meaningless for everyone involved with Arizona, Carolina, and Tampa making up the unspectacular opposition—did the Falcons start covering spreads on a consistent basis. They were 3-0 both ATS and SU in those three outings. Overall, Atlanta was 3-5 ATS at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and 2-6 ATS away from home.

Falcons Over/Under

Atlanta could not have been an easy team for which the bookmakers to set over/unders. After all, the Falcons had been all over the place in previous seasons. The over was 13-2-1 in 2016, whereas the under—with bloated totals based on Atlanta’s offensive prowess the previous year—was 5-11 in 2017. This time around, a more modest 9-7 record for the over was the finished product. Former NFL MVP Matt Ryan threw 35 touchdown passes compared to only seven interceptions and Julio Jones led the league with 1,677 receiving yards, so this offense was the real deal. But it should been even better—and would have been if not for the aforementioned problematic areas. The Falcons’ inability to find the endzone and reliance on kicker Matt Bryant was evident in the fact that Jones scored only eight touchdowns (none in the first seven games) despite his incredible yardage numbers. As such, the under was almost as productive as the over in 2018 even though Atlanta’s offense moved the ball consistency and its defense was banged up the entire year.

Virginia Bonuses

See All


Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

FanDuel Sportsbook


Get a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000!

Get refunded if you lose up to $1,000

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at



Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF



Bet $10, Win $200 if Any NBA Team Hits a Three Pointer!

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NBA game

Win $200 in free bets if any team hits a three pointer

21+. Terms & conditions apply.



Bet $5 & Win $150 If Your First Moneyline Bet Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on the pre-game Moneyline in any sport

Win $200 if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.



Get 4x $200 In Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook


Get a $1,250 risk-free bet

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, you’ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.



Bet $10, Get $200 if Any NHL Team Scores A Goal

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NHL game

Win $200 in free bets if any teams scores a goal

21+. Terms & conditions apply.



Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.



Get 5x $100 in Free Bets for Steelers vs. Colts!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.



Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.



Get $2,000 in Free Bets

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Monkey Knife Fight


Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.



Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.



Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

Underdog Fantasy


First deposit is 100% matched up to $100 with Underdog Fantasy

Sign up for a new account with Underdog Fantasy

Make your first deposit

Every dollar (up to $100) will be matched! Deposit $25, get $50; deposit $100, get $200, etc

Must be 21+ to play. Terms & conditions apply