2021 Atlanta Falcons Betting Preview: Odds, Lines, & Predictions
2021 Atlanta Falcons Betting Preview
It is almost impossible to name a team in recent history who choked away more wins than the 2020 Atlanta Falcons. After beginning 0-5, the Falcons replaced head coach Dan Quinn with interim coach Raheem Morris. Atlanta then managed to go 4-7 once Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff were fired. Additionally, there were talks of shipping Matt Ryan anywhere else and blowing the team up. It didn’t end up panning out that way as the Falcons decided to hold on to the former MVP for the foreseeable future.
Since then, Atlanta has made some significant changes. It signed Arthur Smith as its head coach, who played a pivotal role in rejuvenating the Tennessee Titans offense to some of their highest-scoring teams in well over a decade. Atlanta also traded Julio Jones, drafted phenom Kyle Pitts, and signed strong-legged Mike Davis.
2020 Atlanta Falcons Team Stats
Points For: 396
Points Against: 414
Passing Yards Per Game: 272.7
Rushing Yards Per Game: 95.8
Passing Yards Allowed Per Game: 293.6
Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game: 104.8
Key Offseason Transactions
Atlanta had a strange season last year, in general. The Falcons had a 0-5 start, which was quickly followed with them virtually cleaning house internally by firing head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Then, they won four of their next six games, showing some promise with interim coach Raheem Morris at the helm. After that lukewarm streak, the Falcons managed to lose five straight for the second time to close out the year. The season was filled with blown leads and game mismanagement.
Then, in the off-season, there was another strange situation where Julio Jones requested a trade but claimed that he didn’t actually want the Falcons to know about it. Altogether, it has been a bizarre year.
In the end, Atlanta made a few moves in the off-season, including drafting Kyle Pitts, signing Mike Davis, and trading Julio Jones. Most of its key moves were on the offensive end of the ball, despite having an abysmal pass defense last year. The Falcons are hoping new head coach Arthur Smith will revitalize the defense and ignite the offense.
New Head Coach: Arthur Smith
Drafted: Kyle Pitts
Signed: Mike Davis
Traded: Julio Jones
2020 Atlanta Falcons Betting Stats
ATS +/-: +1.0
Total +/-: -0.9
2021 Atlanta Falcons Betting Preview
Despite losing Julio Jones, there is more hope this year for the Falcons than last year. It would be hard for the Falcons to repeat a four-win season with a 17-game season and new coaching. Despite glaring defensive needs, particularly in the secondary, Atlanta still felt it could not pass up Kyle Pitts in this year’s draft. Additionally, Atlanta added to its ground game by scooping Mike Davis, who played well for the Panthers last year when Christian McCaffrey was injured.
Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl Odds
The Falcons winning the Superbowl this year would have made more sense, but still not much had they retained superstar Julio Jones. Unfortunately, they could not do that, and I don’t see this year’s Falcons being the “next ‘99 Rams.” Atlanta should consider this year a success if it hovers around .500 and has a dynamic offense that can give them some future hope, assuming it can solve defensive needs eventually. There’s not too much to this bet except to not place it.
Atlanta Falcons Playoff Odds
The Falcons have a steep road ahead to make the playoffs. As it stands, they will likely finish third in their division. Atlanta has to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints twice, resulting in three or four losses. Outside of their division, the Falcons have a relatively easy schedule. Although, it is hard to imagine Atlanta securing a wild card spot, especially after it lost Julio Jones. Additionally, the Falcons did not take the necessary steps in free agency to strengthen their secondary, and this void will be their Achilles heel.
Atlanta Falcons Win Total Odds
Atlanta will by no means be a dominant team this year; however, it will have a potent offense. While the Falcons did lose dynamo Julio Jones, they have retained Calvin Ridley while also adding Kyle Pitts in the draft and Mike Davis in free agency. The Falcons have a seemingly easy schedule. They will play the Jets, Lions, Giants, Football Team, Eagles, Jaguars, and the Panthers twice. The only unwinnable games are against the Buffalo Bills and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whom they play twice. The Falcons play the Saints twice, and that will also be tough but far from impossible. In short, I have the Falcons finishing the season at 8-9 in an average season.
Atlanta Falcons Players Futures Odds
This future interests me. I think we will see Pitts have an exceptional season for Atlanta. There has never been a tight-end drafted higher in the history of the NFL, which is a mind-blowing thought. Pitts draws many comparisons to Calvin Johnson because of his height, speed, strength, and overall athleticism. Now, imagine linebackers trying to cover Pitts; it’s a terrifying thought. And when cornerbacks cover him, it will be a mismatch 100% of the time. He’s even as fast as most cornerbacks in the NFL.
There are a couple of reasons why this doesn’t feel out of the realm of possibility. Firstly, Pitts’ competition outside of Lawrence for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year is not as tough as it may seem. It’s not guaranteed that Justin Fields or Trey Lance will see the field the entire, or even half, of the season. While I think each of them will ultimately finish out the season as the starter for their respective teams, they certainly might not enter the season that way. Those are two of the four players who are currently ahead of Pitts in the NFL OROY race. The other two who are ahead are Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson. Wilson is not guaranteed to be an immediate threat as the Jets have minimal talent around him. While Lawrence could quickly run away with the NFL OROY award, I would venture to say that Pitts has the second-highest chance.
The second point to consider is how Atlanta has played in recent years. Last year, the Falcons were fifth in the NFL in total passing yards per game. Their defense is bound to be mediocre once again, so Atlanta will be forced to put the ball in the air early and often.
Altogether, consider this future as a very viable option. Pitts could put together a 70-90 reception season with ten touchdowns pretty easily, in my opinion.
In conclusion, Atlanta should hover around that .500 mark in its record this year. The Falcons needed to emphasize pass defense in free agency and were unable to secure big-time names. Therefore, it is expected that they will still have a bottom-half defense in the NFL. Offensively, Atlanta should be fairly high-octane with Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, Kyle Pitts, and Mike Davis. While the loss of Julio Jones is significant, the additions of Pitts and Davis should mitigate this loss quite a bit. Eight or nine wins should be right on the mark for the Atlanta Falcons this year.
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