The NFL odds are out and very enticing for the Falcons, so should we buy or sell on this team that is known for its’ postseason shortcomings?
Super Bowl (+1400)
The Falcons seem pretty solidly priced here. They are behind six teams, the top three from both the NFC and AFC, and they sit behind the 49ers, Seahawks and Packers in the NFC odds. The Falcons’ offense is as good or better than all three of those teams directly above them, but the problems for Atlanta will involve defense this season. This is why I have to sell the Falcons in the Super Bowl odds this season. They lost both of their starting cornerbacks in the offseason. They drafted two corners in the 1st and 2nd round, but will a pair of rookies be able to stop the likes of Drew Brees, Cam Newton and the rest of the talented NFC quarterbacks?
This is the price that intrigues me. The NFC is going to be excellent this season, don’t get me wrong. It’s simply because of the value it displays. The top three NFC teams are all good, but all beatable in their own way. The Falcons are the dark horse in the NFC, and at nearly 8/1 to win the conference at most sportsbooks, I could be willing to take a bite. However it all boils down to what they are doing on their defense. They signed Osi Umenyiora to play on the end of their defensive line, and although they haven’t made any other moves on defense, they seem to be content right now.
The signing of Steven Jackson to play running back alongside Jaquizz Rodgers is going to make this offense that more dynamic. This is going to affect betting lines for sure, but which ones will be neglected leaving bettors some value for their NFL picks? If they can prove their defense is up to the task of playing against NFC offenses, I would be willing to take the Falcons in the NFC odds. However in a game-to-game situation, what, if any value will emerge?
Atlanta was a very nice 9-6-1 ATS last season, but in a bet that seemed like a lock, the over bettors were not treated well to the very overvalued Falcons totals in 2012. The Falcons were 7-11 (including the postseason) in 2012 cashing the over, as many 50-point totals fell under for Atlanta.
I see more of the same for the Falcons in 2013 when it comes to totals, but can they be a money-making team ATS once again this season? I’m not convinced. I think the Falcons will be juiced up enough to make their records back to .500 for both ATS and totals.