Atlanta Falcons emerge with the easiest NFL schedule according to winning percentage of their pre-determined opposition. Can the Falcons capitalise in the 2015-2016 NFL season? Here are 3 Bold Predictions for the Falcons.
Overly Optimistic Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons are expected to be more competitive this season according to bookies, better than their appalling 6-10 SU record of last season, which included a 3-5 record both home and away. That expectation is nowhere more readily felt than in season win total betting markets that chalk the line at 8.5 with the OVER trading at -130 and the UNDER trading at Evens.
One of the main reasons why the future might look bright for the Falcons is that they've been dealt the easiest NFL schedule, ranked 32nd on the Strength of Schedule Chart with a 0.409 winning percentage. Down considerably from the eleventh ranked schedule the year prior that boasted a healthy 0.512 winning percentage.
It's hard to ignore, though, that the Falcons have been rather flighty birds over the last couple of seasons. Since a stellar 2013 season finish of 13-3, they've only won ten out of 32 games spanning two seasons. That yields an average of five wins per season since 2013. The worst of it is that the entire NFC South was atrocious last season as each side took turns to show just how bad they can be on any given Sunday. Nobody wanted to take the baton and run with it until Cam Newton and the Panthers did so down the stretch.
The reality however is that the franchise has undergone some wholesale changes. While those could prove just semantics: we've yet to see what the Falcons are made of on the field this season. They are bold enough to point suggest that of all the teams in the NFC South, the Falcons might have the biggest upside.
So is the future really so bright or are the bookies being overly optimistic, pandering to public sentiment that hopes to see the Falcons soar high atop of the NFC South Division. We've got three bold predictions for the Atlanta Falcons, which include the best bets in our opinion. To put it simply, how should you bet the Falcons in 2015-2016.
1. They Win NFC South at +200
The likeliest champions in this division are, arguably, the Panthers or the Falcons. Hence, they are the top two favorites on the NFL odds board. Tampa is still in flux while New Orleans are under a cloud of question marks.
The Falcons are trading at +200 NFL odds or as the second favorites to win the NFC South behind defending champions Carolina Panthers. At times, last season, the side showed glimpses of promise, particularly on the offensive side of the ball when they really took it to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau field. If Dan Quinn can shape up their defense considerably the Falcons could give the Panthers a run for their money.
2. To Make Playoffs at +138 at Bet365
If you're going to bet on the Falcons to win the NFC South division, you might as well pair it with an NFL pick to make the NFL playoffs. As it is, the Falcons are a tempting +138 NFL pick to make the NFL playoffs this year, marking a return to the postseason since 2013.
3. Julio Jones at +600 To Lead Receiving Yards
Julio Jones finished the season third on the Receiving Yards chart with 1593 yards, a 105 yards less than Antonio Brown. That despite suffering an injury late in the season. Importantly, Jones averaged was second with receiving 76 first downs and averaged 15.3 yards per pass and 106.2 yards per game. Jones is the second favorite on the NFL odds board at +650 to top this category at Bet365, after Antonio Brown at +500.