2019 Atlanta Falcons Odds to win the Super Bowl with Expert Betting Predictions
It's a big year for the Atlanta Falcons and for Dan Quinn's coaching career. In 2016, they made it all the way to the Super Bowl, losing in overtime after a collapse for the ages. And they have never been the same since. They won 10 games and a playoff game the next year but didn't feel nearly as dangerous as they had the year before. And last season they lost nine times and had a long list of problems. It was an offseason of changes, and now they face a season of urgency. Are they up to the challenge? (Spoiler alert - I'm not at all convinced).
Atlanta Falcons Coaching
You can always tell a coach's seat is getting very hot when he makes wide scale changes to his coaching staff. By that measure Quinn is certainly feeling the pressure. Steve Sarkisian is out as offensive coordinator, and Dirk Koetter, Tampa's head coach the last three years, has taken his place. Koetter previously held the same role in Atlanta from 2012 to 2014. Quinn also fired Marquand Manuel as defensive coordinator, and he made the most desperate move there is for a coach to make - he named himself the new coordinator. There are several changes among the position coaches, with the most notable being that former Buffalo, Jacksonville and Tennessee head coach Mike Mularkey is now coaching the tight ends.
Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Situation
Matt Ryan is back for his 12th year as the starter in Atlanta. He has missed only two starts the whole time and none in the last nine years, so it's a good bet he'll play the full year this year as well. He's coming off a season in which he fell just 20 yards short of his career best yardage, and it was a very statistically strong year despite the lack of success on the scoreboard. Matt Schaub has been his backup the last three years and is back for another year in that role. Also in the QB room in the preseason is Matt Sims, who has spent a couple of years on Atlanta's practice roster already and played last year for Atlanta's entry in the AAF. The team also grabbed Danny Etling off of waivers after the Patriots released him early in training camp this year after first trying to turn him into a receiver.
How The Atlanta Falcons Improved
The offensive line was an absolute mess last year and limited the flexibility the team had on offense. They focused heavily on that problem in the draft, using both of their first-round picks on linemen. They also added James Carpenter in free agency from the Jets to start on the line. With that many changes, and that much youth, there is no guarantee that the line will be significantly improved, but at least there is a chance that it will be.
How The Atlanta Falcons Got Worse
They made Grady Jarrett the highest-paid defensive tackle in the league this offseason, and they drafted DE John Cominsky. But the defensive line had some issues last year, and it is far from certain that they have addressed those issues sufficiently this year. Vic Beasley led the league in sacks in 2016 with 15.5 but has had just five in each of the last two years despite just missing a total of two games. If they can't find a way to fix him, or make up for his lost sacks, it will have a negative impact on the team.
Atlanta Falcons Schedule Analysis
They open with three very tough games - at Minnesota, against Philadelphia, and at Indianapolis. If they haven't taken big steps forward from last year, then that is going to be a brutal start to the season. Later they play the Rams and the Seahawks and then visit the Saints after a bye week - another very tough stretch of games that could cause real problems for a vulnerable team. The last month of the season is quite soft, but it could be too late by that point. This is far from an ideal schedule for a team looking to bounce back.
2019-20 Atlanta Falcons Betting Odds and Trends
At +2800 to win the Super Bowl, the Falcons are tied with the Texans and 49ers. They are behind 14 other teams. They are the eighth choice to win the NFC at +1400 and the second choice to win the NFC South at +320 - though they are far behind the favored Saints at -160. The season win total is set at 8.5, with the "over" favored at -120. The Falcons are at +140 to make the playoffs and -160 to miss them. Atlanta is +2000 to have the best record in the league and +3300 to have the worst. Matt Ryan is at +2500 to be MVP, which puts him behind just eight other guys. Julio Jones is at +10000. Devonta Freeman is the third choice to be comeback player of the year at +1000. Quinn is the fourth choice to be the first coach fired at +1200, and he's at +2000 to be named coach of the year. Ryan is favored to lead the league in passing yards at +500. He's the co-second choice to lead in touchdowns at +600 and at +15000 to lead in interceptions thrown. Freeman is at +4000 to be tops in rushing yards and +1800 to lead in rushing touchdowns. Jones is the co-second choice to lead the league in receptions at +600, with Calvin Ridley at +10000 and Mohamed Sanu at +25000. Jones is also favored to lead in receiving yards at +750 but is further down the board when it comes to touchdowns at +2500.
2019-20 Atlanta Falcons Predictions and NFL Picks
Ryan had an excellent passing year last year, and it didn't really matter. It wasn't enough. I'm not convinced that they have done enough in the offseason to ensure that strong play leads to better results. This is a team that has lacked mental toughness under Quinn. And with the coach now scrambling for his professional life, I am skeptical that that will be any better now. The schedule is tough, and there are too many teams that are better in the NFC than the Falcons. I am not a fan of where this team is right now.
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