2016 Atlanta Falcons Season Win Total Prediction
The Atlanta Falcons haven’t finished with a winning record or made the playoffs since going 13-3 in 2012 when they were the NFC’s top seed and lost a close NFC title game at home against the San Francisco 49ers. Will the Falcons get back to the postseason this year? They have a wins total of 7.5 on NFL betting lines so oddsmakers clearly aren’t too confident.
Let’s Take a Look at the 2016 Atlanta Falcons Season Win Total Prediction
Total Win/Loss Odds Overview
Under first-year coach Dan Quinn, the former defensive coordinator of the Seahawks, Atlanta started last season looking like a Super Bowl contender at 5-0. Then came a 31-21 loss to the New Orleans Saints, which didn’t seem like a huge deal at the time. After averaging 32.4 points per game over the first five games, the Saints held Atlanta to just seven points through three quarters. After that game, the Falcons scored 21 or fewer points in their next seven games, all of which were losses.
The highlight of the season was a Week 16 home upset over Carolina, which had been unbeaten. After Julio Jones’ spectacular 70-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter gave Atlanta the lead, the Panthers came up empty in two possessions in the final three minutes as the Falcons held on for a 20-13 victory.
Why Betting On The Over?
Jones had one of the greatest years ever for a wide receiver, catching 136 passes for 1,871 yards and eight touchdowns. I could make an argument that he’s the most talented overall player in the NFL. In addition to last season’s output, Jones caught 104 passes for 1,593 yards in 2014. He’ll certainly be the focal point of the offense again in 2016.
With Roddy White released, Jones is the unquestioned leader of the wide receivers. It’s a role that assistant head coach/wide receivers Raheem Morris believes he will flourish in. Mohamed Sanu was signed in free agency to replace White, the franchise’s all-time leading receiver.
“Julio is really a teacher,” Morris said. “When he’s in the classroom, when Julio speaks he loves to influence those younger players.”
This is Atlanta’s final season playing in the Georgia Dome. The Falcons, who started playing in the Georgia Dome in 1992, are scheduled to open play in Mercedes Benz Stadium in 2017. The Falcons will open the season at home against Tampa Bay at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11. It will be the return of former coach Mike Smith, the winningest coach in franchise history. He was hired as Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator over the offseason.
Why Betting On The Under?
The offensive line and entire defense are questions. The Falcons had some great games offensively a year ago, but they were also pushed around significantly in others on the O-Line. The team signed Browns free-agent center Alex Mack to a five-year, $47.5 million deal to hopefully solve that problem. Mack suffered a broken fibula in 2014 that required surgery to repair and missed 11 games that season. But he returned just as strong as ever last season and started all 16 games for the Browns. In Atlanta, Mack reunites with Kyle Shanahan, who was his offensive coordinator in Cleveland in 2014. Mack fills a significant need for the Falcons. Mike Person, the starting center in Atlanta last season, struggled mightily in 2015 with botched snaps and poor blocking. Mack is an instant upgrade.
Defensively, Quinn has a few new weapons to work with on the defensive side — first-round pick and safety Keanu Neal and free agents Derrick Shelby and Courtney Upshaw. Neal was a hard-hitting safety during his time at Florida, but that aggressive play led to him missing tackles and dealing with injuries in his sophomore and junior seasons. He joins a team that was in the middle of the pack in yards allowed and interceptions.
The Falcons and the 49ers have the highest-strength of schedule rating (.555 based on opponents’ records from last season. The Falcons have seven games against teams that went to the playoffs last season. Carolina (twice), Denver, Kansas City, Arizona, Seattle and Green Bay.
My Betting Prediction
This should be a fine offensive team, but I don’t trust that defense. Tough schedule too. Go under on NFL betting lines.