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  • Writer's pictureAvoid the Vig

2023 Atlanta Falcons Season Betting Preview



As part of our 2023 NFL Preseason Preview Series, we look at the current state of each team in an attempt to identify reasons for optimism and causes for concern and, most importantly, what can be exploited in the current betting marketplace.



ATLANTA FALCONS: REASONS FOR OPTIMISM


The Atlanta Falcons showed tremendous improvement last year, finishing with 7 wins. Perhaps even more importantly, Atlanta found an offensive identity. In a ‘zig while everyone else zags’ approach, the Falcons did most of their damage on the ground behind PFF’s top-rated offensive line. QB Desmond Ridder enters the offseason as Atlanta’s de facto starter, alongside newly drafted RB Bijan Robinson, whom many draftniks had as a top 3 player in this year’s class. A defense that was one of the worst in the league has been aided by free-agent signings of established NFL starters Calais Campbell, Bud Dupree, and Jessie Bates. The Falcons’ front office and coaching staff have a clear vision, and the positive vibes in Atlanta are palpable. Add in the 2nd easiest schedule in the league, and the Falcons could make a run for a wild card.



ATLANTA FALCONS: CAUSE FOR CONCERN


As much success as the Falcons' run-first offense produced, their defense was a real cause for concern. Although the names are recognizable, both Dupree and Campbell are past their prime. Someone will need to tap into some youthful energy to improve Atlanta’s league-worst adjusted sack rate. Ridder enters his second year in the offense after he was terribly inefficient in his five starts last season. His running ability will certainly help establish Atlanta’s game plan, but the lack of wide receivers outside of London is a serious concern. Ridder's passing ability was never his strength coming into the NFL, and there is little reason for optimism now. Atlanta also features the 4th- worst net rest edge and is the only team without a single rest advantage. With a year of tape at their disposal, one has to wonder if opposing coaches start figuring out ways to slow down the Falcons’ run-first offense.



ATLANTA FALCONS: BETTING OPPORTUNITIES


Predictably, the Falcons struggled last season against top-run defenses. Without anticipating an improvement in the air, I’ll be looking for opportunities to fade the Falcons or play the under against T10 run defenses. It should be noted that although the Falcons have one of the worst defenses in the league, they often win time of possession, which provides little scoring opportunities for the opponents. If the Falcons get down by multiple scores, they would be forced to play a brand of football they are not built for, which could lead to more variance and higher scoring. In week 10, Atlanta is slated to play Arizona, which is projected to have a bottom-10 rush defense and will most likely have its eyes set on 2024.


Best Bet: Week 10 ATL -2.5 (Play to -3)




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