Don't Sleep On The Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons made a splashy draft pick and some offseason free agent signings that can help them soar over their win total this season

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The Atlanta Falcons might have earned arguably the most memorable nickname from the Titans schedule release video when they were identified as the Red Stallions (rawr), but they’re coming off a season that wasn’t exactly one to remember. 

The team went 7-10 and finished in last place in a horrible NFC South division. And now they are looking at a win total set at 8.5 for this season. Let's take a look at what this team may look like in 2023 and evaluate whether you should bet over or under that mark.

Offseason Additions

The Falcons had a successful Draft this year, taking Bijan Robinson at No. 8 overall, arguably the best player in the whole draft. He will certainly add talent for them when it comes to the running back position. The team also filled a hole at cornerback with Clark Phillips III and took Matthew Bergeron, who played left and right tackle in college at Syracuse.

They also made a bunch of free agency moves, among them were signing six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell to a one-year deal and inking safety Jessie Bates III to a four-year deal, $64.02 million deal.

They also traded for Jeff Okudah to help their cornerback situation and added David Onyemata to help out their defense and also brought in Taylor Heinicke as another quarterback option as a Desmond Ridder understudy. All of these moves add to the talent of the team and are beneficial to the cause of hitting the over on their win total. And their willingness to spend money to improve the team shows the Falcons mean business when it comes to dominating this season.

Schedule Analysis

The Falcons have the privilege of an easy strength of schedule for this season. In fact, they have what NFL Research calls the "easiest" schedule this season. They start off with the Panthers, Packers and Lions in the first three weeks before heading to London to face the Jaguars. That might be their toughest game on the schedule, especially with the location and traveling and jet lag potential, etc.

They will also face the Buccaneers twice, once before their Week 11 bye and then again after in Week 14 and, luckily, Tampa Bay is certainly not the team it was in the past few seasons and these should be fairly easier wins for the Falcons. And then their last four games of the season are against the Panthers, Colts, Bears and Saints. The Bears are still looking to rebuild, the Colts have worse Super Bowl odds than the Falcons, those of the Panthers aren't much better and the Saints also went 7-10 last season. With this schedule and the potential for Desmond Ridder to be an improved quarterback, this team can win nine of these games.

Atlanta's Odds

Their Super Bowl odds at BetMGM are +8000, their odds to win the NFC are +3500 and their odds to win the NFC South are +240. I think this has potential to be a Cinderella story of sorts for Atlanta. And I would go over on that win total of 8.5, which you might think seems (Tim Robinson Luca voice) wildly high, but BetQL is projecting the Falcons to win 9.3 games this season. And that's just the cherry on top to seal the deal for me to not overlook the over for Atlanta this year.

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